I search for the line of the film from amidst a mountain of impressions, annotations and intuitive connections. To get there, each of the best moments receives a digital “3×5 card” with a title, impressions, tags for scene type, songs and characters, and a summary transcript or translation. With just the best material, I have 422 index cards—too much to parse. So I slice further to just the scenes that send shivers down my spine.
I must be easily impressionable because after the latest cull I still have 129 “so great it has to be in the movie!” scenes…
Fifty-one weeks after my last day in Argentina the process to organize, import, transcode, sort, log, keyword, transcribe, translate and most importantly review and annotate 128 hours of footage is complete. My bullet-point notes add up to 87000 words, 350 pages of observations and insights. My plan was four months. It took almost eight. It’s a tedious process, and though I learned a lot and experienced some spine-tinglingly-great moments, I’m very glad it’s done.
Now on to the next phase of creative work: to transform a few moments from the mountain into 90 minutes of movie magic.
Over the past several months I’ve been working with a dedicated group of people who want to see the end of the waiting generation in Canada. More than 30,000 kids in Canada are waiting for adoption – and they aim to change that.
My journey with them began by helping uncover their core story through a process I call “story finding”. We found that, though the number of waiting kids is a daunting challenge, it’s also a great opportunity. This is the first of a series of videos talking about adoption and what it means to those who experience it.
The documentary I directed & produced, Rwanda: Hope Rises was the recipient this past week of the Best Foreign Documentary award at the International Family Film Festival in Los Angeles. Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible!
“… for those who have a sense of poetry. For those who are pilgrims. For those who can tell a story to four year old children and hold their attention. For those who have a fire burning within…”
Some of the discussion points on the about page caught my attention:
“How does music function in film? How do you narrate a story? … How do you sensitize an audience? How is space created and understood by an audience? … How do you create illumination and an ecstasy of truth?”
It’s hard to believe that almost five years ago, five friends started planning for a trip to Rwanda. Our plan was to shoot a documentary in two weeks, spend a month in hard-core editing, and have it ready to watch by the summer of 2005.
I was so naive, in so many ways. I had shot several documentaries by this point, but nothing on this scale. The process has been intense, difficult, and there was more than once that the whole thing almost didn’t happen. But here we are… the film is ready for the world to see on DVD.