Monday, December 31, 2012

Spirit of Love Rings in 2013 with Anticipation!

I believe the Spirit of Love cast and crew are some of the most unique and amazingly talented group of peeps ever.This is the last post for 2012 and great things are in store for Spirit of Love.I believe it is important for everyone to see this film because they need to step into the lives of these amazing teens who brought their "A" game to the set every day.In case you didn't know the film is inspired by the life of retired NBA player Mike "Stinger" Glenn and his camps for the deaf and hard of hearing.
People will be educated while being entertained and inspired,encouraged,uplifted,and motivated.
Many ask the question: When can we see the film? There are specific details that must happen before the film is shown to anyone in cast and crew. Most importantly we need the film to be screened by industry people who can help with distrbution.That is why we made this film.We desire to distribute this film in theaters and dvd and  to share information that is important to the deaf community.Information that they would like all of us hearing people to know.
As you hug your loved ones to celebrate and ring in 2013,we also join with you ringing in 2013 with great Anticipation! Remember wherever you are and whatever you do,do it with a Spirit of Love.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Sad but Approved for all ages

Sometimes post production on a film including distribution takes more time then I as a producer would like however it is a very important part of the process.Recently before Christmas we received some Great news and some not so great news.
First the not so great news. The distributor whom had been awaiting our finished film passed away.
His name is Greg Rutkowski He and I had met through a mutual friend several years ago following my first feature The Goal and have remained friends ever since.He was excited about Spirit of Love and what he believed he could do with our film.I'm very sad to say he will be missed.He was always available to me by phone to discuss the entertainment business.On my trip to LA in November after picking up our film from Barry our wonderful editor I met Greg for breakfast at Joan's Cafe for breakfast on my way to the airport home. He was the very first person in the industry to see the film.Very sad but unfortunately what that means is I will have to start looking at other distribution opportunities.

Meanwhile Spirit of Love recently was awarded the Dove Foundation seal of approval and Four Doves.

The Dove Foundation has been advocating and approving family films for 20 years. The Dove Foundation says, “This inspirational and remarkable story just may have you cheering by movie's end! We are pleased to award the film our Dove "Family-Approved" Seal for all ages. See this one soon and it just may give you a spark when you most need one!"

I'm very excited to receive this rating from this organization.This means no potential audience member will be left out.This rating combined with open captions is a tremendous opportunity for Spirit of Love to reach the masses.We have spent a great deal of time getting the captions completed in order to stay on track with our plan.

So now during the remaining time left in 2012 I prepare screeners and press packages which will be sent out to different film festivals and distributors for consideration.This process is all part of the over all marketing plan,however different

Currently Spirit of Love will close the Texas Christian Film Festival in Houston Texas on February 16th at 7:30pm @ Bethany Christian Church located at 3223 Westheimer, Houston Texas. It seats approx.400 people. It is free to attend but you need to make reservations online at
In addition prescreening activities such as shooting hoops with NBA player Mike "Stinger" Glenn and other cast members,or purchasing signed movie posters or food items from the food booths start at 6:30pm.

Like our film Spirit of Love all of these evening activities are approved for the entire family.
We encourage you to share this information with friends or family members you have near the Houston area.Please also share this information with organizations like youth sports teams,church youth groups,or organizations involved with the deaf & hard of hearing community in Texas as well.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Process and Invitation Only

The Process of film making and distribution is hard to grasp at times even for those of us who are filmmakers.No two films are distributed or sold the exact same way.We make the film,we edit the film,and then the process begins.The process of promoting it to distributors,theater owners,as well as through screenings at film festivals or private events is all so we can create a buzz.

We work very hard to have people in the industry or potential movie watchers to give us feedback,which we can then publicise and hopefully it helps create an interest for the film and builds an audience.We also accomplish this by releasing trailers and doing interviews when asked.

Everyone involved in the support or making of the film become advocates. Just because we know about our film and think we've told others about it doesn't mean everyone knows about it.

Although some very interesting people have found out about our film with the sharing of our trailer  so continue to share it and continue asking friends to become fans on face book by liking the actual fan page.

hether you know it ,believe it or not it is making connections to create the buzz.If we don't support the film and get fans asking for more or wanting to see it released in theaters it wont happen.

I understand why actors have it easy. They come on set shoot the film and then go on to their next project.The same with crew.There are major reasons why producers, and sometimes directors only work on one  maybe two films in a year.It is because we are tasked with the selling and promoting of the film.Without continued marketing and promotions and endless meetings and sleepless nights nothing happens.
The fact is the  film may get made but never released in theaters or ever seen.Sad but true.

We release press releases when we have news and you have to keep spinning out news so it doesn't fall flat.We rely on cross promotional opportunities when available. Many times this doesn't happen.
For what ever reason it only occurs when people really care or get the concept that it is a two way street.I've seen it happen first hand and have heard some horrific stories from other producers who lost a great deal financially.

At any rate the process can seem very slow moving but know that is on pace and actually making great strides in our process for various avenues of distribution.

We are currently working to sign on 3 sponsors who will sponsor premieres.One in Denver,Los Angeles,and Atlanta.Or 1 sponsor who will handle all three.
I tell you all of this, because this is why we received an invitation to screen at Texas Christian International Film Festival, which is by invitation only.We will be 1 of 9 films invited.Second as of this morning we received an invitation to screen at the Mason Dixon deaf basketball tournament which is sponsored by the Blue Ridge Deaf Film Society.All of these opportunities have come as a result of The Process and you all spreading the word.So please don't stop now.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Uniquely Cast film premieres in Milan 2012

Spirit of Love core cast consists of 25 individuals all who have some level of hearing loss with the exception of 7.
Spirit of Love although uniquely cast with deaf & hard of hearing teens, it is NOT just a deaf or ASL film. It is a universal story of teenagers finding themselves and their purpose in life.
A Coming of age  story with and without hearing loss. A film to bridge the gap between people with differences.Teens overcoming problems and learning life lessons through the game of basketball.

