“The Ripple”

By Ben Stamper

My original concept for this film was completely hijacked by a chance-encounter with a homeless man on the corner of 17th street and 5th Avenue. Steve is in his mid 50’s and has been making pizza since he was 15 years old. He has been homeless for 6 months after the restaurant he worked for lost their lease due to rent hikes. Living paycheck to paycheck he soon fell behind ended up on the streets. This is the story he told while we spent the better part of a day together. Here is a man I could have so easily passed by. The resulting film is a stark appeal to acknowledge those whom we are told to ignore, and to engage with those whom we might prefer to wish away. He was a “ripple’ in my plan for this film, my positive disruption that I now transfer to you. The laws of physics tell us that an uninterrupted wave can travel an entire ocean basin. Every day we cause ripples in the marketplace, in our home life, in our communities. What is the nature of each?

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