My intent with In The Blood- both for the film, and for the live "docu-exhibit"- is to attract as broad an audience as possible, especially students, to present an entertaining and engaging illustration of the lumbermen who lived in the Maine woods around the turn of the century. It was upon the backs of these men that a large part of Maine's economy was established, and to whom many Maine cities owe their existence. In illustrating these characters, a vital and must-know chapter in Maine's history is investigated and uncovered, and done so with a unique and contemporary exhibit and film.
Since 2008 I have scoured Maine's archives, museums and historical societies, for films, photographs, and oral histories. I have done extensive research and traveled to all corners of the state to select the material that I find to be the most compelling and illuminating to explicate the life, work, and character of the Maine lumbermen and river drivers. The material that I have discovered has gone unseen or heard for years. The visuals are awe inspiring and stunning. The oral histories, the tales, stories, and interviews- told by the men themselves- are honest and raw, and invoke emotion and disbelief.
The mentality that this early generation of woodsmen held, and the culture that they created in the woods, embodies Maine's legendary reputation and character- "Yankee ingenuity" and "rugged individualism" are traits typified in a turn of the century Maine logging camp.
An investigation of early logging camp culture, and of the personalities that created it, offers valuable lessons in Maine history and in the importance of the individual- work ethic, pride, responsibility, deference and care, integrity, and the meaning of independence. The combination of these qualities are what allowed the historic Maine lumberman to persist and survive in the Maine woods. These traits and qualities are examined, and the project provides some of the answers to the question: Why or how did these men continue to live a tireless life in the woods, under the tenacious risk of death, and in an totally isolated environment?