Have you ever been bullied?
It's been a long process of healing through the wounds of my childhood and the words that were spoken over, or rather yelled at me.
I cannot begin to imagine what bullying has turned into with the addition of social media in children's lives today.
That is why it was such a privilege to be able to come alongside DIGNITY REVOLUTION these past few weeks and create something that would help kids and parents to see past those voices, and to form a game plan of how they can protect their own.
These are the projects I love to work on. They hit so close to home, and more so, they allow me to open my world up to another family, another child... to share my story, and see how they have walked those very same paths in theirs.
That moment came when I met Liam and his Father. Immediately when I approached these two non-actors if they would consider joining this movement and being on camera, Liam's father Sean's face beamed with excitement as he jumped to say, "absolutely." I have never heard someone who has never met me grab on to my vision so passionately, so fast... and to think it was all through FaceTime!
Nevertheless, I spent my 4th of July shooting these two in their home, with Liam's Mom emotionally standing by, to provide ideas, hugs, and even some amazing Filipino food. It didn't take but 5 minutes to realize that both Liam and his father were a natural on camera... and the rest is history. The day became less about the actual filmmaking, and more about teaching Liam how a camera works, talking to his dad about how bullying has affected their own family, and collectively just getting more and more excited to get this project out the door, and on to the screens of those who need to see it.
The project premiered at Lifest in Wisconsin this past month, and it was a hugely emotional moment for me. I was able to fly out to Wisconsin to do a little more filming for Lifest, and knowing that this short piece was going to be on the big screen on main stage, in front of the thousands, made it all worth the quick turn-around.
And by quick I mean THIS THING HAD TO BE CONCEIVED, SHOT, AND EDITED ALL IN 3 DAYS! Definitely the quickest turnaround I have had with a non-profit up to this point, but the subject matter made it that much easier to push through in those late nights!
It is voices like this, like Dignity Revolution that need to be held on a platform. And we can be a part of that. By emphasizing the good they are doing. By choosing to stand with them. And by even using our own voices, and sharing our own stories. There is hope for the future, my friends... there is hope, indeed.
More to come, as I have 2 other videos I am editing for this incredible non-profit!