Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Keeping the Dream alive

I want to continue my blog through the post production process. I just don't want anyone to think this project stops with the end of filming. Allen and Tamir are collaborating on new film trailers for the general public and for health care providers now that we have footage from the whole film to work with. Then the marketing begins as we try to get investors to help with production expenses such as editing and obtaining music rights. We hope to have a finished product by March or April. I would like to plan a permit for nurses week the beginning of May. So fingers crossed!!

We will be checking into film festivals and will keep everyone notified of the details. In the meantime we are establishing a corporation  to meet CA business requirements. We took the name "Resilient Hearts Project  LLC". I know real original.

And, final news. Jillian and Niko just finished in the recording stuudio and we now have a useable version of our song "You'll Never Be Alone". Who knew Niko could sing so well? Jillian was awesome as usual. Plans for the song use in the film are being looked explored.

Well more later, just wanted everyone to know we are still around.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

It's a Wrap

I needed a day to sleep and to get my head around the fact that we finished filming. We had a nice showing of extras to fill in our crowd scenes, Jillian and Niko did a great job with our song "You'll never be alone", and Jacob and Allen did a great job with posters and banners thanks to Craig and Jacob's resources. Everyone in the cast and crew came together to finish and to celebrate. Allen and I did a mock awards ceremony to thank and harass, and Allen put together some film shorts of bloopers and silliness from the cast and crew. It was an awesome night! I cannot thank my clinic friends and Crystal enough for all of their help and for my flowers. Bella brought this amazing cake and we had awesome food donated by JC from Premier and Marci from Assisted. In all it was a great night.

Now we enter the next phase, the post-production. We will be focusing on fund raising and obtaining backing for the project. Lots of legal stuff and editing. I will be keeping you informed of our progress and, I hope one day soon, a date for our Premier.

So enjoy your Turkey day and the Holidays. There is much more to come!

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!!


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Final Schedule Posted

We finally have a plan to complete filming! We will film this weekend, take the weekend of 10/28 &10:29 off because of cast availability, and then film the next three weekends in November ending with an 11/19  wrap party that will start after the final "cancer survivor celebration" scene. We have a perfect set and oddly enough it is called the Cooper Auditorium! Filming will start at 2:30. We have Cooper until 9pm, then the partying will need to shift elsewhere. I feel a sick day coming on for the Monday following this party.

As I write this I am filled with a mixture of relief and saddness. I will try to focus on making the time we have left together special. This is exactly what I focus on for my patients!! I know there is still time for problems and hurdles to overcome but we are now really close to the finish line, I am hoping  we will handle what comes our way.

So, save Sunday November 19th! We will need a crowd to cheer Niko on and we welcome all friends and family to help us celebrate our completion of an amazing film project.

Keep all prayers and good thoughts coming! We're in the final stretch!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

We May Actually Do This!!

A draft of the final filming schedule just got posted. I know that a lot can happen over the next month but, I am beginning to believe we will actually finish!! The final group scene is tentative for Sunday 11/19 in the Cooper (how cool is that name?) Auditorium at City of Hope. So save the date and start telling your friends too. We will need a crowd. It is the Survivor's Celebration scene where Michael gets to sing!! We are planning a pot-luck wrap party to follow. More details to come.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Light at the End of the Tunnel

I want to thank everyone for their input into the name change challenge. I got some great ideas. Seems almost any title has been used at some point. No final decision yet if we really have to change. I am hoping the tag line "Its all about the Journey" will help us stand apart from other Resilient Hearts titled films.

On to filming, we finished our first weekend back at City of Hope. It was nice not to need to turn the air conditioning on and off and to not worry as much about inconveniencing someone by invading their home. I am so grateful to my friends who let us film, I know it was a challenge for them!

Filming this weekend went well. Allen organized the filming of multiple scenes to use in the introduction for the film, and we made it through even though our plea for extras ended up being only  eight. I can appreciate how rough it is to get out of bed on a Saturday morning, I know even I thought about just going back to sleep! But, we made it, thanks to the cast and crew taking on multiple roles. I wanted to give a special shout out to my boss, Dr. Dale and his wife for showing up to help. Also, I want to thank Sorin for joining in while he was on-call. So I hope our audience will be kind when they start counting how many times the same person appears in different roles.

