Duncan Sill

‘One Paycheck Away’ – film will explore the precarious existence of ordinary Americans

It’s claimed that in 2019, 80% of Americans were living from one pay cheque to the next. A year on [I write this during the 2020 coronavirus crisis], the pandemic has caused economic devastation, with more than 40 million filing for unemployment.

Many who were relying on the next pay cheque to pay the rent, won’t get a next pay cheque. That’s the backdrop for a forthcoming character-driven documentary, following several ordinary, hard-working Americans, facing the prospect of losing their home.

One Paycheck Away is the brainchild of its producer and director, Duncan Sill, a graduate of New York University, who has been involved in the film industry since 2007, and who has previously focused on poverty in the US.

A Walk with Malik

We are now in June, as we update the onepaycheckawaymovie.com film website, this photo image of Malik (on our home page) walking back from our visit along the Mississippi marks a momentary calm before a fury of unexpected torrents (COVID19, George Floyd protests) disrupted so many lives, not only in New Orleans, but across the whole US and reverberating worldwide.

Director’s Statement

While questioning why and how 80% of us live paycheck-to-paycheck, this film calls to action what an average person can do to bring solutions. From the lenses of our key characters–real, normal persons– something familiar can connect us in our shared daily lives and struggles. From that, we begin…

Wendy & Ronda (Albuquerque, NM)

Wendy and Ronda are two hardworking women who fight every day to stay in business doing what they love. After leaving the comfort of corporate jobs, the two best friends opened their own salon to pursue their passion as hairdressers. Together they have experienced loss, a changing neighborhood, and multiple break-ins. However, through each trying moment, they have remained dedicated, positive, and loving.

Andreanecia M. Morris (New Orleans, LA)

Andreanecia is dedicated above and beyond to creating a more equitable New Orleans. As the executive director for HousingNOLA, she states their mission is simple, ” We believe New Orleans can and must provide high-quality, safe and accessible housing that is affordable to individuals and families of all income levels throughout New Orleans.”

Being Nobody and One Paycheck Away

There’s a collective sense that we are just not ok. Our
stability is, at best, unstable. The unease is just not purely financial but
reach deep into our collective psyche and connections as humanity. AND many
acknowledge that no hero is going to come to “save” us.

So, the call to action is ours. Individually and
collectively…AND it won’t be easy.