Making the Film
William Kunitz spent 2009 and part of 2010 at Goranson Farm. Often filming handheld and without a crew,
he was granted complete access to the family and farm helpers.
When he began the project, no one had any idea what a difficult year 2009 would be. As a beautiful spring turned to rain for nearly the entire month of June, Mr. Kunitz continued filming, capturing Jan Goranson
and Rob Johanson’s response to day after day of rain, to hail on July first, and to the struggle to provide
for their markets.
In July, matters went from bad to worse as late potato blight descended on the farm. Mr. Kunitz continued filming, following the family and their crew as they first tried to prevent the spread of the disease with the
few weapons available to organic farmers, and as they eventually made the awful decision to destroy parts
of the crop in an attempt to save the rest.
Principal photography ended in early 2010 with a recap in the fall of that year. Four hundred pages of transcripts were created and over the next two years the seventy-four hours of film were slowly shaped into
a 54-minute piece with superb consultation from editor Mary Lampson (Harlan County USA, Trouble the Water) and playwright Doris Baizley (Shiloh Rules, Sexting).
Editing of the 54-minute version of Goranson Farm: An Uncertain Harvest was concluded in July 2012.
A feature-length version is being contemplated.