I cannot thank the wonderful nurses I work with from the outpatient clinic. They order and bring in the food,  set up , and cleanup. They also do walk-ons and help man the home base by watching equipment and providing directions to lost cast and crew.We could not make this film without them!

We met for a few hours after shooting yesterday, and I think we have a schedule that will allow us to complete filming by the second week in November as planned. We just have to accept the bumps we will hit. Giving up weekends is tough for the cast and crew too. I just have to go with the challenges and believe it will all work out.

 I want to thank Niko for staying and helping with the schedule. His belief in this project, his willingness to help the other cast members with their scenes, his calmness with the chaos, and his ability to do it all with humor has made Allen and I  want to list him in the movie credits as an Assistant Producer.

All of cast and crew have been amazing, but I think we are getting tired. Three more weekends to go. There is definitely a light at the end of this tunnel!!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Calling All Extras!!

Sorry for my lack of blogging. Things have been crazy trying to organize the final shooting schedule with everyone's personal schedule. We came up with a plan to film the opening scenes and credits and need lots of extras. So, if anyone is available tomorrow between 10am and 5pm please come to City of Hope. We gather at the Biller Center in the main medical building off of Duarte (1500 Duarte, Duarte, CA). No one is expected to stay the whole time, just pop in when you can and take your chances where we are at with filming. All of the cast, crew, family, friends, and City of Hope staff are welcome!!

I am so appreciative of the cast and crew for their dedication and patience. It's rough when some of the cast cannot make a filming. So many are great with their advanced notices, and unfortunately for us, but good for them, are getting other acting work. I am happy for them but we are now at the point that I am forced to write them out of certain scenes as long as it doesn't change the flow of the story. This is painful, but I found in most cases it actually made the scenes better. I don't want anyone to panic, our core cast is irreplaceable. We are just trying to wrap things up by the second week in November at the latest and have limited options. This is the rough part of filming!

I want to thank Jeanne and Bob again for the use of her beautiful home last weekend . She helped make the scenes very special.

We are starting to talk to potential investors and looking at post production issues. We are going to have an awesome film we can all be proud of!

Thanks for all the prayers and positive thoughts. I am starting to feel that we are in the home stretch!!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A New Name?

We finished the last home scene of the movie, now the remaining 4 weekends will all be at City of Hope. Just pray we can finish with only a few minor obstacles. The shoot went well at Jeanne and Bob Lawrence's home. I am so grateful she agreed to let us invade her home. Saturday was only rough because of the weather. The high temperatures made Niko suffer as he played all of his scenes in his red thermal footed sleeper, but he and all the cast and crew were real troopers. It took 52 bottles of water to get through the heat but we did it. It is miserable when temperatures reach into the 90s and you cannot run the air conditioner because of the background noise it causes, and you cannot open the windows because of all the noises outside. So everyone kind of cooked for a few hours! Today was much better and we finished early so there were no temperature issues to deal with. Allen opted to film the interaction between Valerie (Rupinder) and Jeanne as they pass each other in their cars. Jeanne had one line to say after she sees how upset Valerie is. Sounds like a simple scene right? Well, when the cameras finally were set to film a firetruck and rescue unit come roaring down the now blocked street, so everything had to be moved. A neighbor two doors down had to be taken to the hospital and the fire engine needed to keep the motor running. The decision was made to move the filming farther down the street. That's when the neighbors started to come out and ask questions. So a scene that should of taken a few minutes to film was now stretched to two hours! Nothing is ever easy! It was great how patient everyone was. We got through the scene and finished up the house scene in record time thanks to Jeanne and Bobs support. We are planning to have a producer meeting tomorrow to talk business planning for the movie and what it will take to finish filming that is now running into November.One last thought about the Movie: seems the title Resilient Hearts, has been used for a recent documentary about heart disease and for another documentary about Africa. I am thinking about changing the name of the film to avoid any confusion. Any thoughts?? I'm considering:

  • Heart's Journey
  • Life's Journey
  • Laughter and Tears
  • The Shadow of Hope
  • Transcendence

