Monday, November 13, 2017

Cannot Believe it's Almost Over!

Final filming at City of Hope clinics ended last night. We said good-bye to many of the actors that I hope will come to the wrap party next Sunday. Lots of plans in place for a celebration. We will be in Cooper Auditorium, how appropriate! The facilities will be awesome for the final "cancer survivor celebration" scene. I need to write a final addition to the script so Niko can introduce Jillian and then they will sing a song together that the three of us will have worked on. The audience will need to brush up on the Flintstones song too.

Filming this weekend was bitter-sweet. We did the outdoor wheelchair race and it was glorious! I will always remember Craig, Megan, and T.J. Coming over the hill with flags waving. The all-terrain wheelchair was amazing and the cast had fun checking it out.  Niko gave it his all as usual, even running laps because the scene required that he be tired out. Niko's mom Marie, joined us too. She was wonderful. We put her to work with walk on rolls and playing a Nurse. She was great

The cast and crew had fun with the rest of the scenes, much of which will totally destroy the PG rating I want! The out-takes and bloopers are going to be hysterical.

I was very humbled with the elephant charm bracelet Niko gave me. It was a perfect ending to an overwhelming project! I don't even know where to start with thanking everyone!! I hope to express my thanks more fully Sunday.

One more scene to go. Come join us for this final crowd scene and celebration next Sunday! I will be posting the invitation soon.

Keep those prayers and positive thoughts coming. We are just getting started with post-production issues and raising the needed funding for music royalties, distribution costs, legal fees, and so much administrative stuffI can't even begin to understand. So stay tuned there will be much more to come on this blog!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Nearing the Finish Line

I cannot believe we are planning for our last full weekend of filming. This isn't happening without a bit of drama as our Director of Photography, Samuel, had to cancel and caused us to scramble for a replacement. Have no worries we found someone and things will keep going forward as planned. In keeping with tradition, I did one more screen re-write so we could add Clare into the wheelchair scene. I agreed that Michael needed a cheering section and was glad Clare was available. Another fun project we took on a bit late was to get Jillian and Niko together to work on a song for the finale. I wrote some lyrics that they kindly agreed to work with. The sample music is awesome, so fingers crossed it works out. And finally, the most concerning was that Tamir was in a minor car accident this week. He's fine but his nose is not so happy. I am just glad he is okay. Let's hear it for a few more grey hairs!

I want to thank the cast and crew for their continued enthusiasm, and I am starting to believe we will finally finish this project with just a few bruises, but we are going to make it! Keep the prayers and positive thoughts coming!!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Only Three More Filming Days

First, sorry,  I did a blog last week but just now realized I left it as a draft, so that is the other posting for today. I didn't want you to think I forgot about you for an entire week.

Well cast and crew wrapped after another productive weekend. I can't get use to the smaller staff and crew sessions we had and ended up with way too much food, but the floor nurses were happy about their surprise dinner.

We took delivery of the all-terrain wheelchair on Friday. A huge thanks goes out to Don Swenson the dealer from All Out Access in Ramona for lending us the chair, and to Dr. Finly Zachariah (Shane's Dasd) for taking delivery, storing, and helping us get it to City of Hope. Now we just need to get Michael set up and the race will be on for this coming Saturday. It should be fun. We have permission to film in Pioneer Park on City of Hope property and the support of their security department, who by the way have been amazing and so supportive of us over this extended filming project!

We have so many people to thank for helping us get through filming from the cast and crew to nursing and Supportive Care staff, to friends and family. A special thanks to Jeanne and David for use of the Biller Center. We could never of made this film without their help and support! Everyone has just been amazing!

This past weekend we finished the scene when Cooper has his stroke (spoiler alert). So many of the cast and crew were tearful and really saddened by the scene, so it was great to give them the kazoo playing sailor team of David and Jimmy. So, everything seemed to balance out. Now on to getting songs ready for the finale and planning the wrap party.

I decided to check in with a daily tarot reading and here is what I got:
The nine of cups offering a paradisacial (didn't know that was a word) bounty, at last all our hopes are fulfilled, our dreams realized. As well, this card offered an omen that a wish will be granted in the near future. It's as if the world is giving us a reward for sheer persistence. Expect great satisfaction and contentment. How great is this!!!

I can see the finish line! Keep your prayer and good thoughts coming!!

