I am enjoying everyone's responses to my review of The Big Year. I am highly impressed by the way we can all share such differing opinions and learn more about each other.  Here's a fascinating interview clip with Sandy Komito talking about how he feels you can't do a big year and enjoy birding at the same time.  He also shares how a big year is all about me, me, me:
Oh, and to clear up the confusion there seems to be about my high expectations of the film, I would like people to know that I originally did not have high expections.  I thought it naive to have high expectations.  I was not originally going to go see the film at all.  I had very low expectations of it.  But then Tim Barksdale posted a passionate plea to go see the movie, extolling all the marvelous things that would result from going to see it and from the film's success.  Since I think very highly of Tim, I decided to go the moive. I could not imagine the film not being stupendous, since Tim wrote things like this in his plea (which, after seeing the film, I find myself in total disagreement with): 
"... the story will effectively change birding forever." 
"...  this film will bring out the humanness of birding along with so many other wonderful aspects."
"...If you want to do something to help Birding advance as well as help birds worldwide please go see this film and encourage every person you know to do so as well — Every person who knows you love birds, and all of your relatives too...
"...The more money this film generates the better for birds and conservation in every way.  “Hold it,” you stammer. “How will that help birders? I don’t see how they are connected.  Simple business....If The Big Year makes a good return... More shows on birds will developed and more series too. The young person who now longs to lead birding tours full time has a real chance to earn a decent living. The bird artist who would like to make a decent living will be able to better compete against the few bird artists currently remaining financially successful. The revenues for every aspect of our lives will increase."
"...Money will spill over to sponsor research projects, money to support nature centers, money to fund education. The better this film does on the first weekend is critically important to us and the birds."
and he ended with:
"Go to the theaters with your binoculars show everyone We Are Birders.
Please spread this message to every list serve and every birder you can this week. From the Cerulean Warbler whose home will not be removed by dynamite in West Virginia to the Greater Prairie Chicken who will be hatched on a restored prairie sponsored by a new company who understands for the first time that birders care about birds."
Geez, how could I not change my mind and go see it with high expectations after all that?  I'd love a movie to be able to do all that.  But alas, after seeing it, my point was that a movie like the Big Year would not for the reasons I already outlined in my review. 
Chrissy McClarren
St. Louis MO
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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