Leigh Harkrider is a line producer and unit production manager working in film. Over the course of his career, Harkrider has worked in several areas of the production process including work with production, camera, lighting, and operations. His passion for film has motivated him to produce his own projects as well as help organizations via volunteer work. Most recently, Leigh Harkrider performed volunteer work for the Movement for a People’s Party.
The Movement for a People’s Party (MPP) is an organization in support of a new progressive populist party delivering quality of life improvements such as single-payer healthcare, taking the prevailing influence of money out of politics, increase of the minimum wage, free public college, and financial regulations. Recognizing that many do not feel adequately represented by the current government, the Movement for a People’s Party works to rectify these issues through the foundation of a party that can look after the needs of the people.
In July, MPP spearheaded direct actions at Congresspeople’s homes in support of People’s Stimulus. Recognizing that working-class Americans need economic assistance to survive through the pandemic, MPP constructed a set of demands to help Americans towards that goal. Leigh Harkrider personally produced several of the short videos that the MPP released to emphasize the work being done. He was the tech director for all National Calls released between June 4, 2020 and September 10, 2020.
The Movement for a People’s Party recently hosted The People’s Convention in August of 2020. Featuring dozens of activists and thought leaders, the event was headlined by Sen. Nina Turner and Dr. Cornel West along with former Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura, and Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and author Chris Hedges. For the event, Leigh Harkrider acted as the Tech Director and oversaw the production of promotional video segments within the program, advertisements for the event, and videos produced in the days following the convention. Through volunteer work for MPP, Harkrider can channel his passion for film and combine it with his desire to see change in this country.
Leigh Harkrider acknowledges that getting involved in the political process can seem daunting given the current landscape, but he maintains that people can always find ways that their different skills fit into the process. For individuals whose skill sets lie in film and video, the growing influence of the medium and the boom of online resources means that MPP and other organizations fighting for change can utilize their skills for promotional material and helping facilitate facets of digital events. People that do not have a penchant for film and video can always volunteer in other ways to lead our country in a direction that we can be proud of.
As a resource for aspiring filmmakers and individuals looking to get active politically, Leigh Harkrider hopes to speak on ways people with a passion for film and video can utilize their skills for both volunteer and freelance purposes in the current climate. We are living in a defining moment in American history, and we can always discover new ways to make improvements for ourselves and the next generation.