February 4, 2013 11:05 am
Tonight at 10pm, PBS Independent Lens re-broadcasts As Goes Janesville, the award-winning "political thriller" (New York Times) documentary by Brad Lichtenstein that examines one Wisconsin town divided by class and ideological differences on how to recover from the closure of its primary employer, a General Motors plant.
To coincide with the re-broadcast and the film's release on DVD and VOD, the filmmakers have also released BizVizz, the first mobile iPhone app to make corporate behavior transparent. Get BizVizz today FREE from the iTunes App store.
Brad and 371 Productions were inspired to make BizVizz after a controversial event in the making of As Goes Janesville, when a company obtaining taxpayer dollars without so much as a public hearing. Says Brad: “I watched the democratic process being subverted and felt we should do something on a grander scale to make corporate behavior more transparent, especially when we’re all called on to do our part during tough economic times.”
BizVizz works simply to make exposing and sharing corporate tax, government subsidy and campaign donation records easy. Users snap a picture of a brand’s logo to get a simple graphic screen that instantly displays financial data about America’s largest corporations. How much tax do they pay? How much money do they get in government in subsidies? To whom do they give their political donations? BizVizz currently features 300 companies and over 900 brands with plans to expand.
Check out great profiles on how Brad went "where few doc directors have gone before" in developing this app based on a film from the POV Blog and ITVS (a co-producer on As Goes Janesville), and a favorable review from Basil Tsiokos at What (not) to Doc.
"It might not topple Goliath, but it certainly puts a rock (read: information) in the hands of David." - Tom Roston, POV.