Faithful Provision

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1mTakTHLPk”][mk_padding_divider size=”60″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][mk_fancy_title style=”alt” tag_name=”h3″ size=”13″ line_height=”18″ color=”#696969″ font_weight=”bold” letter_spacing=”0″ font_family=”none” margin_bottom=”10″ align=”left”]DESCRIPTION[/mk_fancy_title][vc_column_text]After several life changes including, children, leaving a fortune 500 company and being laid off, the Hancocks reduce their grocery budget from $1100 / month to $250 / month. Coupons enable the Hancocks to save and be generous despite their reduced income.[/vc_column_text][mk_padding_divider size=”10″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][mk_fancy_title style=”alt” tag_name=”h3″ size=”13″ line_height=”18″ color=”#696969″ font_weight=”bold” letter_spacing=”0″ font_family=”none” margin_bottom=”10″ align=”left” border_width=”5″]FILM DETAILS[/mk_fancy_title][vc_column_text]FORM: Documentary, Short
GENRE: Drama, Reality, Biography
NICHE: Coupons, Budgeting
RUNNING TIME: 5 Minutes
LANGUAGES: English[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][mk_fancy_title style=”alt” tag_name=”h3″ size=”13″ line_height=”18″ color=”#696969″ font_weight=”bold” letter_spacing=”0″ font_family=”none” margin_bottom=”10″ align=”left” border_width=”5″]PERSONAL CREDITS[/mk_fancy_title][mk_custom_list margin_bottom=”30″]

  • Producer
  • Director
  • Editor
  • Creative Director
  • Camera
  • Writer
  • Motion Graphics
  • Music

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Surrender At the Water’s Edge

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4VMYxXrUQo”][mk_padding_divider size=”60″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][mk_fancy_title style=”alt” tag_name=”h3″ size=”13″ line_height=”18″ color=”#696969″ font_weight=”bold” letter_spacing=”0″ font_family=”none” margin_bottom=”10″ align=”left”]DESCRIPTION[/mk_fancy_title][vc_column_text]Lupus caused Melanie’s physical and mental health to spiral out of control until one night she tried to take her own life. But a quiet voice told her, “You don’t have to know all the answers to the questions you’re asking. You know the one who does.”

Melanie’s story is told through the visual metaphor of photography.[/vc_column_text][mk_padding_divider size=”10″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][mk_fancy_title style=”alt” tag_name=”h3″ size=”13″ line_height=”18″ color=”#696969″ font_weight=”bold” letter_spacing=”0″ font_family=”none” margin_bottom=”10″ align=”left” border_width=”5″]FILM DETAILS[/mk_fancy_title][vc_column_text]FORM: Documentary, Short
GENRE: Drama, Reality, Biography
NICHE: Wrestling
RUNNING TIME: 6 Minutes
LANGUAGES: English[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][mk_fancy_title style=”alt” tag_name=”h3″ size=”13″ line_height=”18″ color=”#696969″ font_weight=”bold” letter_spacing=”0″ font_family=”none” margin_bottom=”10″ align=”left” border_width=”5″]PERSONAL CREDITS[/mk_fancy_title][mk_custom_list margin_bottom=”30″]

  • Producer
  • Director
  • Editor
  • Creative Director
  • Camera
  • Writer
  • Motion Graphics
  • Music

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Painting Through the Storm

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erhTRXJXUrk”][mk_padding_divider size=”60″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][mk_fancy_title style=”alt” tag_name=”h3″ size=”13″ line_height=”18″ color=”#696969″ font_weight=”bold” letter_spacing=”0″ font_family=”none” margin_bottom=”10″ align=”left”]DESCRIPTION[/mk_fancy_title][vc_column_text]Pam Jones shares a moving testimony of art healing a personal loss.

The story was captured on a green stage and the virtual set was produced in After Effects.[/vc_column_text][mk_padding_divider size=”10″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][mk_fancy_title style=”alt” tag_name=”h3″ size=”13″ line_height=”18″ color=”#696969″ font_weight=”bold” letter_spacing=”0″ font_family=”none” margin_bottom=”10″ align=”left” border_width=”5″]FILM DETAILS[/mk_fancy_title][vc_column_text]FORM: Documentary, Short
GENRE: Drama, Reality, Biography
NICHE: Art Therapy
RUNNING TIME: 8 Minutes
LANGUAGES: English[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][mk_fancy_title style=”alt” tag_name=”h3″ size=”13″ line_height=”18″ color=”#696969″ font_weight=”bold” letter_spacing=”0″ font_family=”none” margin_bottom=”10″ align=”left” border_width=”5″]PERSONAL CREDITS[/mk_fancy_title][mk_custom_list margin_bottom=”30″]

  • Producer
  • Director
  • Editor
  • Creative Director
  • Camera
  • Writer
  • Motion Graphics
  • 3D Animation

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Intentional Collisions

Seek the journey that seems impossible & out of reach. That is where you find true friends.

