Originally Posted Online: Nov. 09, 2012, 3:36 pm
Last Updated: Nov. 09, 2012, 6:56 pm

Deere pavilion now features film shot on five continents

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By Sarah Hayden, shayden@qconline.com

Photo: Submitted
An image from the new film 'Linked to the Land' now on exhibit at the John Deere Pavilion in downtown Moline.
More photos from this shoot
Photo: Paul Colletti
Film producer William Schwartz walks past the advertisement for the premiere of his new film 'Linked to the Land' at the John Deere Pavilion in Moline on Friday, November 9, 2012. Mr. Schwartz has previously produced a number of films for John Deere; the newest one highlighting the challenges of sustaining a growing world population with limited farm land.

MOLINE - John Deere Pavilion launched a new exhibit Friday with a showing of "Linked to the Land," a 20-minute film about the challenges of sustaining a growing world population.

Written, directed and produced by William Schwartz, the film focuses on the international demand for more food, fuel, fiber, shelter and infrastructure, and how people are dependent on the earth to provide it.

The film, which took 15 months to produce, was filmed in eight countries and on five continents -- North America, South America, Asia, Europe and Africa.

With the world population expected to reach nine billion by mid-century, Mr. Schwartz said the world will be facing problems it's never before seen.

"We must look to the land to provide all of this," he said. "The answer is in the hands of those few people we must support -- the farmers."

The film focuses on the issue of having to double agricultural production on the same amount of land and with less water. It shows how John Deere is meeting agricultural demand around the world through advanced technology and customized equipment such as special tractors made for muddy rice paddy fields in China.

It goes on to show John Deere executives working with the poorest farmers in India, China and Russia to figure out how to improve their methods.

"It's impressive how far ahead John Deere has thought, and how they are already working on the challenges of the world," said Mr. Schwartz, who recruited actor Gary Sinise to narrate the short film.

LuAnn Haydon, who coordinated logistics for the film, said challenges included getting the right crew on the ground in foreign countries with the right equipment for the scene. Aside from minor language issues, Ms. Haydon said weather often was a problem.

Mr. Schwartz, an Emmy-award winning producer, also made "Anthem" and "Bounty," the first two films shown at John Deere Pavilion. They still can be seen at the Deere & Company Headquarters, One John Deere Place in Moline.

Based in St. Louis, Schwartz and Associates Creative has produced documentary and short films for 35 years.

Mr. Schwartz said "It's not meant to be an advertising piece, but meant as a true reflection of what you would find if you went out into farm country. This film is like an evergreen. It is timeless and I hope everyone who sees it will take away a little bit of education."

A DVD of "Linked to the Land" is available for purchase at John Deere Pavilion, 1400 River Drive in Moline.