New video tells the story of Draw the Lines PA so far

By DTL staff

How do you get a thousand ordinary folks to create a bunch of extraordinary election maps? With jigsaw puzzles, colorful flash cards, fancy technology and pizza - lots and lots of pizza. At least, that's how Draw the Lines PA chose to do it.

A new, short video documentary tells the story of how, since its launch in 2018, Draw the Lines PA has crisscrossed the Commonwealth raising the alarm about gerrymandering - and what it plans for the crossroads year of 2021.

The documentary is the work of PWP Video, a Philadelphia production company that specializes in telling the story of mission-driven nonprofits.

David Winston, who produced the video for PWP, said working on this project was "a kind of penance."  Years ago, he said, he worked a lot on the kind of negative campaign spots you've probably come to hate.

"Following the news in Pennsylvania and working with Draw the Lines on a previous project, I realized how bad gerrymandering was," Winston says. "And I also recognized that it stemmed in part from the kind of politics we were supporting with those ads."

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, Winston and director Christopher Marston has to change their game plan mid-shoot.  The orginal focal point of the video was to have been DTL's big PA Map Day event in the state Capitol on March 17.   Gov. Wolf shut the Capitol down on March 13 due to the outbreak.

The PWP team adjusted, framing the video around animation and Zoom interviews with some of DTL's top citizen mappers and its volunteer leaders such as former U.S. Attorney Frederick Thieman and Sharmain Matlock-Turner, head of Philadelphia's Urban Affairs Coalition.

DTL senior adviser Chris Satullo channeled his days as an NPR commentator to provide voice-over narration.

Give the video a watch and let us know what you think.