I am so thrilled to finally be able to share a very special project I worked on last year! Partnering with Beyond Creative, I worked on a documentary for Project Rescue talking about their history over the past 20 years and how they came to be.
For several years now, I'd been wanting so badly to work with Project Rescue. If you don't know, Project Rescue is a nonprofit organization that rescues and restores victims of sexual slavery. They first started in India and now are represented in multiple locations all around the world! But I'll let you learn more about them in the documentary below. Well, last year I was blessed to be able to work on several projects for them, and I love every minute of it. Like I've mentioned many times, my passion is to tell stories through film that can impact people- especially those in need. So I absolutely love that my work is making a difference in people's lives, and in effect rescuing more women and children that are being trafficked!
This project was quite the adventure, and I'll write more about it below, but first you must watch the film:
Let me tell you, it is no easy feat to create a documentary that needs to cover 20 years of history! Many many people were involved, lots of pre-production meetings, filmmakers from around the world... and one female editor trying to put it all together in her small home office. I cannot tell you how many hours I prayed over this film- it was a lot. My main prayer was that God would direct me as I edited/produced/directed this film so that He could use it to rescue many more women and children. It's such a powerful story, so much spiritual conflict, and without the Lord's favor and anointing, I could not have done it.
-The Spiritual Conflict-
One of the things Beth talked about in her interview was how much spiritual battle there is. The enemy works really hard against anyone trying to bring light to this area of darkness, and working on this film did not exclude me. I was working on this film while we were on a road trip to the East Coast, and on that trip we got in a very bad accident where we got squished by a semi. We collided with the semi as we merged on the highway, and we got squished between it and the cement barrier- it dragged us several feet and I could hear all the glass cracking and shattering and wondered if I would be thrown out the window and how much it would hurt. We stopped inches in front of the cement barrier that would've hit us from the front. I opened my eyes scared to see how badly injured Frank would be. We were both completely unharmed! All we had were some tiny scratches from the glass! I felt so loved and protected by God in that moment, and I immediately thought about this project and about what Beth said about the spiritual battle. But God is greater than the Devil, and He allowed us to live to continue to bring glory to Him!
Meetings of course! I had to catch up on the history myself, I didn't know a lot of the stories. And then we started mapping out the storyline. I think we probably went through a few storyline revisions and versions... it's been a while and can't completely remember.
I use Storybuilder online from Muse Storytelling to help create the storyline and plot points. It's super helpful and useful! Lots of thought goes into every part of the film, so that the message reaches the audience and moves them. The more work and thought that goes into pre-production, the better the film will be! Seriously, you gotta plan plan plan! It's always worth it in the end.
We filmed quite a few interviews, and they were LONG. Like 2 hours or more of them talking... that's a long interview! But let me tell you something, they were not boring in the slightest. My favorite part of filming was with Beth Grant (cofounder of Project Rescue.) She is so anointed! God's presence is all around her and was so tangible in that interview. I had goosebumps almost the entire time she shared. You can tell in the film how the things she's saying are so powerful! I loved meeting her and now admire her so much, and I could listen to her talk/preach for hours upon hours.
For the interviews, I worked with a Director of Photography/Camera Operator friend of mine (Sam Holder) and we spent time prepping the set and lighting to make sure they looked fresh. :D I'm pleased with how pretty the interviews with David and Beth came out! With Beth's interview we used the window as the main light, and the sun was so harsh we used at least 5 layers of diffusion!
Filmmakers in both India and Spain filmed a variety of testimonies with girls in their safe homes. We coordinated and communicated with them to make sure all the interviews looked the same; I made shot lists, interview questions, and lighting diagrams for them. They turned out so well, and it's also super cool that technology is where it's at that people living in three very separate locations can all share the video footage in a matter of hours.
And as much as possible, we filmed little vignettes of recreations to help tell the story. We filmed that all here in Springfield with a small crew (me and my husband mainly- thanks Frank!).
Editing. Editing. Editing,
And some more editing! I watched through lots of old footage and interviews, took several pieces of that to tie it with all the new footage we got. Spent many many hours editing their interviews (because they were HOURS long), and tried to cut it down. There's SO MUCH good content that I had to cut out because there just wasn't time! And there's so many good stories within their big story that I wish I could share, but at the end of the day I have to keep in mind the goal of the film and stick to that storyline I created in my pre-production stage.
Added music throughout to match the tone of the film (Music Bed is the best!) and after the solid cut is done, did some color grading to make sure everything looks pretty!
That quote from Beth is one of my favorites. It's a quote that anyone could live by and have it be their motto. Actually, as I was writing down quotes from the film to share, I wrote down just about everything she said- because it's THAT GOOD.
Overall, I just feel so honored to be able to create this type of work for Project Rescue. When I'm doing the work, I feel such a sense of purpose and fulfillment- like THIS is what I was created for. THIS is what God has called me to do. And all I want to do is MORE! More films that tell stories for the glory of God and to aid those in need. So if you're a non-profit or ministry looking for a filmmaker with this same passion, please write me a message! I'd very much like to connect with you. :)