Thursday, July 20, 2017

It's All About the Journey

Lots going on. Met with our new Director of Photography Avner, and the rest of the film production team yesterday. Everyone still feels it is doable on almost no budget. Keep your fingers crossed! So many amazing people and resources are coming forward and the toughest thing now is to keep believing all of this is really happening! I was given the challenge by the team to shorten/condense dialogue where I can. A real challenge for me because I talk way too much!!

I also shared our film project on KOST radio this morning! They wanted people to call-in with stories about people who persevered when others said they couldn’t do something. What better story to share then ours! I can’t believe how many people turned down this movie idea, and how many just never responded. It’s more about just never accepting “no” for an answer when it is something you really believe in. Again, I cannot thank our cast and crew enough for their support and willingness to take this film project on.

I wanted to share a Tarot card I drew for today. I often just draw one card to help me work through issues and to meditate. It is my way of communicating with my higher power, and to help me better focus. Today I drew the Princess of Staves. This card "exemplifies the expansive quality of confidence at its best. Whenever she appears, know that any work shared with the world will be enthusiastically received – its integrity and passion will win other’s support. This card suggests new ideas that must be acted upon immediately, as well as a young woman who inspires others to do so. All self-doubts are to be banished as you move forward."

So I want to officially stop worrying and enjoy this journey! I need to accept what will be will be and I need to listen to what I preach, “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE JOURNEY!!!”

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Always Something

Just got back from lecturing at a geriatric conference in Pasadena. I talked about pain management for the elderly and only left myself 5 minutes to talk about improving the care of the dying. I really do talk too much. It was very well received and I still got to talk about the movie. All in all it was a good day. I am so pleased how interested nurses are about improving their care of the dying. This was another conference I could have shown our movie! So glad we are staying on schedule, our movie is really needed.

We have another production meeting planned for tomorrow to further finalize filming plans. I am going to finish the props list, work on a special schedule for my nursing pals who agreed to be background and extras, and try to plan out meals and costs. Oh, I need to start focusing on finishing painting my statue of Mary, always something!

Speaking of always more thing....Be sure to tell your friends and families to donate to our Kickstarter campaign! We are at $99.  If we don't hit our $30,000 target we get nothing, so spread the word!

New desert teaser is in the works, we know you'll enjoy! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Still Going Forward

Still hard at work getting the production end of things organized. Allen is working on organizing the different camera shots and I am playing around with making lists of the props we need. I had a bit of a scare about not being able to use an emoji reference I wrote into the story, but it seems that emoji's are considered like alphabet fonts and are available for anyone to use as long as they are not selling the likeness or in anyway making money from their use. So, I think we are safe. I sent a request to Kellogg for permission to use their Rice Krispies treats in the movie. Not sure how that works given that it is free advertising for them. Worst scenario, we make up some generic packaging.

I am packing to go to Pasadena for the next two days to attend a geriatric conference and lecture about pain management and end of life care. I plan on plugging the movie project too. I need to put together a business proposal to show what learning could be shared and the audiences our film would appeal too so I can aggressively pursue grant money. I will continue to be quite busy. I am still tweaking the cast list with our production team and must now say good-bye to Esau Alas who was going to play Paul. I am trying to not let these changes bother me but, it's hard. I wish Esau all the best.

I hope the cast continues to review their lines, and keep your fingers crossed that all the production elements and concerns get resolved. We have all the elements we need to get started, we are just hoping to acquire additional support to make things a little easier. Things are definitely going in a positive direction. Keep up the good thoughts!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Lots of Changes

Remember me saying that parts of the project are tough? Well things get tough when you have to make cast adjustments. I know our production team wants this movie to be successful and needs the very best talent to achieve this , but it still makes it rough. I guess constant change and unpredictability are the only things I can count on with this project.

Allen and I finished his application for the End Well Conference in San Francisco in December. I think Allen may have a chance to be part of the Conference and promote our film. It would be interesting if we could provide him with some comments from our cast and crew about what they have learned and how they were impacted by reading the script and playing the characters as they adjust to the thought of dying. I know none of us will go away unchanged from this experience. We need to put our thoughts into writing so Allen will be able to share them. This could be an amazing opportunity for our film.

I am also working on contacting some food distributors to see if they would donate products to feed our hungry cast and crew. I have a few other ideas, and welcome any suggestionns. Right now the schedule timing is going to depend on the availability of a Director of Photography, and  an experienced sound man. I'm sure I have the titles wrong again, but you know what I mean.