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Let's Hear it for Jet Lag

Almost back, at least I am home physically, just not sure what time it is, why my head feels like it's in a fog, why I can't remember where my keys are, and why I am so exhausted but can't sleep. Let's hear it for time travel!! Once I have a lucid moment I began to look forward to the coming weekend to resume filming. Then I space out again. Just want to thank Jeanne for letting us film in her home. She is the best!! Well sorry for the short note. I will rally I promise, now where are my glasses!!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Adventure Continues

Hello from Romania, again. I am sitting in the lobby of this amazing hotel up on the mountains sipping tea as I wait for Sorin (Dr.Dracos) to finish his talk. We toured more castles and saw lots of  Dracula key chain souvenirs. My talks went well. I feel sad that much of Europe lacks resources for Palliative Care. Many Doctors don't understand what it is. The need is so great here. The audience was receptive to the movie we are making. Whenever I talk about it all admit the film is very needed but, the support stops there. Once the need for money is mentioned everyone gets quiet. Speaking of money, I did not get the seed grant money 😢. Oh well, we will find other resources. Tamir is working on all of this. We just need to stay hopeful.

Allen is having a great time taking pictures and trying new foods. Yeasterday, he had raw marinated steak (steak tar tar) and goose liver (foie gras). He is sooo brave. I stayed with pizza and a spinach salad. So much for adventure. Our guide for all of this is a woman called Niko, we thought that was pretty amazing!

This time off is nice, and I like the relaxed atmosphere of being in an area that is a cross between a Ricola commercial and the Sound of Music. The weather is cooler than normal, so of course I don't have the right clothes, and I cannot bring myself to buy anything since I will never use it again in California.

Well, so much for whining, you all take care. Will be home on Monday.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Staring at the Mountains

My feet have given out and I decided to rest in the car as Sorin, Marianna, and our guide try to find Allen who has wandered off in a photographer's stupor. We are still in Romania and today we toured a castle and now we are at a Monestary. Hey, maybe Allen is converting, he already has the balding head! Allen is actually in photography heaven. We are still in touch with our producers and can't wait to get back to filming, but first dinner. More of the traditional palenta, chicken livers, and bread. Home soon.

Monday, September 25, 2017

In the Land of Dracula

Allen helped me maneuver Blogger so I could keep writing. I could not get out of their Romanian format, so thanks to him I can continue. I am so lucky that our movie's own Dr. Dracos (Dr. Sorin Buga) invited me to lecture with him. His wife, Marianna is the best reservation expert ever! Allen and I have this amazing room and just enjoyed s day of checking out Bucharest. The city is a wonderful eclectic mix of cultures and Sorin and Marianna's interpreting abilities have made the trip so far an amazing experience. Today we are taking a tour that will include the island that is believed to be the resting place of Vlad the Impaler. Looking forward to understanding how the stories of Dracula evolved. Still in touch with our producers, and Allen finished working on a business card for the movie project before we left.
Well, it's 4am here, more later!
Take care,

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Off to Romania

Getting a few errands done before leaving for the airport. It feels weird not to be filming on a Saturday! The producers and directors are trying to make the most of this time off to organize the final shooting schedule. We are hoping to finish at City of Hope by the third weekend  in October. That will mean about three scenes a day. Hope it works out. I just hate to get into the holidays. Kailei returned home Tuesday to Kentucky and has been surrounded by her classmates wanting to know what it is like to be a movie star! Kenna said the best part of filming was the dog she got to play with!! I am not sure if I can keep blogging from Romania, so just in case keep thinking those good thoughts and please continue those prayers! I want to keep the enthusiasm for this project high. We are actually nearing the finish line!
Final thought: Niko shared a name of a gentleman who came into his bar last week and started a tab. His name was Michael Cooper!!! Now that has to be a positive omen!!
Take Care!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Back Again

Back to work and on the train. Got Anna and the girls to LAX, what a nightmare. Had to park and help with the luggage. Ended up walking several blocks with Kenna yelling about how tired she was. Finally got to the Frontier terminal only to read their signs that said no one would be helped until 2 hours before their flight. We had an hour to wait, but it did allow time for Kenna to figure out how to strap herself to the luggage. We finally got tickets and I helped Anna drag the girls to the elevator, and I immediately started to miss them. I sent Allen to go get the car as my "Disney" legs were about to give out. Allen got upset because he couldn't find me. After 2 trips around the airport we realized he was on the upper departure level and I was waiting on the lower arrival area. Over an hour later we finally connected. It was 4:30 now and we were stuck in traffic. We finally got home two hours later!
Taking a 2 week break from the movie will feel weird, but I need to focus on the conference in Romania. I thought I would give my readers homework to do to cover the time off. I need you to check out Norman Greenbaum. He sang Spirit in the Sky. It was a big hit in the late 60's. I want to use the song in our movie. You can email Norman at his web site www.spiritinthesky.com and put in a good word for us.
That's all for now, take care!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Time for Disneyland

