An Industry at a Crossroads
Filmmaker and omnivore John Papola, together with his vegetarian wife Lisa, offer up a timely and refreshingly unbiased look at how farm animals are raised for our consumption. On a cross-country road trip, granted unprecedented access to large-scale conventional farms as well as smaller-scale, unconventional farms, Papola asks the tough questions behind every hamburger, glass of milk, and baby-back rib. What he discovers are not heartless industrialists, but America’s farmers — real people who, like him, are grappling with the moral dimensions of farming animals for food.
In the food-animal debate, there is typically no middle ground: there are passionate advocates/activists for animal rights, and there are those who just don’t want to think about it.
The filmmakers’ approach with this project was to offer a neutral look at factory farming and at higher-welfare alternatives. The objective was to show how it is and allow viewers to draw their own conclusions.
The challenge of the title was to attract an audience without misrepresenting the content; to honestly position the film, but to avoid knee-jerk reactions from any side. The title needed to convey impartiality, to extend an invitation and offer an opportunity for viewers to see for themselves — outside of the hype and hyperbole — allowing them to make their own conscious, aware choices.
At The Fork
The word fork communicates eating, immediately positioning the subject matter of the film
Suggests the expression a fork in the road:
• A playful, literal reference to John and Lisa’s cross-country road trip, arriving at a junction of two divergent roads,
• And, a serious, metaphorical reference to a decisive moment in life or history, a point at which a choice between two alternatives must be made
Simple and profound, the title directly asserts, in a non-threatening way, that each consumer makes a choice with every forkful of food they consume, and that the choice is theirs to make
The Decision Point
As the peerless Yogi Berra is said to have said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” This remarkable film takes the audience on an enlightening road trip that unfolds without shock value or sensationalism, displaying the choices made at all the forks.
Compelling and dynamic, the title At The Fork strategically takes no side, but rather raises awareness of the choices we each make with our own forks.
I started my career in broadcast promos for TV networks like Nickelodeon and Spike TV. I thought I knew how hard it was to come up with a great name for a project … until we made At The Fork. Despite (or perhaps because of) my marketing background, I found Quinn and the team at Fussfactory to be INVALUABLE partners and fresh eyes on our effort. They brought wit and rigor to the process and wouldn’t stop until we landed on a title that both invited interest and captured the nature of our film.
John Papola — co-founder and CEO, Emergent Order