The last three weeks have been full and diverse. Actually, diverse is a nice way of saying stretched thin. We’ve had long days of meetings, researching, scouting, production, logging footage, editing … and more meetings. Toss in lack of sleep and heavy subject matter and you have the perfect scenario to brew a typhoon of emotions.

We are documenting a story that is uncontrolled – many times it seems as if it has no track at all, winding all over the place and crashing into anything in its path. Conflict makes for a great story, but the trouble is you have to capture it …. In the past three weeks, we have:

• Lost a theatrical director to a motorcycle accident
• Potentially lost a major character to the story who has been in rehab for over a year & wants to move out on his own but probably shouldn’t
• Received news that we were not selected for a grant we hoped to receive that would have greatly helped us finish this film
• Been told by several people that we cannot achieve what we have set out to do

But over the same period of time, we have:

• Secured Guatemalan television coverage and interviews for some of our events
• Witnessed NGOs, Governmental, Evangelical and Catholic organizations join together in cooperation to begin a united front in tackling the issue of street youth
• Partnered with another Guatemalan NGO that is helping to resource the live event
• Been blessed with an incredible new theatrical director for our live event
• Developed a relationship with an international TV media
• Sparked an interest from a marketing guru from Pepsi Guatemala
• Watched the youth grow together as they rehearse for the live event

Ultimately, the thing that matters the most in the list above is the last. That is what keeps us going at the end of the day. We aren’t merely telling a story about an issue, we are telling a very personal story about real people who are trying to break the bondage of their circumstances. When I see these kids faithfully show up every week for rehearsal, it breaks my heart and fills it up at the same time. I have seen them both high on solvent and straight as an arrow. I have seen them on the street, in rehab and back on the street. I have seen them cry out in prayer and laugh hysterically at funny moment. Most importantly, I have seen them … as real people … with dignity.

We have a very long way to go in production, and to be honest, I have no idea how this story will unfold. It is frightening, if not overwhelming to feel responsible for capturing all of this into a story that is as fragile and beautiful as the reality in which we currently drift. But I’m clinging to the hope that we are not merely drifting. Somehow these collisions are intentional in eternity.

Questioning Reality

I knew this day would eventually come. To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to it. But I could never wrap my brain around why. Perhaps I was just scared. But today was the day.

Micah came home from school today and explained that kids at school said he was adopted and had another mother. He asked us if that was true.

We have always told our sons they were born in Guatemala and celebrated their heritage. But for the past couple years, they thought everyone was born there. We repeatedly explained that we weren’t born in Guatemala, but it never sunk in. According to Micah, “even Jesus and Santa Claus were born in Guatemala”. That was his perceived reality … at least until today when he was told by his peers that he was different.

My first reaction was anger and sorrow. I was angry that these kids might have told Micah this information to be mean to him. I was sad that that they might have hurt his feelings because they didn’t know the truth about adoption and his story. And of course, there was the fear that perhaps somehow my son would view us as people other than his parents who loved him. We planned to have this conversation with our sons eventually, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. At least we had read a lot of books that prepared us for the question. I kept my thoughts and feelings to myself as we ate dinner.

After dinner Amelia and I explained to Micah and Elliot in further detail how they came to be our sons. In short, we told them that their birth mother (tummy mamma) loved them very much, but that she could not take care of them. She loved them enough to give them to us so that we could take care of them and become their “forever parents”. We explained how Amelia and I tried to have babies from Amelia’s tummy but couldn’t and that we were very sad. But God had different plans. He gave us the gift of children through Micah and Elliot. And even more, we believe it was God’s plan all along. We told them that adoption is not second best or less special than being with a tummy mamma. God chose to give them to us and we are so very thankful that they are our sons. We were proud of their heritage and story and loved them both so, so, so very much.

We talked for a long time and explained our story in several ways. We even used Kung Fu Panda 2 as an example of adoption. I could see the wheels turning in Micah’s head. His eyes told me that he was contemplating this information. Then, he asked us the name of his tummy Mamma … And suddenly, after years of wondering to myself when it would happen … It was happening …

… and then just as quickly as he asked about his tummy mamma, he began talking about a video game …

Maybe it sunk in. Maybe it didn’t. We gave Micah and Elliot hugs and encouraged them to ask us questions about their story whenever they had them in the future. I am sure there will be more questions. Maybe it will be tomorrow. Maybe it will be next week or next year. But the questions will come, and we will answer them when they do.

For now, I know this: our sons KNOW that we love them and we are one more step further into our story together. It wasn’t a bad day after all.

