The story of how we made the short film "Moving Still"
Moving Still is a short film that I co-wrote, co-produced and acting in in 2015.
It all started one summer day with a conversation with my good friend Reggie. Reggie and I had been working together for over five years on various projects and had always talked about making a film together. This day we decided it was time to stop talking and time to take action.
So we did the only thing we could do - we decided to get our spouses together for a meeting.
We met at one of my new favorite spots in the city called The Foundry Provisions. I remember that it was a warm summer day but I ordered a hot warm chai latte anyway because that's how I roll with my beverages. The four of us sat down together and Reggie and I shared our idea of entering a film festival competition. We had two options on the table, The 168 Film Festival, and the 48 Hour Film Festival. At the time our schedules only allowed us to do the 168 Film Festival. And so we began the adventure of crafting our story together.
While we waiting excitedly for the scripture to be announced we started to build out our production team and see who else wanted to be involved in the project.
Little did I know that while we were going through this process my friend was struggling with finding fulfillment at his current job and then lost his job only a few days before we received the announcement for the scripture.
"...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.”
Then He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.
He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
(At this point I imagine that if Jesus had a mic he would have dropped it.)
After we received the scripture we got our core team together and started praying about what we wanted to write about. It took a few meetings and a few pizzas until we finally came up with a story that was very personal to us...especially Reggie's family.
We wrote a story about a couple who lost their child in infancy and were trying to move forward in their lives. The only problem is they were moving further apart as they were trying to deal with their grief. Meanwhile, they had another child who needs them as well.
After the story was written we immediately had to start filming.
We were overwhelmed with a number of people that came alongside us and volunteered their time to make this script come to life! We filmed almost non stop for three days. We filmed at Reggie's house, his wife, Lora, and I cooked the meals and some of us crashed between filming. My favorite part about making a movie is the camaraderie and teamwork that it creates.
As we hurried to get the edits and original music together, our only desire was to turn the film in on time. Which we did with just a few minutes to spare.
A few days later we found out that we were not only chosen to be screened in Los Angeles in a few months but that we earned two nominations! One for Best Original Score (Bryan Sims) and one for Best Actor (Reggie McGuire). We were so excited! I don't know what got into us but we started toying with the idea of traveling out to L.A. to watch our film and be in the audience when they called out the names of the nominees. So on an act of faith, we put together a go fund me page and asked for donations. We ended up getting just what we needed to purchase tickets for the production team to fly out to L.A.
Who knew that my faith would again be tested.
For several years I had been dealing with different health issues, widespread pain, and headaches. None of the doctors could tell me what was wrong and so I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. But it wasn't that at all.
I remember that I had been dealing with worsening headaches until one day I had a headache that was the worst I'd ever experienced. It felt like my head was going to explode. One week later I almost passed out and couldn't move anything below my neck for several hours. I was rushed to the hospital and was diagnosed with vertigo. However, the symptoms continued over the next week and from trouble hearing, unsteadiness and soon the left side of my face wasn't responding.
I went to a neurologist and was admitted to the hospital right away. After several MRI's and rounds of steroids, I was officially diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. After a week in the hospital, I was finally allowed to go home. At this point, I had gained 20 lbs from the intense steroids and could barely walk when I got home. I couldn't return to work and I was completely depressed and overwhelmed.
All of this happened only two weeks before I was scheduled to go to Los Angeles to see my film on the big screen! Part of me wanted to back out of the trip. I was thinking "How in the world am I going to travel without my husband to help me? How am I going to make it, Lord?" But these are the times we need to use our faith. These are the times to hold on to the promises of God when He says He will never leave us or forsake us. When He tells us that through His son we can do all things and that nothing is impossible with God. These are the times to hold on to God.
And so I put on my big girl panties and went off to LA.
I'm so glad I did. It was very hard physically and mentally to travel but it was also extremely exciting and encouraging as we were able to get a lot of positive feedback on our film! I was able to fulfill a childhood dream of mine and walk the red carpet in Los Angeles for a film that I had starred in! I believe that this won't be the last time!
God is so good and He is faithful if you keep trusting Him. God used this process to teach us so much and we are so grateful for everyone that helped us with the film and to travel to L.A. Below is our interview with Sonoma Magazine on the red carpet.
Want to see some behind the scene photos and videos from our trip to LA? Check us out on Facebook and like our page!