Wanted to get my blog in today. It has been crazy busy with the grandchildren, so I thought I would take a few minutes before we head off to Disneyland to let everyone know that filming went well. The girls remembered their lines (most of the time) and had fun with the cast and crew. I am soooooooooooooooooo grateful that my friend Lynda Reed let us use her house to film in. I know she had no idea what she got herself into and was overwhelmed by the mess and people that invaded. Lynda was  a real trouper though and we did our best to get everything back to normal when we finished. The neighbors only called the police once for a complaint that a neighbor was afraid someone was being hurt and was screaming. They were very understanding and we even offered lunch to them. I still can't believe we finished the house scene! I also want to thank Premiere Infusion for bringing lunch one day from Macaroni Grill on Saturday, and for all of Bella and Connie's help with the food and snacks!!

Tamir is headed to Israel over the 2 week break we are taking, and Allen and I are headed to Romania for some lectures I am scheduled to give for area Oncologists with Sorin (Dr. Dracos). So I need to get right back into packing.

Sadly, McKenna, Kailei, and my daughter Anna are headed back home tomorrow. I already miss them and am sad at the thought of their leaving. But, I have Disneyland to focus on now.

Thanks for all of your positive thoughts and prayers!!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Bring on the Weekend!!

Sorry for the silence. Things are a bit crazy with the grand children in town. The whirl-wind time began Tuesday when their plane was 45 minutes early, and hasn't stopped. We checked out the Grove and Kai had to get the latest American Girl doll. Then yesterday we were in Santa Monica and met Niko (Michael) and his lovely wife Genna at the Pier. Kenna (age 4) was fearless on the rollercoaster, but when it came to the loud noise of an arcade shot gun game she dropped the gun back on the counter and shouted "No way". Kai and Kenna bonded with Niko and all got matching costume rings. Then it was on to haircuts by Niko's wife Genna, who is one of the sweetest people you could ever meet. The girls got serious trims much to my Daughters surprise. My daughter Anna loves long hair - and the girls decided it was time for a bob. Then, any one tired yet?? Then it was on to a late dinner with Rupinder. The girls really liked their stage mom, especially the nail art things she brought them. Home finally after a 13 hour day with only 6 hours of it out of the car! Driving was HORRIBLE!!! Finally some quiet time then up for work. I think I'm to old for all this activity! But, I love hugging on my girls. In the meantime we are getting organized for this weekend filming. Lots to do and with Kenna and Kai, it is guatranteed to be interesting!

Final thought, we got a new Paul (David Z Ward) . I am grateful to Rupinder, Niko, and Clare for organizing get together to help him get up to speed with the group. So bring on the Weekend!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Continued Challenges

Back again, blogging while on the train to work. Never realized how helpful that one hour ride can be for getting things done. Had a great weekend filming. So grateful to the nurses helping with bringing food. Learned about some foods from India, and how you can make hard boiled eggs look like potatoes floating in a yellow stew like mixture actually be quite tasty. All the filming went well. Everyone is becoming so relaxed with each other. The set was so calm and the day passed quickly. Very grateful to the actors for their flexibility with scene changes. The family atmosphere is nothing like I've ever experienced. We are becoming very close to the point that actors are asking if they can still come to the set even though they are not in the scenes scheduled for that day! Several want to watch the dinner scene to be filmed next week at a friends house. I am excited for the scene because it will involve my grand daughters Kailei and McKenna! We also were given a new challenge as Jacob, the actor playing the girl's dad had to drop out suddenly. Now we are going to scramble and find a replacement. I am trying not to worry as we have been incredibly lucky with replacements! So this will make for a challenging week. I want to also acknowledge TJ and his efforts to help with the songs for the movie. I never realized what an important role music plays in a film. He was able to put a melody to the words I wrote just off the top of his head, and he shared a song he wrote too. He is an amazing Frank Sinatra impersonator with a beautiful voice. We are so lucky to have him.