It was a no brainer to cast kids with real hearing loss rather than hearing kids playing deaf. I wanted a true authenticity about the film,so it also made sense to cast Mike Glenn as himself.
Mike "Stinger" Glenn is a great professional athlete and an even better man who has continued to give to society when nobody was watching without expecting anything in return.Mike Glenn is the catalyst for our film and I believe the performances by Mike and the teens are authentic.

At the end of the day when you put a group of teens together you'll find everyone is dealing with their own issues and insecurities.With a little help and structure everyone will discover their purpose.Perhaps even a purpose greater than themselves.

I am honored and committed to bringing this important story to the World. Spirit of Love will represent the USA and millions around the world who have hearing loss at the 30th annual FICTS Milan International Sports Movie & TV film festival in Milan Italy December 5th-9th, 2012.
I believe this is just the beginning.Become a FAN and share with others.

Watch the trailer

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Give Thanks with a Spirit of Love

On the eve of one of our nations biggest holidays there are so many reasons to Give Thanks.
We give thanks to our family and friends and we share insane amounts of food.Even when our family and friends get on our last nerve we still give thanks to them with a Spirit of Love.

This year I personally have an abundance of new people and friends to be thankful to and for.I've been trying to give thanks to all of you involved with our movie Spirit of Love in some form or another by posting on the Spirit of Love fan page on face book.!/Deaf.HOH.Basketball.Camp.Sports There are so many involved in this film family that I have not even begun to scratch the surface thanking all of you who played a part in our wonderful faith based family film.
Not to worry I will continue to thank each and every specific person.
As we continue down the path called distribution more individuals will join the Spirit of Love family
and I want to say Thanks to all those who will come.

It is important to be thankful for all who have viewed the trailer  (which is still waiting on captions)
or have shown their support by becoming a fan on facebook. It is also important to continue spreading the info by asking your friends and family members to ask their friends and family members to show their support by watching the trailer and posting a comment on YouTube and by becoming a fan on face book or both.It's important to grow our support.

We are thankful for the various distribution channels which have shown an interest at this point in our film.We are thankful for any and all help that each and everyone of you have brought to the table and continue to do so.

I'm thankful for all of you who have written to me asking about the film's status.We need to continue  spreading the word and growing our fan base during this time.

Things slow down during this time of year and the film business is no different.
Please know that I am personally thankful for each member of our Spirit of Love family and I pray many Blessings over all of you and your loved ones.

Happy Thanksgiving you each one of you.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Spirit of Love Proves,Teens are Teens

When a teen boy wants to know how to kiss a girl, its a difficult hurdle to climb.As a matter of fact if a girl wants to be kissed by a boy, its a difficult hurdle as well.Bottom line; being a teen isn't an easy task in general.
I wish I could say life gets easier but truthfully life gets more complicated as you get older.There are so many factors to weigh and so many decisions to make.Teen angst turns into adult agony,and even sometimes anxiety.Not to say that teens don't experience anxiety or agonize over events in their life which are overwhelming, because they do.

One thing I know for sure after filming Spirit of Love is,Teens are Teens.
What I discovered quickly is something I've always felt in my heart.Teens are Teens whether Deaf, HOH,or Hearing. Regardless of how they communicate or process information teens are charming,funny,loving,truthful and like most of us are trying to find their way in this world.

In one behind the scenes story while filming, a HOH young man took a stand while numerous adults and others looked on, thinking he was being disrespectful to an adult,when actually he was standing up for himself for the first time in his life, just wanting to be "Normal", which is what the film is about.

While a second hearing young man shared with me through tears that his family didn't understand his need to be with friends.Because it was the first time in his life that he had his own friends,friends not in any way shape or form connected to his family, and a third young man suffered a great tragic loss previously in his life, yet on the outside everyone thought he had it altogether, but he felt his life had been taken away and now working on the film made him feel like he had a purpose,and that he could dream of possibilities again.

There is a line in the film that my character Coach Robyn says ; "If you've lived any length of time on this planet  you learn everyone has something they're insecure about."

If Spirit of Love does nothing else I pray it will cause everyone to remember kids are kids,Teens are Teens, and Adults are teens grown up with more complex problems. Being an adult doesn't mean we have it all together or all the answers.It's really like the relationship category on face book."It's Complicated"

I want everyone to know working with all of the teens on Spirit of Love has been a highlight of my life.I thoroughly enjoyed working with each and everyone of them.When I think of all the behind the scenes stories it makes me smile and warms my heart.(Even in the Heat 100 degrees+).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Whirlwind and Many Hills to Climb

Well its been awhile since my last blog. But not to worry lots of forward motion has been happening.
Personally I am living the line in Steel Magnolias when Truvy says"We're gonna be busier than a one armed paper hanger" That is exactly the case.  I spent so much time deciding when,where,why,and how I should go to LA but now I'm here. I've been here since Monday and today is Wednesday.
I spent most of the first two days with my editor finalizing tweaks and ending credits and cutting the theatrical trailer with all the final audio and colorization.It really is a beautiful movie and I still shed tears when watching it in the editing suite. But it has been a Whirlwind of events. Many would say wow how lucky but I believe it is part of God's plan and destiny for my life and this project Spirit of Love.

