After over two decades of reporting on urban development for The Detroit Free Press, Gallagher collected and concocted an uplifting story of Detroit’s growth and plans to bring a shrunken city to life again.
"Lean, Mean & Green," directed by Carrie LeZotte of One of Us Films, came to be because of her serious passion for documenting something other than Detroit blight. Her frustration over how negatively Detroit is perceived due to outsider news stories just scratching the one sided surface of the city gave her enough motivation to turn Gallagher’s story into a documentary.
The two knew each other socially previous and a meshing of talents seemed natural.
The film showcased other cities in similar situations for comparison and took a deeper look into the re-crafting of cities as opposed to a rebirth. The city cannot start from scratch because the means aren’t there, but the city can become something stronger than it was before by community involvement and a general consideration for the inhabitants.
The film used humor and animated on camera interviews to bring the city to life through its people and stories.
The premier of the film took place at the Detroit Film Theater, free of admission charge, and packed the theater’s seats. Friends, family, Detroit supporters and overall socially interested beings occupied the seats, laughing, clapping and paying close attention to the story unfolding on the screen.
At the end of the premier, a question and answer portion captivated the audience’s attention, bringing to life social issues and concerns from the here and now.
Both LeZotte and Gallagher hope to change the way people see Detroit through this film and continue a conversation that has long been either muted or headed in the wrong direction.
They both believe Detroit can become leaner, meaner and greener.