Well, we are continuing to move forward and the challenges keep coming, but we are getting things done. Thank to all for their love, help, and support!!! Keep the prayers and good thoughts coming!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Communication

Really grateful for those following my blog. It's just nice to know I have company on this movie journey. It is interesting how different organizing a filming project is from what I do as a nurse practitioner. I am use to persons just joining in to help and not necessarily waiting to be asked. With a film crew everyone has specific tasks and no one is to "help" . Boundaries are to be respected, and strict union protocol followed. Even if you are a non-union film. Either way, film or health care, communication is the key. There must be a respect for an individual's personal time, and expectations should be clear and not altered unless an emergency arises, and again that is where communication comes in. I really want to remain open and approachable, and I don't want to add confusion. I have such respect for our actors and crew that I feel again, communication needs to be as clear as possible. This movie production is work, and it forces you to verbalize your opinions and hold people to standards. Sometimes it feels more like the military than a creative project. It all is so much more than I ever expected. The trade offs are the making of new friendships that I hope will last a lifetime, the opportunity to help a career advance, and have dreams of helping others become a reality. I don't want politics and financial concerns to muddy our focus. We are part of something very special and communication is essential.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Miss You Guys

Very quiet long weekend. Got caught up on some sleep and finished a few projects. I started moving things around to make space for air mattresses and the ton of stuff my grand children need room for. Cannot believe my daughter and the girls will be here next week! Glad I had the movie as an excuse to get Kai out of school. She is letting all her friends know she is a movie star! Kenna just wants to see palm trees again! Glad I finished the stuffed palm tree I was making. The movie cast and crew had fun playing with it. Hope she enjoys it just as much. We confirmed a new site for the house we will be using in the movie. It is much closer to Hollywood, so I am sure that will make a lot of people happy. Tried to look at the remaining weeks for scheduling, we may actually finish in October! Fingers crossed. Speaking of fingers crossed, I applied for a grant to help support the film. Should hear something in a few weeks. Really missed working on the movie and all the cast and crew. Allen and I had a normal weekend for once, but it felt weird. I really felt like I was going through Resilient Hearts withdrawal!
Time to get back to work! Really miss you guys!!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

A Revolution?

Took yesterday off from blogging and now I am finding it weird not to be filming today. This is my first Saturday off in over a month and what do I do? I work on my blog about the movie. I am now encountering a new form of anxiety regarding this film. The response from our promo has been extremely positive and I am even getting feedback that it could be "ground breaking", and could help to "revolutionize" society's perceptions on end of life care. GULP!, I would be happy if just one family knew enough to ask for a palliative care team to be involved with their loved one's care. To know that a dying person was helped to not feel abandoned, and that their health care provider embraced our collaborative efforts and brought a palliative care team in to help support their patients and families.

My motivation is for no one to experience what I went through when my Mother died. I can make many excuses for the care, or lack of it, because no one was ever trained on what to do or say to a family of a dying patient, yet alone a 48 year old female with five children. When I reflect on my Mother's death I don't understand why basic human kindness didn't dictate how the nurses and medical team should act. I think death is just too close, to overwhelming even for health care providers. The need to ignore and avoid the sadness and loss seems to be overwhelming. All sense of humanity is removed when the first time you have a group of nurses walk into the room is when your mother has died, and they ask you to step out as they open their morgue kit to prepare her body for transport to the funeral home.

If Resilient Hearts can help emphasize the need for basic human compassion, our continued presence, and support for the dying and their families then I say BRING ON THE REVOLUTION!! and if I can do it with both tears and laughter, then so be it.