Today is the first day that I have had the finished film in my hands and it is already in the hands of two distributors. That may sound exciting and amazing to many people but it may also be a blur to others.
Fact is Distribution does NOT equal large paychecks necessarily. Distribution does not mean you get to see it in theaters. Distribution may or may not happen in the way you want.I learned this lesson the hard way as have many independent filmmakers. Nevertheless we have a solid good movie which tells an amazing and important story and so we as independent filmmakers have many hills to climb.

We have to negotiate,negotiate,and negotiate some more to get the best possible distribution opportunities for this film. When a film is finished in the editing bay and post production,there are still many obstacles to overcome.This is not the time to rush through and have screenings and show it for our friends.It is a time to stick to the plan. As an actor I know everyone involved wants to see the final product,but we want to make sure it is the best outcome for all parties involved. That is why it is called the business of filmmaking.

Although the film is complete we still need the closed captioning which is about 2 weeks out and then we submit to MPAA for rating as well as several festivals awaiting the film. Both of these cost money and time.

I AM so thrilled to have completed this film and I truly hope that everyone who watches it will be impacted in some small way if not in a big way.I know I have been.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Never Give Up

As life goes there will always be days that are more difficult then others.This is true for everyone even indie filmmakers.Some days in post production become overwhelming. I struggled for several days to decide when to make a trip out to LA for the purpose of finalizing the last few tweaks to the edit of our wonderful movie Spirit of Love. The trick is to schedule and coordinate strategic times to meet with various people in the industry, distributors,and others regarding upcoming productions. Filmmaking is a collaborative effort and our film is a result of a lot of hard work by many great people.
I admit the last few days I wanted to crawl back into bed with warm fuzzie jammies and a cup of hot coco and watch mindless television.Not sure if that is because of the snow and freezing temperatures recently here in Colorado or just the nature of the beast(filmmaking) or both.
So I sat here for days vacillating and made the decision to be like Nike and just do it.
I'm usually a pretty focused person who is not one to give up,and then I received an email with the words Never give up, not only once but several.As difficult as it has been to move forward and stay positive in this business world full of uncertainly ,I finally made a decision and made arrangements to travel to Los Angeles with the hope that it will lead to great things.

So now the week long preparation is in motion leading up to my departure.
It's difficult to be optimistic and positive when you feel like your flying solo blindly
without a safety net.But at the end of the day the message of the film Spirit of Love is about Never Give UP and so keeping with the message I am going forward with the intent to "Never Give Up" because there is a bigger purpose for our lives and we each may or may not have recognized or realized what the purpose is.But one has to try,and try so I will.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

An Evening of Emotions beats day of technical demons.

It was a rough day yesterday.A day full of technical demons.Most of you have experienced those unexplainable technical difficulties particularly if your involved in the art of filmmaking.

I started my day by breakfast in bed snuggled up watching a family movie with two of my nephews
with Bacon and fresh warm Cinnamon rolls."This is the life.This is what is real and important.Time with little guys who make me smile and laugh."These were my thoughts and then it was time to hit the ground running.
I had been so busy working on details regarding the final cut version of "Spirit of Love" film all week that I waited to the last minute to print some photos and put together a PR display to represent  the film which would be displayed at the POPCORN movie table at the Hands & Voices Gala fundraiser.I mean how difficult could it be?(This is exactly why I plan and never do things last minute)

Well I started at 10am and printed one photo when I ran out of ink.I replaced the ink cartridges and suddenly the computer and printer stopped communicating.I worked for several hours and still I only had one picture printed.
So my thumb drive and the local UPS center saved me by printing the balance of material for me. Ahhh  finally relief! Now I needed a poster display board. On the way into the store I decided to put some trash in a bin when the bag tore and a left over soda poured out all over my outfit.At that point I had to laugh,because it was KRAZY!

All cleaned up I arrived early at the event only to experience more technical demons,only this time
I had two wonderful people step in and resolve the technical issues.It really wasn't a surprise after the day that I had experienced.
Suddenly it was show time.When I was introduced and I stepped onto the stage all those technical difficulties flew right out the window as if they had never happened.Several of the amazing teens
from our cast whom I've grown to love spoke about their individual experiences of being involved with Spirit of Love.But it wasn't until lights were dimmed when we debuted the theatrical trailer from Spirit of Love for the first time that suddenly nothing else mattered.It was emotional and rewarding.While walking into the crowd following the screening of the trailer complete strangers thanked me for the film and the opportunities that it represents.I'm excited that the trailer was well received.It was definitely a night full of many emotions.I am so thankful for the opportunity to be involved with the great organization of Hands & Voices and the families who they help.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Spirit of Love Movie - The Mike "Stinger" Glenn Story: Tears Sweat,and Blood

Spirit of Love Movie - The Mike "Stinger" Glenn Story: Tears Sweat,and Blood: Tears, Sweat,and Blood are three words that come to mind when thinking about Spirit of Love . Most people don'...

Tears Sweat,and Blood

Tears, Sweat,and Blood are three words that come to mind when thinking about Spirit of Love
Most people don't necessarily understand the hours of hard work that goes into filmmaking.
I believe this because in the course of discussing filmmaking people believe it's all glamour
and bright lights and red carpets. Fact is,It's NOT. But I do it because I can't help myself.
It's in my Blood. Not because I have a long line of family members in the industry,because I don't.
All I have ever wanted to do since I was 8 yrs old was to be in movies. Now I am.

