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 …

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 …

-Scott

Becoming Fools production officially begins.

We spent three weeks in Guatemala during the month of November to officially begin production for Becoming Fools. During this time, we interviewed 24 people including street youth, professional clowns, government officials, church ministries, foster families, rehabilitation participants and organizations responding to the needs of homeless youth. We also captured footage at several clowning events and training sessions. It was inspiring to see the street youth working so hard to improve their skills and pursue a dream. Needless to say, we were very busy!

We learned so much about the issue. Many children begin street life because their parents send them there. Children sell candy and trinkets to contribute to the family’s income. Parents sometimes physically abuse children who don’t bring home enough money. As result, many 8 year olds decide to leave their homes and keep what little money they make. We met a seven year old girl who was all alone, selling candy outside a restaurant at 10:30 PM on a very cold night. She explained that she hadn’t eaten in 48 hours, but refused to allow us to buy her dinner because it would end up making her more hungry in the long run. Guatemala’s streets are full of children just like her.

It was very emotional to immerse ourselves in the details of this issue. Day after day we listened to heartbreaking stories from youth who have been physically and sexually abused, addicted to drugs and have spent years surviving in the streets of Guatemala. But there is another side to the story. We were blessed to be able to document the hope and restoration that is possible when people invest their lives to help these youth. Ministries like Iglesia Sinai’s “Agentes de Cambio” are going to the streets to help these youth. Organizations like MOJOCA and VIVA are rehabilitating and providing job placement to people who have no opportunities … And … professional clowns like Fergie are investing into street youth in a very unique way that provides the theme for our film.


Mefi is a primary character of our documentary who tragically lost his parents as a child and spent years living in the streets addicted to drugs. He has been enrolled in a rehab program for almost a year and completely turned his life around. Mefi is learning to clown and dreams of one day performing as a professional clown to inspire kids. He is not alone in this dream. Others like Willy, Byron, Ernesto and Raul are preparing with professional clowns for a public event that we will document later in 2012 as a part of Becoming Fools.

Film production is hard work. Production days are long and there is very little rest. Several of us ended up getting sick and needed antibiotics. However, the work is very rewarding. We captured some incredible stories and enjoyed working with our Guatemalan team members who are passionate about film, their country and their people. We were exhausted, but we journeyed together.

Since returning home, we have been busy reviewing footage and interviews from our trip to begin the editing process. We plan to return to Guatemala early in February or March 2012 to continue documenting the story.

Art Camp Highlight
In addition to production for Becoming Fools, we also had the opportunity to invest in the the community of La Limonada, which is featured in our documentary Reparando. We partnered with Lemonade International to teach a week long Art Camp to children from La Limonada. Words cannot even begin to describe the experience. Click here to watch our Art Camp highlight video. It will make you smile! Towards the end of the trip, we also attended a screening of ‘Reparando’ with the La Limonada community. It was a blessing and an honor to share THEIR story with them.

Financial Update
We were able to begin the production of the film because of the generous support of so many individuals. We have collected $50,000 of the $105,000 pledged. If you pledged to the project, please consider making your tax-deductible donation so we prepare our 2012 budget.

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION

Thank you for joining us on this journey,
Scott & Amelia

Art Camp 2011

Thanks to a grant from LEGO, Athentikos was able to partner with Lemonade International to take children from one of Central America’s largest slum communities to a week long Art Camp on the Guatemalan coast.

WATCH THE HIGHLIGHT VIDEO BELOW.


The camp was appropriately named ‘Emocionarte’, a combination of the Spanish words for emotion and art. Many of the children from Limonada have experienced violence and abuse, so “Emocionarte’ was designed to teach students how to process emotions and communicate them in a healthy way using various art forms. One of our friends suggested that it was a time for the kids to express their emotions and for us to hold ours back.

Our seven hour journey from Guatemala City took us on three school buses through the mountains, desert and jungle of Guatemala to El Faro, an absolutely beautiful retreat center located on the coast of Punta de Palma, Izabal. Most of the children had never left the dangerous red zones of Guatemala City. The wide-open spaces of the camp were a whole new world to these young explorers from the small concrete alleys of La Limonada. Words cannot even begin to express our delight as we watched them run and play in the lush green grass and swim in the ocean for the first time.

Athentikos taught 90 kids and 30 adults in classes involving painting, sculpture, drama, collage and LEGOs. Every night ended with a special event including a costume party, an acoustic concert by Amy Stroup, bonfires on the beach and a movie night. As camp started, the LEGOs were still held up in customs at the Danish Embassy, and we didn’t know if they would be released in time to make it to camp. Miraculously the LEGOs showed up via boat on the second day. We were thrilled to be able to share this incredible gift from LEGO with the children from La Limonada.

The kids were very creative with their LEGO projects even though they had never played with them before. They built houses with meticulous detail, including toilets, TVs, trash cans filled with trash, stoves with propane tanks, lamps and couches. One boy shared that he built his home with red and white bricks to represent the peace and love that he always wanted to fill his house. Another designed his house with a very large kitchen because he wanted to be able to serve food to his surrounding community. These thoughts were so profound coming from children with such painful stories. We constantly had to remind ourselves that these were children from La Limonada.

