A few weeks ago I did something that I’ve been wanting to do for years. YEARS!
Ever since I saw my first movie (Dick Tracy) I’ve wanted to be a part of the movie making world! I will never forget how the lights dimmed and the city skyline came on the screen. To this day I get chills (happy chills) right before the start a movie.
For a long time I have been acting in other people’s films but always dreamed of working on something from start to finish. So after a friend of mine and I had a conversation about how we could stop talking bout it and start doing it we called a meeting of the spouses and talked about how and if we should enter a film festival.
I’ve heard about the 168 film festival for years. In fact, my mom was the one who introduced me to the idea years ago. Even though I wanted to enter it I just didn’t have the knowledge or network to pull something off like that.
That was then, and this is now.
We sat at a coffee shop and while sipping various drinks, we looked at schedules, made phone calls and started pulling our resources in. After we started getting yeses from various friends wanting to help out we realized that we were moving towards doing this thang!!
This was my drink!
We did all the necessary signing up and finally received the scripture that would be the inspiration for our short film.
“…and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
We were able to work on concepts and ideas for the script and started writing as soon as it was go time. We worked very late nights, even procrastinating with pizza and waxing philosophical (which is just another way to procrastinate). We prayed and talked and prayed and…ate. But the ideas started to slowly come together.
As we dug deeper into the scripture and the meaning it had for us we began to uncover some ways the scripture spoke to us individually. Soon the story began become extensions of our stories. Especially my dear friends who were able to use this experience to share part of their own testimonies!
We knew that God’s hand was on the story.
The next week was the week to film. As people poured into the house we were filming at, we were in awe at the willingness of people to come and help us! So many people volunteered their time to help us see this project happen. I’m not sure if everyone shared our faith but I hope that everyone felt blessed who worked with us.
One of my favorite parts of working on this project was getting time to encourage the young college grads that came to help out. For years I volunteered to act in their projects while they were in school. It was such an awesome feeling to be able to have them on a project I was producing after learning so much from them. We were able to spend time to share some life lessons and hopefully some words of wisdom to those who were in a time of transition. These guys are so talented and I’m so grateful for the chance to work with them again!
Here are 3 Things I learned from working on my first film festival.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Stop and Pray Especially Under Pressure
There were several times during the filming process that we had to stop and ask God for guidance. Now I know that can seem really daunting. To take time out to ask God something knowing that He works on His time and not ours especially when you are under a time crunch.
But let me tell you that God did answer us almost immediately when we had to stop and change directions when things were so not going according to plan. And you know what? The resulting solution was even BETTER than the plan that we originally had!
2. No Matter How Well You Plan Things Still Don’t Go According To Plan
We spent a good bit planning for this project. And things still had to change along the way. But because we had a plan in place I think that we were able to go with the flow more when things had to change during the filming process.
It’s important to understand going into projects that things will come up and there will be hiccups in your giddyup. Naw what I mean? I know you do!
3. Set Simple Goals
When we started this project my goal was to finish it and turn it in on time. I wanted to set an attainable goal rather than something like:
We are going to enter this, win it, and get a distribution deal from our first film EVAH!
I’m not saying aim low. I’m saying am attainable as possible. Something that you have to reach really hard for. Something that if you go on your tippy toes and reach your fingers as high as you can you can touch that thing and grab it.
When we hit the send button I was so excited! And even more excited to receive the email telling us that it was entered on TIME!!!
Setting this simple goal made it all the more sweeter when we found out that were FINALISTS in the festival!
I am beyond over the moon, yo. I’m over Pluto!
Look, is there something that you’ve been dreaming about doing for a long time? Don’t just expect it to happen without taking the first steps. You’ll find that things will start rolling along once you give your dream it’s first big push.