It's a lot of long hours and many sleepless nights wondering if you'll make deadlines,raise enough to finish the project,or worse,will they like it?I can honestly say the last is the least of my worries.
Filmmaking is an addiction in many ways. It gets into your blood stream. I can Not do it.It takes over my life,because it is my life.Spirit of Love is the second feature film out of three films I have made in less than 11 months. But it is by far the most important and inspiring film to this date this year. The other two were important for me because they each came with personal milestones as a Director, Producer,and Writer.

Each film comes with obstacles and challenges to overcome.I didn't really have time to sweat over any obstacles or challenges because without all of the production budget in place we were full speed into production before I knew it. The sweat on this production was purely physical. HEAT that caused us all to SWEAT profusely.105 degrees outside and 120 degrees inside old gymnasiums over 10 days could have been  a prescription for disaster,however our cast and crew managed to get it done.

I've always loved the line from Steel Magnolias "Laughter through Tears is my favorite Emotion." and "Men are suppose to be made of Steel or something." I experienced the first of these this week while viewing Spirit of Love privately for the first time with music,when suddenly I burst into tears. Then I began to laugh.I believe I laughed because I didn't really know why I was crying. But as I thought about it I realized the deeper reason behind the tears.It was  the simple fact that I and a group of people without a normal budget under adverse circumstances have been able to tell a story that creates beautiful images and allows you to feel a vast array of emotions.
The second experience came in an editing suite when I heard sniffling and turned to witness a very strong man who had been moved to tears while watching Spirit of Love, not only once but several times throughout the film. All I could do at this point was smile and laugh through my own tears. Now with the help of others I was living my DREAM.
All I ever wanted to do is make movies that cause people to feel. Thank you to God and Everyone for allowing me to do just that.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

NO "D"isabilities only "A"bilities

No "D"isabilities only "A"bilities in Spirit of Love family film. (teaser).Something for Everyone.That's what all filmmakers have to say when asked about their targeted demographic.And it is the job of all the Nay Sayers,critics,and distributors to say, "No Seriously".

But that is truly the beauty of Spirit of Love.It really has appeal for a a broader demographic than I ever believed. As I have said it is not a Deaf or Hearing film. It is a family film with many elements
that will appeal to a lot of different age ranges,and people groups.It's a film that addresses stereotypes from many angles,and crushes them.It breaks barriers regarding,size,shape,race,abilities, and in some peoples eyes disabilities.As the Producer and Director I say there is NO "D"isabilities word in this film.Instead you have an amazing cast made up of some diverse and fantastic people,both in front of and behind the camera.
It's RAW but sweet.Strong but Compassionate.Silent but Musical.Christian and Faith based but not Religious.
Certain skills were more difficult for some cast members then others. But not once did I ever hear the words "I can't" even from those who were trying to shoot difficult baskets. I remember specifically one scene when one of our teen actors was trying so hard to make a basket during a pivotal scene in the film who never gave up.He would say I can do better.He was so inspiring that 200 extras playing sports fans hung around just to watch, began standing and cheering and encouraging him.

This young man will never play for the NBA or basketball at a competitive level as you and I know it.However he and others in this film will inspire you to understand that no matter what label or tag were each given in Life we can choose to to make our own path  and impact others in ways that only
God knows.
Whether you love sports,basketball,competition,teens pulling pranks just trying to survive life or not, Spirit of Love will encourage you to see "A"bilities and NOT "D"isabilities.
If you enjoy family,faith based films join our Spirit of Love family and become a fan on facebook at

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Over the Rainbow and over the Moon

Over the Rainbow and over the Moon  is where you'll find dreamers.That would include me too.
I've dreamt of making films since I was 8 yrs old. I think all filmmakers fall into this category.While working on Spirit of Love this past summer I met a bunch of amazingly talented teens.Many of these kids have hopes and dreams that they should be allowed to have. Yet they don't always get the chance because their Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Even a few deaf adults who worked on the set also shared this with me. I guess the point really is this.

It doesn't matter who you are,everyone has an obstacle to climb. So the question is?Are you going to reach for the moon and fall amongst the stars or at the very least chase rainbows.In my case it was "Climb every Mountain."The moment I watched Maria twirling down the mountain I knew I wanted to make movies.
As a kid you receive advice from everyone, telling you to dream and believe,but I don't think they believe you will actually listen and  be a dreamer.They secretly want you to do anything but dream.

So while conducting research in Decatur Georgia at the 33rd annual Mike Glenn basketball camp this summer I had the pleasure of meeting and working with some of the most talented and amazing people.One deaf young man named Mark announced during an interview that he was preparing to be a barber because his uncle was a barber, and he respected his uncle.Mark was styling an amazing haircut.All I can tell you is it was an artistic masterpiece.

Next there was the beautiful Joanna from Iowa's school for the deaf who was beautiful,warm,and loving.It was her first time to the camp and she was thankful because it helped her to overcome her insecurities in life,not necessarily because she was deaf but most likely because she is a teenage girl.Her interview can be seen in the news story by ABC on the movie website she dreams of college and a time where more movies with captioning can be released in theaters. That is our desire for Spirit of Love and we will find a way.

When I held auditions for the film I met a lot of wonderful kids.One girl, Maddie Burkholder  announced she would like to be a race car diver. She was not only beautiful,and athletic she was also artistic.
When she shared her artwork with me I was particularly moved by her drawing of the twin towers. I asked if she would be interested in drawing an original artwork piece to be used for the film. I believe it speaks volumes. It will be made available soon on t-shirts and coffee cups.It's a beautiful piece of artwork.

