Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lunch Break Blogging

Yesterday I filmed an interview with a man named Thomas, thanks to Surry's support in coordinating the day, time and location. What a wonderful thing to have his help in setting up the interview; it made things incredibly easy for me to focus on getting what we need on camera!

The interview went well, I believe. While I've not reviewed the tapes yet, the conversation was very good and Thomas was a passionate speaker. I cannot express my excitement when he showed up carrying a bag full of photos and books to share! He even had a photo copy of a letter to share with me, describing events that took place while he served as a leader in combat during the Vietnam War.

Yesterday was a beautiful end to what started as a very stressful day. I had been hoping for miracles, and the second he started sharing those photos a feeling of renewed strength washed over me.

Surry also helped me pack up my car with all of the equipment, which wonderfully lightened my load. Packing and unpacking the equipment is a task that I'm becoming very efficient with as we conduct each interview. I had prepared to have an hour of set up time, and completed the set up in half the amount of time. (But I suspect that Surry's help in setting up the room cut that time in half, not my own efforts!)

He shared with me three carousels of 35mm slides that he shot during Vietnam. Oh, the joy! I am so excited to have this material! As I keep playing the movie in my head, I have been pained by the lack of archival footage and imagery. Each step of the process presents a new challenge, and this one has been the thorn in my side of late. Not something which I have focused on too much, but feel it resting there just waiting to become a bigger problem down the road, you know? Any-whoo, I am very excited to now have some of those materials to sort through and trust that more are on the way. We need those images to use while others talk, so that our viewers can see and understand what the interviewees describe.

Also, I have been reading (or studying, rather) Dr. Gerald Hickey's books, and am very excited to revisit them because they so appropriately detail what I have learned during each interview. As they are on my bedside table, I cannot quote them to you here yet, but I am excited to report them very soon. For those new to the subject matter, Dr. Hickey is the expert on the Montagnard history, culture and traditions. Reading his books puts everything into perspective. More on that soon!

Surry and I spent some time yesterday reviewing the priorities on our to do lists, and at one point we simultaneously sighed. It's obvious that we have our work cut out for us, but I think that the team we're building is going to help us execute this with excellence. We have our three points to make, and are focusing on sharing those with everyone using the media of this documentary film.

Today I have meetings with two of my volunteers, which I am very excited about. Doing this project on nights and weekends lends itself to taking an incredibly long time to finish since your time is limited each day. In my marketing communications experience, you can only have two of three of the following: cost effectiveness, timeliness, or quality. It is very tough to have all three at the same time. And similarly, it is very difficult to have all three while working full time. BUT! There's the joy! It is possible when you have such a cracker jack team of volunteers like the ones we have here. I'm overwhelmed at the support they've provided and continue to offer, and trust that more volunteers will arrive soon. In the past month, I've had a few folks say they want to help, but don't know how just yet. Trust me, friends, there is enough work to be shared and we shall find a place where you can happily volunteer!

My sister called me pushy once. I balked at the statement, proclaiming that I was most certainly not pushy by any definition. Well...she has proven to be correct. I suppose I can be quite pushy, but in this situation, I am thankful for that trait. We must push forward to get this show on the road, and I believe we can get it finished in the coming month or two. I am confident that the miracle will take place, and we will be sharing the first cut very soon! It is not hopeful, it is a must.

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