I was also told that more changes were needed in the script. I found a very innocent way of showing (spoiler alert) Michael and Anna got together as a couple. The film will still get a "G" rating, so don't get too excited. Other changes in the script include the spelling and pronunciation of Adam Styfan's last name. Michael is the only one who calls him "Stiffen" otherwise, his last name is pronounced sty-fen. Thomas Brownrigg's son Jeff was re-written as a close friend of Thomas' called Louis. Since I was having a hard time getting anyone to audition for the part. Now we have an amazing actor in this role.

Well enough chatting and on to working on the props list. I really feel like this film producing thing has no end!

More tomorrow. Thanks for checking -in

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Welcome Tamir and Jenia

Busy and frustrating past few days. It is true about productive and genuine growth being painful, but to go forward it must be an accepted part of the process. I am being way  too philosophical  at 7am on a Saturday. First, we needed to say good bye to Bob Lawrence. He was going to play Cooper's Dad, Oscar. He had to drop out for health reasons. We are thankful for the opportunity of getting to know him and for his honesty and concern. We will still be seeing Bob around because his wife Jeanne and grand son Zayden, still have roles in the film. We wish Bob all the best.

As you may have noticed, there were some changes within our production group too, and we had to say good bye to Erik Darling. We are now fortunate to add Tamir Gedalia and his business partner Jenia as executive producers. They are bringing a wealth of film experience and true compassion for our project to the table. Allen and I met with them yesterday and they are knowledgeable and experienced, and will be a huge help moving our project forward. I am sure their accents wont be lost on Timmy or Jon, and I can already imagine how this will help  increase the off camera craziness on the set. I am really going to need a squirt gun!

We are all in agreement that we want to continue with our established time frames, and the group reading planned in Anaheim on July 29th is definitely on. We have another motivation to stay on our planned schedule. We want to show the film or at least a detailed draft of the film at the End Well Symposium being held in San Francisco on December 7th. This first of its kind Symposium that is attempting to bring people from all different disciplines together to explore solutions to improve the end of life experience. I am hoping Allen will get one of the End Well ePatient Fellowships. Learn more about the Symposium at:, and I will keep everyone up to date.

Keep the prayers, positive energy, and good thoughts coming!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Keep Believing!!

Looking for a new Oscar, and a friend for Thomas. We have some wonderful actors that have applied.  It is amazing how no one plan is ever complete. There is always something that comes up to change things. I am learning to just roll with it. Now we have new opportunities for help with film production and possible help with getting the word out about our Kick Starter. This could add additional changes. It's all good, unless you are someone like me who wants s things organized and likes a plan to be made with no surprises. I am finding that is impossible when it comes to making a film. I am grateful for our actors that are hanging in there. We will get a schedule out as soon as we can, or share a new plan. The only thing I am certain of is that this film needs to be made, and it will be, one way or another. If we can do it with some financial backing we will try, because we would like to see our cast and crew be compensated for all of their hard work. If we can obtain extra experienced help, we will welcome it. We all need to just keep believing!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Regaining Perspective

Really getting things in perspective. I have been stressed out about getting things organized for this movie, and letting the smallest things bother me. Then I go to work and see such courageous people trying to deal with inoperable brain cancer, making decisions to have an entire arm removed so that they can live maybe a month longer, and families praying for miracles. It sure puts my worries into perspective. We so desperately need to improve our care for the terminally ill and dying. They have hours sometimes days when they are aware and need to feel valued and special. This movie is so important to get the stories out about how important it is to make what time we all have special, and for those providing the care, they need to know the importance of pacing themselves, and how to refocus to celebrate the small victories. I hope this film will help a lot of people on a lot of different levels.

I will be doing more lecturing on improving care of the dying and sharing a tool I developed that addresses the most common symptom management needs of the dying. Through an extensive literature review, I found they were Comfort, Airway management, Restlessness and delirium, Emotional and spiritual support, and Self-care. Take the first letter from this list and you have the acronym CARES. My tool has been well accepted and is in the process of being translated into Portuguese, Finnish, Spanish, and Chinese. It seems no matter what culture, sex, or age; our bodies shut down in a similar fashion. When you consider that 60% of the population die in a hospital setting, it doesn't make sense that we are not teaching care of the dying in our nursing and medical programs, yet alone to the community. I really think a huge barrier is our fear of death and being around the dying. Resilient Hearts was written to show that we are missing out on an amazing opportunity to make a difference for others and to grow as human beings. There is nothing high tech about caring for the dying. It is all about compassion, listening, and hopefully some playfulness. Our ability to laugh is what makes us human, it requires the ability to feel and react, So much of that is taken away as we are forced to become something less than human as we die. I want to help to change that.