All I can say is follow your dream stay on point, make a plan, and know that you will face obstacles.If your a parent listen and I mean really listen to what your kid is saying and what they aren't saying as well.If your an adult that didn't get to dream,don't force your kid to do what you didn't get to do. Maybe that is why so many baby boomers are on their second and third careers.
At any rate I'm thrilled to be making movies and with hope and tenacity Spirit of Love will be available soon to help crush those limiting stereotypes.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Music makes Life all better

Music makes Life all better and filmmaking is no different.You never know what, how
or where the musical needs are going to fit into a movie.In our case I had preconceived ideas for sure, but many were special unplanned gifts from above.

First of all I started with the original song title and a few lyrics and that's where my good friend Nashville recording artist Ms. Laura Dodd comes in. I called her up and gave her my pitch and just like magic we had the title song of the film "Spirit of Love" which is also the title of the film.But it doesn't stop there. "Spirit of Love" is co-written by Laura Dodd and myself,but the magic is all in the performance and recording which is all Ms. Laura Dodd. Laura stepped into the studio in Nashville and the recording causes tears to well up, so she did her job and then some.Laura Dodd also performs the National Anthem accompanied by the Hand youth choir from Colorado Springs  in the film and when she stepped onto set to perform with the teens again, it was definitely majestic.

I knew we  needed more music and so over coffee the idea of a battle for the bands competition was born.All Kristen Edwards idea.Kristen is an amazing member of our SOL family. My only stipulation was that the lyrics must be family friendly.
We had a great competition fundraiser where there were a directors choice,the judges choice,and the audience choice awards and the winning musicians would get their music featured in the film,and would keep all rights to their music with the ability for people to click on the link and download their music.
Those amazing and talented musicians are The Vain Brains, Lea Holtz, and Jonathan Webb.
All of their music will be available through their own websites which we will link over to from the movie website.

Another incredible music opportunity came through 14 yr old Joz Lichty.She was inspired along with her Mother Kerry,and brother Brandon to put together a beautiful song titled "Amazing" which she dedicates to all of our Spirit of Love family.Lyrics by Kerry Lichty,Music by Brandon Lichty & Ryan Morrow.

Last but not least is the Amazing Alex Grant who has more than delivered an all inspiring score.The music is very moving.I can't help but be extremely grateful and honored that all of these wonderfully gifted musicians felt inspired to become part of our Spirit of Love family.
We hope you will become a member of our Spirit of Love family and join us and follow us on Facebook!/Deaf.HOH.Basketball.Camp.Sports and encourage others to follow us too.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Don't shy away from Controversy in filmmaking.

It all started months ago and continues every day. Back when I announced that I would be making the movie Spirit of Love  I never thought of it as controversial.But apparently controversy comes in all forms.
The first controversial question came at me and I never saw it coming.
"Why would I as a white woman want to tell a black mans story?" Because its a worthy story Black or White.I'm a storyteller and that's what I do.Simple really.But I must admit my first response was,"You're kidding me right?" It's 2012 people so get a grip.

"Why would I as a hearing person want to tell a deaf & hard of hearing story?" Well first of all,its not just a deaf or hard of hearing story.True it has deaf,and hard of hearing actors,but it also has hearing actors.All whom worked beautifully together to make it happen.It's an inspiring story for all family audiences.I recently became aware of why more people should consider giving deaf & hard of hearing people opportunities in sports & the arts and I felt a personal connection.First for myself as a 50 something female baby boomer I have every right to chase a dream and make films about anything that I want. Lets face it fewer females are hired to direct or produce in Hollywood so sometimes you have to kick the door open.Secondly, why shouldn't deaf & hard of hearing individuals male or female be given the opportunity to consider the arts as an option? So from that point of view we are the same.

"Why would I want to make this film in Colorado and not Georgia?" I chose to make the film in Colorado because I had access to locations and crew people and actors that I didn't readily have available to me in Georgia.I have fought long and hard to create production jobs in Colorado.

Last but not least, "why would I want to make a family film with Christian principles and no money?"
Well I believe family films are necessary.Its an opportunity to have films that are not animated, which allow families to watch movies together which have messages that are geared to the whole family.What I mean by this is,I have nephews and nieces who are ready for films that have more to offer than animated films for the under 10 age range but not yet ready for PG13.Interesting enough you don't have to be a Christian to watch a film with Christian principles.I am a Christian filmmaker and I do believe in Christianity but I have made films with much darker content,however I do enjoy films that Inspire,Uplift,Motivate and Encourage family audiences together.

"No Money?" Well that is never the desire of any filmmaker but in this case,others thought they could bring funding and then discovered just how difficult an indie filmmakers plight really is.So we have relied on advertising,and contributions from others from around the world through one of the largest funding platforms called In our case we've done much better with the actual product placement advertising side and continue to work that aspect in order to complete the project.

We are very close to a final film edit fully scored with open captions to be enjoyed by all audiences.
We still have a desire for a few family businesses who enjoy and support family films to come on board and help us finish what was started even against all the odds and controversy that faces us daily.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Legacy Continues

The Legacy continues and connects COLORADO & GEORGIA
 through the Mike Glenn camps for the deaf & hard of hearing. Mike admits he does it and that it really comes from a Spirit of Love from the heart.He pays honor and tribute to his father Charles Glenn who coached most sports at the GSD(Georgia School for the Deaf) located in Cave Spring Georgia. In addition to coaching, Charles taught math at GSD. All the years he coached he received no payment. Nothing but a hand shake at the end of each season.

I wanted to be sure to get the behind the scene stories so I could understand all that was the back story for this film.So I traveled to Cave Spring and visited Rome where I visited the GSD and the original gymnasium where this story began along with the High School where Mike was bussed during segregation to high school.

