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June 24, 2006

Who We Are

BY THE AFRICAN VOICE DOCUMENTARY FILM CREW, MESA, AZ, USA - The last week, we worked on a short video to give people a sense of who we are and why we're doing what we're doing. Three of the editors put together versions of varying length.

WhoWeAreSm.jpg SHAWN DOWNS put together the Who We Are in Two Minutes movie. Shawn recently graduated from Arcadia High School and will be going to the LA Film School upon his return from Zambia. Shawn is an excellent cinematographer, gaffer and all-round crew member. Shawn had a short film in the PHOENIX FILM FESTIVAL 2006. I'd count on seeing great things from him in the future.

WhoWeAreMed.jpg LINDSEY BLACK crafted the Who We Are in Five Minutes. Lindsey graduated from Mesa Community College. She has made numerous short films and is looking to build a career in the independent film industry. Lindsey enjoys acting, editing and producing. Already a Sundance veteran, Lindsey is looking forward the 2007 festival. She learned a great deal about networking at the last festival from actor, Adam Scarimbolo.

WhoWeAreLong.jpg MICHAEL MONTESA completed the Who We Are in 17 Minutes. Another Sundance veteran with a commitment to work in the independent film world, Mike is a respiratory therapist by vocation and photographer/cinematographer by avocation. Mike has won several awards at the annual Mesa Community College Art Show. In addition to being a great on-set photographer, Mike loves designing movie poster and DVD case covers. His designs are terrific.

May 26, 2006

Taking Time to Enjoy My Son

Photo-0079.jpgBY JASON WERNER, MESA, ARIZONA, USA - One week without working on the project and I’m getting that panic feeling in my gut. For me it feels like the calm before the storm, like sitting upon the back of a wild bull when you know any second the horn is going to sound and that gate will swing open. Even if you have ridden this bull before and you have trained to ride it again, you never know what it will do. Whether this bull spins, or kicks, I’m holding on.

Today, I’m taking the time we have to enjoy the finer things in life. Spending time with my son, Tristan, is one of the finer things; today he wants to go swimming. Sounds good to me. Why is it that one person’s loss can cause us to look at our own lives and appreciate what we have? Every time I hear Jabbes’s story about how he lost his son I get a feeling of guilt. Maybe this would be better described as empathy. All the love and hopes I know Jabbes had for his son, I also have for mine.

Another thing I’m doing is reading books about Zambia. What a beautiful place; a land I’ve only seen in magazines and now my dreams. I have looked at image after image of the people and landscape preparing to storyboard with Heath. Maybe it’s the heat here but I keep having a vision of myself standing in Lusaka working on the film and drinking soda from a glass bottle. I know it's weird but I think one of the first things I’m going to want when I get there is a soda. Well my son just told me with the most serious look in his eyes, “I have my shoes on Dad. It's time to go swimming, ok?” What can I say? It's time to go swimming.

May 22, 2006

Jason Werner - Go, go, go.

jasonw.jpgBY JASON WERNER, MESA, USA - I went to the zoo with my son Tristan. As I walked around looking for animals in the hot Arizona sun, I thought, "I might get to see some of these animals in the wild soon!" The thought of living in Africa for a month and working on this project is like a dream. I feel nervous and excited, like a little boy going on his first camping trip. I'm nervous because I want us to be successful. I know we will be, but I feel the pressure just the same. I feel like I'm part of a family, and I'm looking forward to working and living with everyone. I'm a little stressed -- no job, living with my parents, bills, my son's welfare, putting my life on hold for a month and leaving the country. I know it's worth it. This is "The Chance" to change my life and more importantly, the lives of others. To me, this is what life is all about.