When I was an exchange student in Lima, Peru, I constantly found myself frustrated by the fact that my Spanish language skills were never where I wanted them to be. In the same breath, my host mom would look across me at the table and say, "Lucas, poco a poco." (Luke, little by little).
That simple little phrase took me through the daily battle, to whereas one day I looked up and could understand and be understood perfectly.
That lesson has carried me through the last few years. Through moving to Israel, then to UCLA, and now in to freelance filmmaking.
I have been a freelancer for almost a year now, and it has been hard to see if any growth was happening at all. That was, until this past week, when we released our trailer for our newest film, "Our Children - Twana Twitu."
A year ago, I released a trailer for a similar film in Kenya (A Drop of Life), with the same non-profit, and was ecstatic to look down and see that 8 people had shared it and over 1,000 people had viewed the trailer on Facebook. It was one of my first ventures into the non-profit realm, and getting that many people to view something that I hoped was going to bring on so much good in this world, pushed me to really fight for those jobs that would bring similar value to a viewers life.
And fight I did. I turned down so many opportunities this year in order to keep creating content that I thought would motivate and inspire people to go out and heal some of this world's biggest wounds.
But when you are carving a new path in the middle of a jungle of media, it can easily feel like you are going at it alone. You begin to wonder if the decisions you are making, the growth you are discovering, is actually being seen, or even going to be useful elsewhere.
I never doubted the fact that what I was doing for a good cause, but I did begin to doubt if it was going to be sustainable - if enough people would be interested in my work, enough to share and help me be able to create more similar content.
"Little by little, Luke."
THEN THIS YEAR HAPPENED.
I'm writing this post because of how supported I felt by you all this last week on launch. Views do not equate to anything, (and neither does social media in general in my book...) but I have to acknowledge that it does at least give me a point of reference in some ways.
This year the trailer has already been viewed over 14,000 times in one week, including 40 people who shared it. At the same time, instead of us being a platform of only 200 people, like last year, we are now breaching 1,200!
I am so excited to continue using this platform as a space where people like the women in this trailer can use their voice. I hope that by listening to their voice, it will in turn inspire your own... and that as a community connected by the content here, we can go back out into the world and be masters in our service and our aid to those in need, little by little.
I hope you enjoy "Our Children - Twana Twitu." The full film is coming July 8th! You can buy tickets on www.ourchildren2018.eventbrite.com!