I had the pleasure of seeing many of the original buildings that still exist on campus. Two buildings really stood out. One was the old stone barn which the school hopes to restore and make a historical museum one day.
The second was the original gym where I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Mr. Gabe Sinclair who was the first black boy to play in that gym. He is the nicest, sweetest and spunkiest ole guy I have ever met. He even has a pretty good hoop shot after all these years. When asked to describe his coach and mentor  Charles Glenn he speaks kindly and explains he may not have been the best coach, but he had an amazing heart and was always ready to help his students. It's not hard to see where the original Spirit of Love started, and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree with Mike Glenn. Mike is an honorable man who pays tribute to his father every year by continuing the camps at no charge and has been doing so for 33 yrs. That in itself should be worthy of recognition by the sports hall of fame.

We traveled a few minutes away to see Mike's old high school where he still holds the records for the most points ever scored. His name remains at the top and has done so for three decades. An impressive record.

I look forward  to my return to Cave Spring so that I too can keep a promise. The promise obviously is to return to screen the Spirit of Love movie at Mike's old High School Alma Mater, but also to fish with Mr. Gabe Sinclair at the lake located on the GSD campus,and enjoy more wonderful stories and an awesome fish fry with Gabe and many of the hometown fans from Cave Spring.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Life goes on as post production continues

After production is complete everyone returns to life as they know it.  for This is no different for  Kids return to school, actors are off to the next project or audition awaiting them, and crew members move on to the next production. In most cases many of them will work numerous projects before an indie producer or director completes their last project. Most people have no idea what it means to be an indie film producer,director,etc.

I'm reminded today of all the post production work that is needed in order to finish a film. You have to confer with editors, composers, check all the paperwork that is needed in order to sell the film. Make press packets including online media. Make decisions as to what goes in the theatrical trailer or not. Do you go the film festival route or not,even if you've been invited to several. Check all the names and product placement companies and check and double check information for the rolling credits.
Nothing ticks an actor off more than spelling their name wrong.(Sometimes we just make a mistake.We don't do it on purpose.)
Plus the item probably most important to cast and crew is without a doubt the proverbial IMDB credit! (that by itself takes hours just to submit names and info,and usually more than once). I've submitted credits 3 and 4 times  previously.

I have stacks and piles all over the office all organized so that I'm ready to rock and roll when its time.
Today I had lots of important calls and notes to draft up when I was reminded that Life Goes on after production. I received a call that my little nephew was sick at school and could I go pick him up?Absoultely! So see Life goes on even for the indie filmmaker whether you want it to or not.
Oh well back at it tomorrow. Good Night Indie Filmmakers wherever you are.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

High School Freshman dedicates song to co-stars

Joz Lichty a beautiful high school freshman both inside and out.
She has such a sweet spirit. She was recently cast in our film Spirit of Love
She and her Mother Kerry, and brother Brandon collaborated on writing a song as a result of her experience meeting and working with all the deaf and hard of hearing teens on set. When they sent me the lyrics not only did it bring tears to my eyes I knew it needed to be used for the film.
Although Joz has never recorded and never received any vocal lessons she has a unique vocal
The only thing that we all couldn't agree on was the song title. But that has now been resolved.
The title of the song is "Amazing". Joz performs it with heart and soul and kindness much more mature than her 14 yrs.I believe people will love it and walk out of the theater humming the chorus,Amazing that's what you are,Courageous that's what you are,Contagious that's what you are, I know I am.
The song will be available later this month on itunes. Meanwhile check us out and share our film project with others and become a fan on Face book at

Friday, September 28, 2012

Cinderella at the Ball

Today I continue to work on and strive to complete something that I started, at times only being able to put one foot in front of the other.But as I try to check off items on my to do list I find myself reflecting and comparing myself to Cinderella .I have a film that is in final stages of editing and is a great tribute to a very humble and silent unsung hero Mike Glenn.He is only silent because he does not toot his own horn unlike so many of today's professional athletes.This man should be in the Georgia hall of fame yet he is not.He should be in the NBA players association hall of fame yet he is not.Why?Well because he never tooted his own horn.He still owns a NBA record which has not been broken.He has contributed so much to the deaf community and various other communities.Not to mention his contributions to the community through the game of basketball through his camp of 33 yrs.All which like this movie has been funded by advertisers or in kind donors.

This is why I feel like Cinderella.I have numerous invitations to screen the film from various people all around the world and across the country,but I like Cinderella do not have a ball gown.Cinderella was only able to obtain her goal of attending the ball with the help of her fairy godmother.At this point even a fairy godfather or god business czar would be welcomed.We still have needs for finishing funds and our indiegogo campaign only has 6 days left.This is where individuals can make contributions for as little as $1.

I have received letters and calls from people saying "well you have so many sponsors names listed on the movie website surely you have raised tons of dollars". Not the case.Many times sponsors are listed because they built and maintained a website,or lodged talent while they were here filming or maybe they provided meals for cast & crew or a much needed service that we needed.

We are in need of $11890 in order to go to the ball.All of the teens involved worked really long and hard to bring this story of purpose,passion,and perseverance to life on the big screen so others would see that as a deaf or hard of hearing teen you do have options.Our other unsung heroes in our story prove regardless of your age and limitations placed on you by society you do have purpose,and your life has meaning.
Through this film we crush stereotypes and shatter silence.Deaf,HOH,and hearing  all working together to attend the Ball and ultimately bring others to the ball.