Renewing The Heart of a Child

One of the greatest blessings of producing documentary film is the opportunity to learn from interviews. It begins as a conversation that in itself is enlightening, but ultimately the wisdom of an interview is revealed at a much more profound level during the editing process. A much clearer picture presents itself when interviews are listened to over and over again in the context of other interviews which make the collective story. Sometimes people say things that seem so simple, yet change my life. Last week I tripped over a statement from an interview that will not let me go.

Fergie is a professional clown in Guatemala City who worked with Italo to develop the idea of a clown school for street children. After Italo’s death last year, Fergie continued this vision with passion and perseverance. We interviewed Fergie in November 2011 as part of our first production trip to Guatemala. He explained how he personally began clowning, and how he hopes to use clowning to help heal street children. I remember being inspired by his noble initiative during the interview and thinking it was a “neat idea”, but I didn’t realize just how profound his vision really is.

… Fast forward …

I have spent the last three months reviewing and evaluating footage and interviews from our November trip. I have read and listened to these stories over and over again. I have read books about street youth and I have listened to lectures about the issue. By no means do I consider myself an expert on the subject, but I do have a greater understanding now than I did 3 months ago. One thing that is unfortunately common in many stories of street youth is abuse. Some family member abused them – often repeatedly. Ironically, these children fled the danger of home to live in the safety of the streets. The memory of this pain often drives them to self medicate and becomes a dangerous cycle of drug abuse.

In a sense, their childhood has been stolen from them. It is this idea which is contrasted by profound wisdom from a clown. Fergie says,

“In the Bible there is a verse that says you must be like a child to enter the kingdom of heaven. And children have a forgiving heart. I´ve seen them fighting with a friend, and half hour later they are playing together again. That (forgiveness) is something that we all should have.”

He goes on to say,

“And a clown has to be like a child as well. A clown is really a child – a silly child. In the same way a clown has to learn to forgive.”

Through the art of clowning, these children have the opportunity to learn forgiveness. This simple yet profound thought deepened my understanding of the Becoming Fools story. In the context of this issue, forgiveness is the first step towards rehabilitation. Anger and resentment drive these children into cycles of addiction. And … Anger and resentment keep these children in cycles of addiction. They will never leave the streets unless they can forgive the people who hurt them the most. Forgiveness is one of the most important parts of the healing process … letting go of the hurt that stings, letting go of the anger that overwhelms, and letting go of the obsession that controls … So that they may find the true peace that they have longed for.

Fergie is living out his faith by reaching out to children who have been abused by family and ignored by society. He isn’t simply teaching them to be silly. He isn’t just giving them vocational training. He is consistently investing in their lives and becoming a father figure they never had. He is teaching them to trust again and let go of their pain. He is igniting dreams and passion in their lives and as result renewing the hearts of children that were once stolen.

And THAT is authentically inspiring.

Organize & Evaluate

Film production is as much about organization as it is passion and creativity. Documentaries like Becoming Fools are unique in that the story is not scripted in detail at the beginning. We can set a scope for the story, but we must capture details as they happen and develop the story along the way. There is a constant battle between systematic preparation and the chaos that happens when capturing an uncontrolled story.

Ultimately, we desire to immerse an audience in a journey with these street youth learning to clown. Their story is inspiring. We’ve seen it first hand. But inspiring lives do not in themselves jump into motion pictures in a way that captivates an audience. Events that are spread over time in real life must be edited together into a seamless plot that communicates a coherent message and connects to the heart. It sounds simple in theory, but even simplicity takes time. How do we take hundreds of hours of footage, honorably edit it down to less than two, and inspire viewers to want to know even more? Answer – organization and evaluation. It doesn’t sound very glamorous, but this effort will provide the rails on which this story will travel.

We’ve spent a month and a half reviewing the almost Terabyte of footage captured on our first production trip to Guatemala. That is a lot of information. At first glance it is overwhelming. Thankfully, we have the benefit of technology to help us chip away at the task – review, catalog and evaluate. We’re employing a database system that we developed while working on ‘Reparando’, which helps us keep track of visuals, actions and “who said what”. This method enables us to identify themes that resonate within the footage so we can further outline the story, develop ideas for visuals and prepare an itinerary for our follow-up trips. We can port the whole system including storyboards to our iPhones to reference everything in the field and check it off as we go. It might sound geeky, but trust me … it is a huge advantage in story telling with a small crew … but I’m getting ahead of myself …

To quantify things, We’ve distilled the 25 interviews down to roughly three hours of themed information content. Our Guatemalan team is almost finished transcribing the footage so we can begin the official editing process.

We’re planning two more production trips to Guatemala to capture footage for the story. Stay tuned for more details …