“Amend: The Fight for America” is a six-part documentary series hosted and executive produced by Will Smith that explores the Constitution’s 14th Amendment.
The series premiered Feb. 17 on Netflix. And one of Moorestown’s own, Dana Germano, played a role in bringing the series to life.
Germano recently served as post-production manager on the documentary, but her passion for the business began quite a bit earlier. In grade school, she participated in stage productions and found her niche working behind the scenes. With the summer MoorArts productions, she assisted with costumes, sound design and anything else that helped bring the shows to life.
“Film production, especially in the unscripted world, is very similar,” Germano said. “It’s a highly collaborative process that can be unpredictable, and having a variety of skills and interests can be an asset.”
When she began to experiment with documentary projects in college and worked in film-industry internships, Germano came to appreciate the “never ending creative problem solving” meant she would never be bored in production.
Germano said she was lucky to have some mentors who led her to industry opportunities. She started as an intern and post-production assistant, where she got experience in reality TV, digital content and documentaries.
Germano has been at her current company, The Documentary Group, for four years as manager of the editorial facility. She maintains the equipment; oversees space allocation; sets up media-management workflows and assists with delivering the content, legal paperwork and documentation to the client or network.
The Documentary Group works on everything from short films to series to features, and Germano takes on different roles for projects depending on their needs. When she first started, Germano helped deliver a special to CNN about Michelle Obama’s efforts to support girls’ education, called “We Will Rise.” She worked on interviews with Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony Kennedy for an educational series called “The Constitution Project.”
Last year, Germano technically supported a film for Netflix called “Father Soldier Son,” for which she partnered with an amazing team of directors from the New York Times. Just before COVID quarantine, The Documentary Group put the finishing touches on a series about Sasha Velour, the season nine winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” The series was called “Sasha Velour’s Nightgowns” and explored how Velour is redefining the image of drag.
Germano said the idea for “Amend” was first considered when The Documentary Group worked on an educational series about different clauses in and amendments to the Constitution. The creators noticed how Section 1 of the 14th Amendment — one of the most litigated parts of the Constitution — could only be encompassed in a stand alone series.
Germano started at The Documentary Group while the series was still in development, and she has served the project in several different capacities through production and delivery, including helping to set up the field-to-post workflow and ensuring the media safely and quickly arrived at the office from the set. She also supported the editorial team during the edit, helping with project and storage management and problem solving as needed. Most recently, she assisted the archival team in the delivery of more than 3,000 archival photos and clips that appear in the series.
Working on “Amend” has fundamentally changed the way Germano looks at American history.
“I hope many other viewers will have a similar experience as they hear stories about how we got to where we are today, told by historians, activists and some familiar faces,” she noted. “They appreciate that the 14th Amendment is something worth fighting for.”
Germano can’t talk about any of the projects she’s working on that are in post- production, but she’s hopeful that more shows like ‘Amend” are on the horizon.
“I hope to continue to get the chance to work on projects such as ‘Amend’ that can have a social impact on the audience and leave an emotional impression on the viewer,” she said.