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