On the final evening, we screened Reparando, our documentary that features the community where these children live. They were fascinated to see familiar people and places on the big screen. After the film, the Athentikos team gave each child a doll made by Maria (the Doll Lady) and explained the purpose of the story’s metaphor. It was a perfect way to close the emotional week and a very special time for the Athentikos team to share with the kids.

Upon returning to Guatemala City, we hosted an Art Show for the La Limonada community. Families were invited to see the children’s creations and hear firsthand from several of the students about their experience. The energy level was high and applause filled the room as each group shared. We were extremely proud of the kids and honored to partner with the staff of La Limonada in this life-changing camp! Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible!









Green Light For Becoming Fools

We purchased airline tickets to Guatemala.

Two weeks from today we will board a plane to Guatemala and Becoming Fools will officially move from Pre-Production status to Production! I cannot even begin to explain the excitement that is building in our hearts!

If you have not already done so, please make your pledged donation directly through our website at BecomingFools.com/donate.


You might be asking why we are moving forward even though we didn’t hit our fundraising goal … or … why we didn’t just raise funds through our site to begin with?

We ran a Kickstarter campaign because thought it would allow us to reach a broader audience, outside of our sphere of influence. People from all over the world go to Kickstarter to fund creative projects. It is a great accountability system and caused us to work very hard hard.

We were inspired by the momentum gained in the last week and decided to prepare a contingency plan in case we didn’t reach our goal. So we spent the last three days of our Kickstarter campaign getting our web site set up to receive donations in case we didn’t reach the goal. In the end, we came REALLY close by raising over $105,000, but we didn’t reach our goal. Therefore no cards were charged and none of the pledges were collected.

But stop for a moment …

TOGETHER WE RAISED $105,000 IN CAMPAIGN PLEDGES!

This is HUGE. I cannot state this enough. Seriously … WOW! And when you take into account that the entire Kickstarter web site was down during the last hour or so of our campaign … we probably would have raised even more … maybe even hit our goal!

Kickstarter is an all or nothing platform, so we don’t receive any of those pledges (and again .. your cards were not charged). BUT YOU INSPIRED US! We realized we can move forward taking steps of faith and trust God to bring the rest. So, we purchased airline tickets and are making this official – Becoming Fools has a green light!

As of today, $40,740 has been given through our web site. If you were one of the people who contributed to the $105,000 in pledges, we humbly ask you to help us by giving your pledge through our web site. We believe this story will make a difference and are moving forward into production. Let’s do this together … Comedy wins in the end!

Thanks & God Speed,

Scott Owen Moore

Moving Forward

Thank you for backing Becoming Fools!

We received a $10,000 check today. With that we’ve raised over $100,000!

Unfortunately we did not reach our goal of $150,000, therefore NO MONEY will be transferred due to Kickstarter’s policies. But we are not giving up. With your help, this film can still get underway …

We want to move forward with this important film and will begin production in November.

Please make your donation directly through our website at BecomingFools.com/donate.

Together, we will build on the momentum that has been set in motion the last few weeks and tell this story to ignite a movement to impact the lives of homeless children around the globe.

We will honor the incentives promised to you and keep you updated through our website and bi-monthly emails. If you would like to maximize funds available towards production you can opt out of your incentive.

Please note, after today our Kickstarter project will close and we will not be able to contact you through this page. (But the good news is that we will save money by not having to pay the Kickstarer fee!)

If you have any questions, please email us at info@athentikos.com. And please remember to sign up for our bi-monthly newsletter to receive updates about this project.

Thanks for joining us in Becoming Fools,

Scott and Amelia Moore

Remembering

We’re 48 days into the campaign with two days left to raise our goal … and we have a ways to go to get there. I can remember other times in my life when things seemed impossible. During times like these, I like to go back and read old journal entries that describe road blocks … and detours. They put things in perspective.

On March 4, 2005, After years of wrestling with infertility, I wrote in my Journal:

“I believe in a God of miracles … Lord, my prayer has been ‘If it is your will, then please give us a child’. I want to take risks and be bold in my faith. So as a result, I am changing my prayer. From now on, my prayer is, ‘Lord, please give us a child’. I pray this with expectation of your faithfulness … So much so, that I am leaving space here to write down the date when we receive a child to be able to document your your love and grace.”

On May 11, 2006, Amelia and I flew to Guatemala to receive our son Micah. I sat in seat 16 C and was so excited I couldn’t even write. We celebrated Mother’s Day in Guatemala City with our son a few days later. It was the best Mother’s Day present ever!

Amelia and I were heartbroken in 2005 and it seemed impossible. But I am glad we walked through the realm of impossibility together. And, I’m glad we wrote down the details of our journey – including the depth of our despair. Not so we could focus on the negative, but to illuminate the fact that we didn’t go from the depth of despair to miraculous joy on our own.