Check out our promo at: https://youtu.be/6kUQunlFQss

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Prolonged Schedule

Met with our producers last night and agreed to keep the script as is with two short connecting scenes to help clarify story points. With this decision it was estimated we would need eight additional filming days starting in October. So we are possibly looking at a November completion date. That is scary considering the holidays will be upon us. We don't want to postpone until after the holidays because of the increased likelihood of staff and crew additional commitments. I am just hoping we get additional funding to help support this plan. I cannot explain why Allen and I are willing to start selling things to meet expenses. It is just that this is such an important cause, and I truly believe we need to do this. Something in me is weirdly calm about it all. Allen finished editing the promo clip of the film we will be posting to use for obtaining donations and I will let you know what sites to send friends and family to. We have multiple organizations checking out our project, and I am very hopeful. It is not my intention to make the staff and crew of Resilient Hearts worry. I still plan on supplying the M&Ms. Worse scenario, we can do it on our own, but it would be nice to have some breathing room. So keep those prayers coming. Everyone is doing amazing work!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Honoring the Real Cooper

Got some wonderful emails from Craig (Cooper) and Niko (Michael) about the real "Cooper", and how they wanted to do everything they can to honor his memory. He was an amazing man and it was an honor to care for him. I think the best way I can honor his memory is to make this film. People need to know the importance of discussing their wishes should they be in a position where they cannot speak for themselves. We ask too much of our families when they are placed in the position of making care decisions, and Resilient Hearts demonstrates this. If a family meeting did not take place and Cooper's wishes made perfectly clear, he would of gone through aggressive technical procedures to keep his heart beating and his lungs working. What is sad, the family would eventually be placed in a position to agree to having the equipment turned off once tests showed Cooper was without meaningful brain activity. This is such a horrible way for a family to deal with a loved ones death. Resilient Hearts showed the alternative. Cooper's family was at the bedside, his death was peaceful and loving, and the worst he had to endure was Michael's singing. If at the very least, Resilient Hearts gets family and friends talking, then I feel I have honored that he real "Cooper".

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

To Re-write or Not Re-write

Using the Labor Day weekend to possibly over think the script. There is a concern that we are running to long on filming, but we don't want to sacrifice quality. I just love the fact Allen is so dedicated to my script that he was genuinely hurt at the thought of eliminating anything! So as it stands, it looks like there will be no new changes. I still might work in the giraffe onesie just one more time, but other than that, the script stands, pizza in Michael's hair and all.

I am so happy cast and crew share the feeling we are doing something really special here and they continue to give it their all. This past weekend was full of so many special moments. I loved the smile on Rupinder's face when she got to use the clap board to start a scene, Niko's pillar dance while the Palliative team meditated, and Craig's (Cooper) emotional performance that kept us all in tears. This whole filming experience has been an incriedable Journey, I will be sad when it ends after I get caught up on about a months worth of sleep.

We are trying to focus on raising money for the film production and post-production costs. A new trailer and sample will be posted at a variety of fund raising sites, and I encourage everyone to get the word out about donating. The footage we have confirms this is going to be a quality project! So keep those prayers and good wishes coming!!


Monday, August 28, 2017

Aghhhhh It's Monday

Monday mornings are rough! Would of loved to just roll over and keep sleeping, but no chance. Oh well,  time to get going. Had an amazing weekend. Had scenes that required the majority of our cast and crew to be present. We added some great talent, and welcomed others who didn't have parts until now. Craig did an awesome job as Cooper and really helped make the conference scene an emotional one. Niko shined as Michael and brought some funny ad-libs to the script. Lindsey (Astrid), Athena (Nicole), David (Alex), Clare(Anna), Scott(Dr. Olson), and Sorin (Dr. Dracos) gave it their all and made our filming session truly golden. I love watching how Rupinder(Valerie) is evolving into a very good actress. Her character's friendship with Michael (Niko), is genuine and really helps make their interactions believable. You could tell the weekend filming was running long when the cast began singing "Hopelessly Devoted to You". I think that was the perfect song choice to describe everyone's dedication to this film. Well more details from the weekend later, I need a nap.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Always Make Room for a Nurse

Added two short scenes to the movie script to help make more sense of how some characters show up. It is amazing the impact of dropping one thing from a scene can impact so much. The scene when Danny dies was to have a nurse come in the room and be asked to call April's mom. That was dropped because we didn't have enough room on the set for all of the actors. Now I needed to explain how the mom got there, how the nurses found out, and allow enough time for the nurses to react to Danny's death before Michael comes to cheer them up. Whew!!! The moral of the story is: Always make room for a nurse!

I wanted to thank my cast members for their kind words and for believing in this project. We really are a family and I thank you all for making my vision a reality!