Businesses can advertise with the film in various capacities which are outside the indiegogo campaign guidelines.Funds for this film have come from individuals and businesses all around the world but since the film was done in Colorado with all local talent we are hoping for a fairy Godmother with Colorado roots,who loves sports,and loves crushing stereotypes.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Volunteers brought me a diamond in the rough

Spirit of Love actually began three years ago when volunteer coach  Stu Klugler  brought me the story. Stu has been a volunteer coach for 25yrs for the Mike Glenn camp for the deaf and hard of hearing in Georgia.When he walked into my office he presented me with a couple of newspaper clippings and a bunch of stats.
 Stu  was familiar with my other films and thought I should know the story.I admit I thought there may be a story for a film , but I really wasnt sure what it was.Not to mention that I wasnt sure I wanted to make another film with a disabilty as the central focus.I had already completed a film,
 "The Goal" ,about wheelchair rugby with athletes who have suffered spinal cord or tramatic brain injuries.I also had completed a medical documentary called "Dandy Kids" about children and their families who receive a diagnosis of Dandy Walker Syndrome.Both films did very well and we received several awards.The films continue to impact and change peoples lives.
But at the end of the day I wanted to prove I had the ability to do something outside of a film with a known disability.Which I since have completed two other films including a short called Faces about victims of Domestic Violence.

But Stuart never let up and he joined forces with another longtime volunteer coach Phil Merlino and they eventually convinced me to write the screenplay.But truthfully it wasn't until  I recognized how close the subject matter was to my own family.(More about this in my next blog)

I did hours and months of countless research by conducting interviews with many people who have either played with Mike,went to College with him or volunteered at his camps.
This also included past campers.But even after interviewing Mike himself he agreed that the story should be about the kids and so it is.Mike is the catalyst for the story much like Robin Williams character in Dead Poets Society. I will tell you later about why I agreed to make this film and why I am so grateful to play a part in bringing this story to others.
The film is not 100% reality but it is inspired by the work that Mike and his volunteers have been doing for 33yrs.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Unique and interesting Casting choices

Originally I had ideas of making Spirit of Love a SAG film.Which means a union film.The reason initially was so I could hire name talent for one or two key roles in the film.Specifically that of the main character,the catalyst in this case,which happened to be the role of Mike Glenn.
I researched and put in calls and sent letters,and I couldn't find exactly what I needed.What I needed was a 50 something African American male who could play basketball,knew teens,and was fluent in ASL sign language.

Then it dawned on me,why not cast Mike Glenn as himself? I mean after all it was his story. Inspired by his life and his camp of 33 yrs for the deaf and hard of hearing.So I made a call to Mike.
I said "Mike I have an idea.Would you consider playing yourself in the film".First there was an awkward moment of silence, and then he said "Well I do know the story", and that he did.

I mean it wasn't too far off since he had played in the NBA for 10 seasons and he has been a color commentator,and sports analyst live on TV for years.He's warm,personable,and knows the game.
As a director/producer I felt like it made sense.Not sure if anyone has done this before.You know cast the person who the film is about as themselves in a narrative feature film.Oh well nothing ventured nothing gained.

I will say this.Mike showed up on set and was amazing to work with.He was natural and the teens fell in love with him.Which is all great.But it wasn't until my composer was in the room watching the rough cut discussing music cues when he asked the interesting question."Is that lead actor from LA?Where did you find someone who can act,play basketball,and sign?"Well I definitely felt good about my decision.

The other choice I made just seemed practical.Since I would be working with deaf and hard of hearing teens and various interpreters who would be rotating based on their other work load schedule
I thought it made sense to name all of the teen characters in the script with the first name of the teen who would be playing the role.This actually made it very simple since I had to learn their sign names.

The last casting choice was not really my first choice.The role of coach Robyn I really had in mind for a name actress however the person I wanted wasn't available.But after basketball auditions
and watching a few actresses who couldn't dribble or play basketball,members of my teen executive team felt I should play the role and so I did.I always like to make a small cameo in my films,but this role is much bigger than I usually commit to while directing and producing. I certainly enjoyed the experience but soon realized I had NO down time on set at all.I think I knew this but had to be reminded.Maybe if you have a longer shoot schedule it's OK to tackle a larger role,but not in 105 degree heat in 14 days.All in all I am very happy and thrilled with our casting decisions.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Teen Cast Members Give Thanks

I never know what  or how a specific film project will impact others.That is the beauty of filmmaking.
I've  never felt as much personal impact as I have while filming Spirit of Love.I've never felt it with any other film that I have been involved in.
Or at least not before the film was finished prior to being released. I hope that people will enjoy Spirit of Love movie and the behind the scenes stories which have been incredible. The opportunity to share the stories  before the film is released is really an honor,and we have never felt so much love and appreciation.

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be in a film for my culture.we all became a family.You made everyone a better person by making a movie that's about our culture.It made me proud to be hard of hearing.Thank you  for making this movie and thank you SO much for your hard work,you gave everyone an opportunity that not many people get in a lifetime which is AWESOME.
Elijah Ruck-Hard of Hearing  age 16

I will never forget the experience of acting in this film.i actually sent in an audition tape for
the ABC Family Television series "Switched at Birth", but didn't get a call.So I wasn't sure about
auditioning for "Spirit of Love",but when I heard about the character,I was excited to help tell her story.If it wasn't for this movie I would never have had the opportunity to try the advanced Bionics Neptune.I had never heard people laughing or having fun in the water before.
I don't like to even try to watch a movie without captioning.Without captions,I feel left out and bored especially if someone has a mask or an accent (think Dark Knight). i want to be able to see all movies along with all my friends,whether they are deaf or hearing.