Perspective is everything. We can look back and remember, why we started a journey… and why we should keep going. It also helps us remember that we are not alone in this journey … and that the fruit along the way is not only for our own enjoyment.

I decided to get a little perspective. So, I went back and started watching our documentary Reparando. Much like Becoming Fools, there were times during production of Reparando when we didn’t think we could make it. There were times when we were exhausted, laying on the floor … crying for help. But we kept walking on this journey. And, although it was tough … the fruit of that project is exponentially and eternally greater than the sum of the effort we put into it.

I would like to share the first 7 minutes of Reparando with you as a reminder of what is possible and why we continue this journey. Over 4,000 people have liked this project. If everyone who liked it would back it, we would have more than we need to make our goal.

If you have not yet backed this project, I ask you to join us. Make a pledge today and ask your friends to do the same. We can enjoy the journey together. The fruit is sweet.

HELP US HELP THEM. TIME IS RUNNING OUT.

JOIN US IN BECOMING FOOLS.

Happy Birthday, Micah!

(Campaign update: $46,525 pledged // 237 Backers // 2,744 Likes // 13 Days Remaining with $103,475 to raise)

I’d like to introduce to to someone very special. He is sort of the catalyst behind both Reparando and Becoming Fools and he doesn’t even know it … yet.

His name is Micah. He isn’t a homeless youth – but he could have been. He could have walked the streets looking for food. He could have become addicted to sniffing glue as a way to cloud his mind and forget the loneliness. He could have been recruited by a gang and ended up in prison … or even killed in some violent act. He could have … but he didn’t. The author of Micah’s story had something else in mind.

Micah was born to a mother in Guatemala who sadly could not keep him. She knew her son was special. She loved him. In fact, she loved him enough to realize that she couldn’t care for him like he needed. So, she made the decision to give Micah up for adoption. She didn’t know that when she made this decision that she would be part of a much larger story.

In a land far away, a couple was immersed in their personal struggle of infertility. When doctors “couldn’t make it happen through the miracle of medicine”, the couple almost gave up hope that they would have a child of their own. It was difficult for them to understand why God had not allowed them to experience the joy that children bring. But the author wasn’t finished with their story either.

These two broken stories were woven together into a beautiful tapestry of grace. A child was given a family and a family was given the gift of a child. I never grow tired of recounting this beautiful story … because it is ours.

Micah was born six years ago today in Guatemala. We weren’t present at his birth and we didn’t know then, just how special this day would become. We didn’t know the joy that would well up in our life and overflow into others. We didn’t know that we would fall in love with a child and a country. We didn’t know that we would invest years into producing documentaries to try to help this country that gave us the gift of our son. We didn’t know … but now we do … and we are responding. God works in mysterious ways. In the beginning, our story was all about us. We wanted a child. We didn’t realize that our story wasn’t our story at all. It never belonged only to us.

Today as Micah turns six and we celebrate his life, I am reminded that our story is still not our’s alone. When I look into Micah’s big brown eyes and am warmed by his infectious smile and laughter, I can’t even imagine that my precious son could have been walking the streets in Guatemala all alone. I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that there are children Micah’s age who are celebrating their birthday by digging in the trash to look for something to eat. Yet, I have met these children. This is real.

… But the author is not finished with their story … there is HOPE.

We are not producing Becoming Fools to earn grace. We are producing Becoming Fools in response to the grace we have been given. Micah, Amelia and I still have scars, but our scars are beautiful because we share them together in OUR STORY.

There are so many other “Micah’s” who need help. In honor of my son’s birthday, I ask you to give the gift that will remind these children that their story isn’t finished.

Time is running out. Please make a pledge today and help us tell this story.

Partnership Organization: At Risk No More

(Campaign update: $45,575 pledged // 237 Backers // 2,744 Likes // 14 Days Remaining with $104,425 to raise)

At Athentikos, we expose needs through inspiring stories. Becoming Fools is an inspiring story. Part of our model is to use our web site to connect audiences to organizations responding to specific issues .. in this case the issue of homeless youth.

We are partnering with several organizations responding to the issue of homeless youth to seek their expert advice. Additionally, Athentikos will direct people towards these organizations to facilitate response to the story. One such organization is At Risk No More.

At Risk No More (ARNM) is committed to bring God’s love and justice to children at risk by providing a community filled with unconditional love and forgiveness. ARNM seeks to create ways for these desperate children to receive healing and wholeness through Rescue, Refuge, and Released based ministry initiatives. ARNM seeks to develop partnerships with churches and other organizations in order to effectively minister to these desperate children. Currently ARNM assists to facilitate placement of youth living on the streets into rehab centers in Guatemala… and so much more!

We have established a deep relationship with the Executive Directors, Bill & Donna Tepstra and are inspired by their hearts and passion for at risk children. Last November, the Athentikos team visited the street youth in Guatemala City with Bill & Donna. We have spent a lot of time with them in their home of western Michigan.

Thank you to Bill & Donna & the ARNM team for sharing in this vision, for your example of serving others and for your support and encouragement.