Working on Movie Trailer

Didn't take much time off this past weekend. I helped my Husband Allen put together a movie trailer for Tamir and Genia to show at this movie production/marketing conference in LA that starts tomorrow. They are hoping to meet key people interested in furthering the post production of our film and talk marketing strategies. I am proud of the trailer and want to thank everyone for their in-put. It was tough for us to chose what scenes to work with and how to organize them in a way that explains what Palliative Care is about without putting everyone to sleep. So fingers crossed that we make some positive connections.

I am actually missing the craziness of filming and seeing the cast and crew. I am looking forward to doing the sailor/kazoo scene this weekend, and I am anxiously awaiting the delivery of the all-terrain wheelchair. I want to thank Finly for solving our transport and storage problem!

This weekend also brings a new challenge with the Sunday City of Hope Run event on campus . I anticipate lots of parking issues. Well we can only hope for the best.

Keep the prayers and good thoughts coming!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

We Got our Wheelchair!!!

I cannot believe it! We got this amazing all-terrain wheelchair for our wheelchair race scene! We have a huge thanks to give Don Swenson, a dealer with All Out Access, in Ramona, CA. He is letting us use this chair for free! The trick will be transporting it from our house where he will be dropping it off , getting it to the City of Hope for filming, and then getting it back to Don's dealership in Ramona. Anyone have a trailer we can use?? Sounds like a job for U-Haul.

I cannot believe we have this weekend off. I will enjoy the sleeping in, but I would enjoy more the feeling of finishing this movie. We have two more weekends in November to finish, and the final filming and wrap party on Sunday, Nov 19th. It is all coming to a close, and the mixed feelings of exhaustion, sadness, and relief are interesting!

More later. just wanted to share our great w/c news!!!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Last Filming for October

The final countdown will begin in November. We only have 5 more days of filming! We will be taking a Halloween break then back on November 4th. It is strange to think we are nearing the end of this adventure. One thing I have noticed is just how tired emotionally and physically the cast and crew has become. It is rough to give up your weekends for three months. The lack of down time is definitely taking its toll. I was surprised to learn this sense of exhaustion is common in the film industry. It comes naturally enough from the work pace, the continual work of organizing and re-organizing schedules, and the pressure to learn lines and to accell in your job or roll; but something we don't realize is the anticipatory grief  of Having to say good-bye to individuals you now consider friends, and the toll the film itself takes on all of us emotionally. We all want to be tough and professional, but when you are forced to deal with death and dying issues every weekend, it can take its toll. The very material that has drawn us together is wearing us out emotionally. It is easier to blame the physical issues than to accept we are re-working our own personal losses. I don't know how the actors can be so emotionally vulnerable in their rolls and draw on their own experiences to convincingly cry and appear heartbroken. I feel that they do this so well because they are drawing on some deep hurt inside them. The crew cannot help but relate and they begin their own journey of facing their grief. It is rough. We have so many reasons to feel down. I am hoping the weekend will give all of us some time to re-charge and finish this amazing project. I will be forever grateful for all of the wonderful individuals who came together to make my dream of making this movie come true.
Now get some sleep!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Thomas Lives

In an effort to attract local Hospices to support our movie we decided to use one of the patient scenarios to show how supportive and helpful Hospice can be when a terminally ill patient wants to leave the hospital. We amended the course of Thomas' heart failure to allow him to stabilize and explore being transferred to an in-patient hospice or skilled nursing facility with hospice covering his care. We felt this was important information to share and would allow us the opportunity to educate more individuals about Hospice services. This change will see Thomas more alert and enjoying his Navy award and kazoo serenade. I also like the idea of showing not all Palliative Care patients die in the hospital, nor do they die soon after admission. In most cases we help make their lives comfortable and we help them feel valued and cared about for years before they reach this point.

 I will be taking on catering duties this weekend. I am a bit nervous about that as I could never do the amazing job that my friends from Out-patient Clinic did. I will give it my best shot. Giving up almost every week end to help is a lot to ask of anyone, and sometimes it feels like you will never get a weekend to yourself again! So I want to thank my friends for all of their hard work! I would have never gotten this far without you!

We are off next weekend because of cast availability and Halloween celebrations. That leaves us 2 more weekends in November and the final filming and wrap party on 11/19! This is so hard to believe!

Thanks for everyone's support!!