greenephoto1Alvin Greene didn't stop to chat with reporters who recently trekked to Manning, S.C., to watch his first campaign speech. But the Democratic candidate did talk to Leslie Beaumont after the event.
That’s because Beaumont and writer David Garrett are making a documentary on the unlikely Senate hopeful: “Who Is Alvin Greene?”
There’s been no shortage of Greene coverage lately. As The Upshot reported Monday, Greene received more media attention than any 2010 candidate in the six weeks after his unexpected primary win. However, Beaumont says the documentary will provide another perspective on the unlikely candidate.
“It’s more about this evolution of this private citizen seeking higher office,” Beaumont told The Upshot. “I wanted to show a side of him that hasn’t been seen.”
Both Beaumont and Garrett live in Los Angeles, and they have never made a campaign documentary. The filmmakers became interested in Greene after he came out of nowhere to win the primary.
"We're really fascinated with the story of this ordinary private citizen living in obscurity and then thrown in the limelight," Beaumont said.
So they contacted Greene by email and phone. Initially he wasn’t interested, she said. But they set up a meeting in South Carolina to try convincing him to let cameras follow him around.
“You have a great story,” Beaumont recalled telling him. “This is a historic moment in time that needs to be documented.”
Beaumont acknowledges that Greene was “very unprepared” for his first media interviews. But she says that Greene’s gaining confidence and the campaign is growing from a single man to at least a small circle of advisers.
“It’s interesting,” she said, "to see this evolution of Alvin Greene into politician.”
Still, Greene is far from a polished candidate. He makes comments that seem somewhat bizarre, like telling the Guardian that one way to create jobs is to employ people to make Alvin Greene toys.
Beaumont said she asked Greene about that widely mocked comment, and he claimed it was sort of a joke that’s geared for a British audience. (The Upshot isn’t quite sure why the British would find that funny, but maybe that, too, will be explained in the documentary.)
The Guardian’s not the only news outlet to seek out Greene, and Beaumont says the candidate's phone rings throughout the day with media requests. She said that Greene’s been generally positive about the attention, but also can seem overwhelmed at times.
“He’s never had an experience like this before,” she said. “I don’t think he realized what would happen if he ran to be a U.S. senator. After he won that primary, there is going to be this explosion of media attention around him.”
Beaumont said she’s heading to South Carolina next week to resume filming. She and Garrett are currently self-funding the project, but hope to get some outside financial backing for the remaining months of the campaign. She’s currently editing a trailer for the film in hopes of sparking more interest.