We’re spinning lots of plates right now — filming on STRANGER AT HOME, beginning to pre-assemble our story (early editing stages) in post production and continuing to fundraise — not just for the movie, but also for those organizations dedicated to making a positive difference in our veterans’ and their families lives.
To that —
We’re honored to be participating in a really wonderful fundraising event coming up in late October, which I’ll have more details about very soon.
As I keep sharing, we continue to meet so many on this path to getting STRANGER AT HOME made. We’re not only hearing the stories of our military and their loved ones, but also civilian folks — just like you and me — who are genuinely taking loving and compassionate action to improve our veteran situation.
I’m telling you — these people keep me real. They keep me inspired. They keep me believing in the goodness of humanity. They show me what being focused on solution really looks like. They demonstrate the true, giving back meaning of service.
I met a non-profit organization today that is rebuilding homes for veterans — homes in Louisiana that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and now, they’ve widened their reach to include the Dallas area.
I know of another that is renting back safe, affordable, dignified, ready-to-move-into housing to veterans and their families. Their reach, so far, includes California, Nevada and Hawaii.
Our guest on the radio show this Sunday is the founder of a non-profit that is rescuing shelter dogs, who would otherwise be euthanized, and training these animals to be specialty service/medical/companion dogs for veterans struggling with PTSD.
Whew, right? One’s heart can’t help but swell.
I get asked a lot — I dream about it a lot, and I’ll admit, I can crash down into worry over it as well.
The final cut of the film — what will that look like?
As I sit here, writing to you this evening, I have absolutely no idea how we will ultimately edit the story we’re wanting to tell. Truly, that’s impossible to know right now and be in the process of making the movie.
I liken documentary filmmaking to working with clay. You shoot a lot of stories, conduct many interviews, amass a whole, big blob of raw material. And then you start sculpting — trusting that the art will emerge from the blob.
A few years back, when we started out making the documentary REGRESO, we thought it might just be a story about Cuba today. In fact, it is that — a great bird’s eye look into a culture and world; a virtual trip without having to physically travel there. We’re proud of that.
Because we stayed in the clay and allowed the creative heart of the story to emerge — the final cut, a complete testament to artistic surrender — was so much more than just a visual travel log. We ended up successfully and emotionally “putting a face” on the Cuban experience — “rare in such attempts.”
That’s what one of our reviews of the film said, anyway.
The review was wonderful, of course, but feeling the film land in peoples’ hearts — everyone, all cultures, including exiled Cubans who really identified with their roots — this continues, long after the movie was completed, to be the greatest reward of risking that path of storytelling.
With STRANGER AT HOME our only knowing is our commitment to tone — the emotional tenor of the movie.
Whatever the final cut of the film does look like, our intention — no matter what — is to have you experience the love, compassion and hope we feel is necessary to affect any kind of real and positive change with regard to our veteran situation.
That’s our story and we’re stickin’ with it.
Please keep those prayers and dollars coming — they all add up to a film that matters.
And please come back to the STRANGER AT HOME website for ongoing updates about our progress and the place where fully tax deductible donations continue to be gratefully received.
Heart wide open,
P.S. I mentioned above that we have a very special show lined up for you this Sunday, August 24th from 7-8 PM (PDT) on BEING DELIBERATELY radio.
Please join me and Graham Bloem, intuitive, specialized dog trainer and Founder of Shelter To Soldier, a non-profit dedicated to placing the right dog with the right veteran. Being a dog lover myself, this will be a total joy for me have some great pet therapy talk with a gentleman who knows, firsthand, the healing power of these animals.
Here’s the link to our LIVE show. Please share with your friends and family — especially the veterans in your life.