Monday, August 16, 2010

Three-Minute Video is Live!

The three-minute video about the Durham Habitat for Humanity build is now live!  Take a look and tell us what you think!

Abandoned Allies Presents: A New Home for a Montagnard Family from Camden Watts on Vimeo.

Peter Bell
Michael Benge
Rev. Ray Cobb
Annie Beth Brown Donahue
Skip Elsheimer
Roxanne Hall
Will Jones
Mr. and Mrs. Del Rahlan-Ksor
Surry Roberts
Miguel Rubiera
John Plaster
Sally Smith
Chuck Swoboda
Erik Shepard
Jamie Tkoch
Mitzi Viola

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Habitat for Humanity Build

Last weekend Abandoned Allies crew filmed the kick-off event for a new Habitat for Humanity house in Durham, N.C., that will be home to a Jarai family.  The Jarai is one of the largest tribes of Montagnards, who come from the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

This family has been in the States for only a few years, and have been adjusting to life here with help from Lutheran Family Services, Triangle Presbyterian Church, and Habitat for Humanity of Durham.  The house is being built by the family, Habitat for Humanity, and Cree, Inc., and will be the first all LED-lit home.  LED stands for light-emitting diode, and is an energy efficient and long lasting way to light a home that will save the homeowners lots of money.  (I'm incredibly jealous, by the way.  This home is going to be super energy efficient!)

We were on the site of the new home for the kick-off event, which started at 8:30am, with words from Miguel Rubiera, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Durham, Charles Swoboda, chairman and CEO of Cree, Inc., and Ray Cobb, pastor at Triangle Presbyterian Church.  We had a chance to interview each of them on camera, and are most appreciative of their time and generosity in helping with our independent film.

Chuck Swoboda, chairman and CEO of Cree, Inc., works on the new Habitat for Humanity house that will soon be home to a Montagnard family in Durham, N.C.  The house is expected to be completed this fall.
Thank Yous
What a great series of events.  Not only was the kick-off event full of good feelings, but the response from the film community in the Triangle was wonderful.  I posted a call for crew last Friday, and within an hour I had the help I needed.  Plus, lots of offers to help from other kind folks.  I'm so grateful to all of you because it made things infinitely better and easier.

A huge thank you goes to Erik Shepard for taking still photos at the event, Peter Bell (@petebelltv) for filming, and his friend Will Jones for supporting.  These guys got there early, worked hard, and were so professional the entire time they were on site.  They did great work, and I'm so grateful to have had their help with the film.

Pete shoots and edits for the PBS station in North Carolina.  He is also working on a film titled High Sierra HD, which he just submitted to the Sundance Film Festival.  He says that he's living the dream.  Take a look at the trailer for his film:  Tell him congrats on submitting to the festival because that takes a lot of effort!  I wish him the best with the festival entry.

I'd also like to thank Eric Calhoun and Paul Brown for their kind offers to help, as well as Todd Tinkham, Jim McQuaid (@TurnipVideo), Christopher G. Moore (@ilikefilms), Alena Koch Moore (@AlenaKoch) for showing their support.  Sally Smith and Roxanne Hall deserve a big thank you.  Sally tipped me off to the event, and Roxanne provided all of the critical information and approval to be on site for filming.  Thank you all for your kindness and help.

Short Video On the Way
I've created a three-minute video about the kick-off, which is uploading as I type.  I'm so excited to share it with you.

The video will give you a bit of insight about the Montagnards, who served as American allies during the Vietnam War, and a glimpse of what you might expect from Abandoned Allies.  We will be cutting a trailer for the film eventually, but for now I share something online without giving away too much content that'll be used in the film.

I also needed to feel like I have finished something because this film has been in production for more than two years.  That's a long time to work on something, without having a tiny piece of it to share publicly.  I can write and talk about it all day, but providing a short video like this will hopefully do infinitely more for those of you who are following along.

When the video is ready, I'll be sure to post the link!