Big Inversion Updates

Dear Inversion Documentary Supporters,

Every stench-filled day here in Pittsburgh renews my eagerness to finish this film and share our story with you all—and the world. And I’ve had plenty of those days to spur me on. Here are the citizen smell reports for December 5 collected by the CMU CREATE Lab’s SmellPGH app (

With all that (smelly, acrid, throat-burning, eye-stinging) inspiration, we’ve managed to make some significant progress on the film. In the past year, we have:

  • Completed 10 interviews with a range of people including environmental journalist Don Hopey, two CREATE Lab team members, and a range of delightful “people on the street.”
  • Captured lots of footage of Pittsburgh looking lovely this summer and fall.
  • Begun editing raw footage into rough chapters. 
  • Secured three major grants! (More on that in a separate update.)
  • Begun bringing on assistant editors to speed the process.

It is exciting for me to be able look at that list and feel the forward momentum of this project. I hope it is the same for you. We have made incredible progress, but we’re still in the uphill push with this film. There are still some key parts of the film project that haven’t been fully funded—in particular, I’d like to hire a professional animator to illustrate some of the more complicated parts of the air quality topic to make them accessible and visually appealing for all audiences. 

You can help! Make a tax deductible year-end donation to the Inversion film project:

I’m going to send you a few more updates in the next few weeks so that you can get a closer look at all that we’ve been doing on this film. Thank you so much for being a part of the fight for a better world. I hope that our combined passions for cleaner air, along with a bit of community financial support, can bring this project across the finish line and out into the world in 2023.

“When you’re thinking that it’s us against them and them against us, then all you’re doing is trying to hurt each other. And when you hurt each other, nobody comes out of that well.” – Johnie Perryman (interviewed for Inversion Documentary)

Until next time,

Mark Dixon

Director, Inversion Documentary

Inversion: The Unfinished Business of Pittsburgh’s Air is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Inversion: The Unfinished Business of Pittsburgh’s Air must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Donate Now.

Explore and share Inversion Documentary’s website: trailer, synopsis, resources, and director’s statement at

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