Friday, May 4, 2012

Working on the Website

The Abandoned Allies site is under construction. We have a placeholder right now, but I hope that something fancier / more custom will develop in the coming months. I've  been chatting to folks, trying to figure out the best way to move forward.

It seems like relying on WordPress would be smart, since I know how to make updates easily. Themes are also relatively inexpensive, and easy to customize. I've been experimenting with my personal site,, to dust off those skills.

This has made me realize how much effort I have put into becoming a story teller. I feel web development has changed drastically while I've been pouring myself into post-production. It has me thinking about developing skills, and what I really want to focus on in the future: becoming a better filmmaker.

That being said, there's still no budget for hiring a web developer. It'd be great to hand this off to someone.

This, I think, is one of those constant struggles for an indie filmmaker. Everything I read encourages indie filmmakers to distribute their own film, and stay committed to the project to the end. I want to do that, for sure. It seems ideal, something we all want to do; however, it's really exhausting. I've poured so much into simply making the film--fighting every battle, challenge, and nay-sayer along the way--that the energy needed to get an audience after it's finished is almost completely gone. This is why I'm doing little things to help recover and regain that energy.

The website is nagging at me ferociously. If you, or someone you know, is willing to help take over this effort, please give me a shout. I desperately need some help leading these efforts.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Memorials and Mourning

My grandmother and grandfather
on their wedding day in 1942.
This weekend my family will gather for a memorial service honoring my grandparents. There have been many conversations and preparations leading up to this weekend, and it's finally here.

You may recall that my grandmother passed away on December 7, 2011. It's been a really tough couple of months following her death--as anyone who's lost a loved one could imagine. It's been a struggle to stay focused on the film; mourning has taken such a prominent role in my life and we've been busy handling her affairs, with my father leading the charge. I had no idea that it cost so much money and required so much energy just to settle the estate of a loved one. It's exhausting.

This weekend will be bittersweet, but it'll be nice to be with loved ones to honor two people who were such a big part of my life.

Some of you have been wondering why I haven't been as social lately. It's because I've been busy spending time with family and trying to handle things as best I can.

I'll return soon. I promise.

Related Blog Posts:
Lessons from my grandmother
The man who owns much
Getting back to work

Monday, April 30, 2012

The People Don't Know Their Power

The People Don't Know Their True Power

There have been a lot of conversations about North Carolina's proposed Amendment 1. It's a hot topic, and voting happens on May 8th. This post isn't about the amendment, where I stand on it, or how you should vote.

This is, however, an exploration of how much your vote counts--even when you feel the odds aren't in your favor. It's easy to discredit a single vote because we live in such a large country. There are more than 311 million people here, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Last weekend I was chatting with someone about voting, specifically about the amendment in North Carolina. Based on the content in my Facebook stream, I was shocked to learn that the amendment has a chance of getting passed. We chatted about why that possibility exists, and how the demographics of our state might influence such a thing. One of the conclusions drawn from that conversation: each vote matters--a lot. Even (or especially) when it seems the odds are against a voter.

We may feel like our vote doesn't count here, but it really does.

We, as citizens, have an opportunity to think for ourselves, then make an educated decision on a matter. We have an opportunity to meet with our elected officials and tell them how we feel, influencing their actions. We have a voice, we have the power to be heard, and we have the opportunity to change the world.

But making an educated decision often takes time, research, and effort. More often than not, it can feel like a big burden to many people.

Earlier today I talked with another man about this amendment, sharing what I know in an unbiased way so he could make his own decision. He had gotten confused about what it meant to be for or against it. He hadn't heard all of the details, and didn't feel like he had the time to make an educated decision--so he isn't going to vote at all.

The cartoon at the top of this post is spot on: we, the people, don't know our true power.

Working on Abandoned Allies has made me realize that being a citizen of the United States is more than just opportunity. It's also a responsibility. People in other places around the world watch Americans because our country is a world power. If we, the people, don't take the time to vote or educate ourselves on the matters, politicians get full reign to do what they think is in our best interest. This, it seems, has led to a negative reputation for our people and our country.

Like the subject matter of Abandoned Allies, this is a complex issue. You can't summarize how all Americans behave because there are so many of us and we live in a very diverse country. I can't provide scientific evidence at the present time, just anecdotal evidence about our approach to voting here in the States. It's something I'd like to explore further if / when I have the time. (See what I did there?)

Nonetheless, I encourage my fellow Americans to take the time to learn about what's happening in your community, and find a way to become an active citizen. People in other parts of the world are being thrown in jail for speaking out about what they believe, but we have a chance to speak freely.

What we have is a luxury: a chance to be heard. What we have is a responsibility: a chance to vote. What we have is a bright future: a chance to make a difference in the world.

Go vote. You don't know your own power, my friends.