After each filmed interview, I would give Surry a recap of the experience. We've conducted 15 interviews (two or three of which we'll have to reshoot so that they are also in high def). After each one, I remarked that I felt so privileged to talk with such impressive people on camera. These men really are some of the finest you'll ever meet.
They are strong, humble and brave but they are so much more than that. They are smart, tactical, genuine, generous and have a protective/parental air about them that is in no way condescending. They have corrected me when I misunderstood the story, given me advice on where to get more information, and gone above and beyond to make sure that this story is accurately shared with others.
Monday night we had a meeting with some of my volunteers helping with marketing, communications, social media and event planning. As we went around the table introducing ourselves, our backgrounds and our roles/interest with Abandoned Allies I sat in awe at the team surrounding me. These, too, are some of the finest people you'll ever meet.
They are lending me their talents, wisdom, time and guidance to help make Abandoned Allies a great film. To them, I am most grateful for the support and the not-so-gentle reminders that I need to let them help me.
You see, for so long we have been working on this project with a very small team. Since March 2008, Surry and I have been working together with the occasional assistance from some very talented people. That's almost two years of working with just a handful of people. On the whole, there was no collective team with which to meet, as was the case last night. What a great feeling it was to sit with six people, each of whom has said, "Yes, I'll do what I can to help!"
My number one focus for Abandoned Allies right now is editing the "talking heads" version of the film. So, to some degree, a meeting about marketing, communications, social media and event planning seems a bit premature. Years of experience tell me otherwise, though. It's never, never too early to gather a team of that sort. The introductions, strategy planning, brainstorming--all of those things must happen right now. It takes time to plan, get things in order and prepare. That time is now.
One of the best things about this group is that they, too, are challenging me to be a better filmmaker. It's delightful. And each one of them seems to have a great sense of humor. We laughed a lot at dinner. You know, if it's not a touch of fun, then why do it? Life's too short. This should be fun, for sure.
It'll be a great pleasure to introduce everyone to you at some point. Like I said, I'm working hard to get the "talking heads" version of the film finished right now. (In fact, the minutes of edited footage is playing as I type this so that I can hear it.) You might see some guests posts from the team in the future.
In the meantime, we're all looking forward to this summer's release of Abandoned Allies.