There are no films about deaf or hard of hearing kids.I hope that people will see the Spirit of Love movie and know that deaf and hard of hearing kids can do anything they set their minds to do.Wouldn't it be great to educate the whole world?We are NOT different from anyone else.Don't miss out on a chance to see this movie.
Maddie Burkholder age 14

We will share more of these stories of  ongoing Thanks on the blog,so be sure to return and see where these stories of Thanks take you.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Spirit of Love proves sunshine comes in all types of packages

Sometimes filmmakers have very specific ideas of exactly
what they want when casting a film.This was no different for me
back in early April  this year.
I knew I had a challenge.After all I was asking deaf and hard of hearing teens 
who had never acted to show up and show off their basketball skills and acting was secondary.
Much to my surprise a group of very interesting teens showed up.
They were all very shy at first,which is definitely different from any other casting call
I've ever done.Most actors show up with a great deal of confidence
and ready to try different approaches and all are ready to show off their skills.
Since the film is inspired by the life of retired NBA player Mike "Stinger" Glenn
and his real life basketball camps for the deaf & hard of hearing I had preconceived ideas.
The real life camps are very competitive and specifically the selection of the Allstar teams.
However as someone who has coached and played various sports I have found that
sometimes its about the SPIRIT and HEART,and in this case a Smile.
All of the kids showed up with dreams,hopes,and anticipation,all wondering is this real?Will someone really give me an opportunity or chance?Then the least likely person entered the room
a young man named Brad.He had the most infectious smile inside that gymnasium.I knew right then and there that the film like the camps would be built with a Spirit of Love.
I went home that night and rewrote characters in the screenplay to fit these amazing teens that I had the opportunity to meet and play basketball with,some were playing for the first time ever.Thats when I realized that the hearing world must have the chance to get to know the deaf and hard of hearing community in a new way.At the same time the DHH world must experience the hearing world as well.And now were all FAMILY.
The cast is made up of teens across Colorado from Colorado Springs up to Wyoming,with the majority from the Denver Metro area.At times we had 50 teens on set all with different types of
hearing loss mixed with hearing teens who found ways of communicating.Just like one message in the film."we don't care how you communicate ,but that you communicate".Some have cochlear implants, hearing aids, others who are profoundly deaf,and others that have no hearing loss at all.What is remarkable is that with all their differences they found a way to work,play,and communicate together and now have made friends for life who are totally different from themselves.
Become of fan by clicking the FACEBOOK FAN PAGE LINK AT THE MOVIE WEBSITE AND FOLLOW OUR STORY HTTP://SPIRITOFLOVEMOVIE.COM     or direct fan page at!/Deaf.HOH.Basketball.Camp.Sports
Please meet one of our stars Brad Hughes

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Spirit of Love makes history with deaf actress & New technology

We had no idea at first when we contacted Advanced Bionics regarding product placement for our film Spirit of Love with Deaf & HOH teens that we would be making history.
Not only did Advanced Bionics agree to help us to make the film through their Product Placement dollars they agreed to let us use a brand new device called a NEPTUNE which is waterproof and allows a person with cochlear implants to be able to hear while in the water.

14 yr old deaf actress Maddie Burkholder who uses both an implant and a hearing aid got to experience a major first in her life, while diving into a pond for a fun scene while on location in Littleton Colorado.Check out her reaction on this video which we were able to capture.
As an Indie filmmaker it was a great honor for all of us to witness this experince first hand,and you'll see Maddie was thrilled.

Friday, September 14, 2012

"Spirit of Love" Production in Colorado Told by Channel 7's Jenny Castor

Channel 7, The Denver News Channel , tells story of Colorado produced film , "Spirit of Love" , Shares the story of NBA great Mike "Stinger" Glenn

Channel 7 News in Denver will broadcast a full interview with local filmmaker Darla Rae and NBA great Mike "Stinger" Glenn in their collaboration about his creation and hosting of the country's longest running Basketball camp for kids who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Jenny Castor interviews and tells the story of how this movie got made with Colorado roots.

The story is talked about prior to being aired after the Emmy's on Sep. 23rd approx 9PM Mountain time at

Denver Business Journal Picks up story about Rural Georgia movie produced in Denver

Denver Business Journal Recognizes Spirit of Love movie as the setting of Rural Georgia Story about Mike Glenn, Former NBA star

See the story on the Denver Business Journal at

The story was originally posted on the Denver Channel , Channel 7 the Denver ABC affiliate about the story that will be aired on Sep. 23rd following the Emmys sometime after 9PM Mountain time.

Follow us there with the interviews by Jennie Castor.

"Spirit of Love" movie completes filming in Denver

"Spirit of Love - The Mike "Stinger" Glenn" movie shooting has been completed!

The movie , written by and Directed by Colorado filmmaker Darla Rae is currently in post-production.

We plan to backfill some of the highlights of the production of this groundbreaking movie and then keep everyone informed of the ongoing progress and events surrounding the movie.

Please visit our website for the movie at  and even more important please go and click on "LIKE" for our movie fan page on Facebook at!/pages/Spirit-of-LoveThe-MikeStinger-Glenn-story/261390840602585 
Then tell your friends about how a movie made with kids, in collaboration with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities, was able to be filmed in 14 days of production.

It will be because of everyones votes (and the more the better) for us to be able to have a successful and wide distribution of the film at theaters across the country.  Remember, your vote helps let theaters and others know that movies with captioning, open for everyone to enjoy together at any theater , is an important aspect to entertainment available for everyone.