Unemployed America | Documentary Idea

by Analyn Braza-Stull
(Fredericksburg, VA)

In front of Hoover Dam near Boulder City

In front of Hoover Dam near Boulder City

Inspiration: Our very first trip to Nevada opened our eyes to what freedom feels like out there. We camped at the Mojave reserves, Lake Meade, and enjoyed the drive through the mountains and exploring the deserts and not having to spend anything. The only thing we spent was on water and snacks from 7-Eleven. We were ready to stay out there and forget the world back in Virginia.

Now that we returned home, my husband Tony got laid off from his job and has never been able to find work since, due to the changing of employment qualifications and standards. Knowing that he would be the best for any job and knowledgeable enough to take on any work, he finds himself unemployed. He even has a DCJS Security Tech license that he can never utilize because there aren't any on-the-job training or entry level work for him available anywhere. He's only 25 but considered too old for job corp.

I may follow the lead. I am 31 working on my Bachelors for Web Design and Interactive media and I still can't find work with just an associates degree. I have so much experience in Administrative and Executive work and also exploring Human Resource work. I have been submitting resumes online to about 20 jobs per day. There is either no response via email or call, no interviews offered, or receive rejection notices. What other options as a young couples do we have!!!? My pay does not cut it for us here in Virginia where there's a high cost of living. We compared the cost of living in our current residence (living with my dad in one room with two cats) and Nevada where there is 7% cheaper to live and 19% cheaper in utilities.

We miss Nevada as if that was our home. We miss the wilderness as we struggle here in the busy stressful world of cities and towns going through modernization.

We thought up the idea to purchase an RV, drive into places and finding small jobs here and there through Craigslist or workingcouples.com. With only $6000 dollars in tax money that we are still waiting on and willing to budget to pay for an RV to live in where ever we go and finding jobs that really matters, such as ranch work, forest park work, environmental, something we can do that can make a difference....I wonder, do those require a degree?? We would join the Peace Corp, but I'm just a residence (originally from the Philippines) and I was in the US Navy bootcamp during 9/11 and still did not receive citizenship.

In our travels we may run into issues but we've been through so much in the years that this will be a challenge for us. We had originally planned on camping out rather than renting an apartment, in hopes to see things we have never ventured out to do in our entire life. We don't want to be caged birds. We currently both pay child support and we had hopes and dreams to build the family, find a stable job, a stable home and to have my kids move in with me. That was a dream 5 years ago and no matter how much we try, we can never find a way to get there. I wonder how much of our life will be wasted away just to be happy. It's not about the money, its about being able to live.

This documentary idea's purpose is to tell our story of our struggle into a selective society. There's no longer any connection and trust; only paperwork and credentials. When we meet people and converse, they think we are historians, scientists, or teachers. We aren't any of those, but we do have the knowledge, insights and the understanding of how society should be in our eyes..but no one really listens because they are too caught up in the money and the luxury in which we can never achieve because we can't look, play, and be the part of the corporate world. It's like we have to be fake in order to fit in...We don't want to be like that.

We choose not to be a slave to society but rather provide selfless service to those in need. We will both be unemployed in the end but we want to take on odd jobs just to keep the necessities.

What do you think of "Unemployed America" Documentary idea?

Comments for Unemployed America | Documentary Idea

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 17, 2013
Thank you Scott
by: Ana

That actually is in the works. I even have some footage from when we went to Nevada and a lot of images.

I also can do some interview between myself and my husband as well.

We actually have expanded on this if you want to take a look at our blog here:


It actually turned into a story of several individuals in the same boat as we are and I think including their stories would definitely give us some sort go.

Jul 17, 2013
Great Idea. Start Shooting Now!
by: Scott

Great idea Ana. I think what you expressed in this post will resonate with a lot of people that either dream of living like you describe or have been forced to live as you describe.

This story has potential. But "potential", as my 8th grade gym teacher told us in class one day, only means that you "could" be great. If you have "potential" you don't have anything to show anyone.


Start shooting video. Have reality show confessions direct to the camera. Show the RV you want. Do you have pictures from Nevada you can use? If not, there are free (or cheap) stock photo websites where you can buy a beautiful sunset shot from Nevada.

Start shooting now to document all of this. Then, look for help creating a 2 minute trailer (think of it as yoru post here, only with narration and some b-roll footage.

When you get a trailer, people will see beyond the potential of the story and they will begin to actually see it.

Great idea, that if executed and marketed correctly, could find a large audience.

Best of luck with everything!

Jul 12, 2013
by: Ana

It's funny that you mentioned that because that is where I ended up looking after I posted this idea.

I'm not really much of a writer but I guess I can at least think about it and put together something. I do have a few friends who are in the same boat as we are. I'd love to tell my story whether it is a book or whatever other mediums I can use. I may have to start it out as a blog of course.

Jul 12, 2013
Ideas for you
by: Desktop Documentaries

Thank you Analyn for that beautiful and well written story of your lives. Although there is a thread of tragedy, I can feel the hope and happiness inside your soul. You're such a wonderful writer and communicator, have you thought of writing a book on this topic? Interview others like yourself who are struggling and weave in your story with theirs.

I'm not saying your story wouldn't make a good documentary, but starting a book is something you can do right now!

Have you read the book What Color Is Your Parachute?. That's a great read for someone in the middle of looking for a job. Another book I highly recommend that has the potential to completely change your life is by Lynn Grabhorn Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting.

Another idea is to live overseas where cost of living is lower. You could also start an online business (a lot of work up front, but pays off in the end if you stick with it).

If you enjoy helping people, a great website to find jobs in the world of philanthropy is Idealist.org.

Again, thanks for sharing your story. Oh, you also may want to check out PBS's Frontline as they have just released a documentary series about the middle class and unemployment in America What Happened To The American Dream.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Documentary Ideas.

7 Day Documentary Crash Course

Ready To Make Your Dream Documentary?

Sign up for our exclusive 7-day crash course and learn step-by-step how to make a documentary from idea to completed movie! 

Return Home