We are preparing for the weekend. It looks like it will be filled with the daily group and family conferences. It will be nice, because at one point the entire cast will be present! Now I just have to wrap 36 Rice Krispies treats so they don't look like Rice Krispies treats. What a life!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

YouTube Video

Allen just finished putting together a video we plan to post on YouTube to promote our movie and use to obtain donations and help with the financial aspects of filming and post-production. It turned out better than I thought it would. I still look old and a bit too serious, but I guess you have to work with what you got. Allen and I will be meeting with our executive producers Tamir and Jenia today to go over the video and confirm the cast needed for this weekend. I cannot believe making this film is a 24 hour job! There are so many details and so many things to plan. My script is making everyone crazy. I have people in the scene that don't have speaking parts but they are still needed. The challenge is getting 12 actors and 10 film crew members into the same room, not to mention all of the equipment! Allen and I are so aware of how this project is only possible because of the help and support I am getting from my co-workers ant the film's cast and crew. More and more I realize how important this film will be for so many people and it is really coming together! All of your prayers and good thoughts are really helping!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Making Promotional Video

Had to film some introductions to film clips Allen is putting together for a promotional tool to use for funding sites and to show potential investors and donators what we are up to. Now that we have some great material to use, we want to show others the great job we are doing. If anything they may want to help out the old constipated woman doing the talks my. I will share where things get posted. I would love to be able to pay the cast and crew something, and get some help with the food. Not to mention all of the other costs we are dealing with. Be sure to friend Allen on Facebook to see all the pictures that were taken during the shoots. I will ask him to post them on the Resilient Hearts web site too.
Keep those prayers and positive thoughts coming!!

Monday, August 21, 2017

It's All My Fault

Completed another weekend of shooting. It was a rough schedule as Niko had to re-do his melt down scene and little four year old Shane (Danny) had to film the scenes where his character dies. All were amazing. You know they nailed their scenes when the crew tears up! Everyone was so into their roles. All performances were amazing! I continue to get blamed for all the hard work and emotional drain of this project "it's all your fault". Now the comment has become a complement. There is something so special about this film project. Everyone realizes how important it is and wants to see it done the best way possible. We added Costa to the group (Dr. Joshua Little) and he meshed in quickly. He was able to put Shane at ease and between having Shane's Dad (Finly) there with them and all of the support of the cast, we not only got through this tough scene but really got some incredible performances! As usual Niko gave us his all and showed the vulnerable side if Michael and Clare (Anna) was the compassionate friend. Their chemistry helped you believe they were becoming very close even without a dinner date scene. Rupinder (Valerie) and Monique (April) gave stellar performances. Monique had it tough in the roll of Danny's Mom, she had to be exhausted from all that crying! Rupinder got everyone through the scenes and also made Chicken Curry for our lunch. A big thanks also goes out to Bella, Yogi, Desiree for the excellent Lunch and help with errands and acting as extras. We had a group of nurses come to play extras. We ended up not needing them as we had to postpone their scene, but I want to thank them for taking time out over their weekends to help.
There are so many people I want to thank my Husband Allen, Tamir, Jenia, Nakita, and everyone who helped make this weekend shoot so special. I am honored that the cast and crew think it is "all my fault".

Friday, August 18, 2017

Grand Baby Time!

Finalizing flight arrangements to have my grand babies here for the planned September 16th filming at my friends home. He is a physician I work with and he is very supportive of this project.  I am so looking forward to seeing what Kenna and Kai do with their roles. I just hope I can get Kenna to lose the Disney Character from Monster' s Inc. She is obsessed with Boo when she dresses like a monster. This  could be interesting !!

Also thrilled about the hard work the cast is putting into their characters. The talent is amazing! All the crew and our Director and Producers are really making this happen. They are meeting to go over specifics for the weekend. I appreciate everyone's hard work and support.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Danny

Looking forward to this weekend's filming. We will be doing some re filming and will be taking on the tough scenes about Danny. A good friend and doctor I work with has agreed to have his 4 year old son, Shane, play this role. I am trying to think how to make it less frightening for him. I thought I would explain that his character is very sick and sleeps a lot. Then I realized that this is the way many of us deal with death, we hide in denial and fantasy. In this case, I think it is appropriate when working with a 4 year old. Then I wondered what excuse so many adults use.

The scene with Danny is a homage to the team I worked with at San Diego Hospice and Institute of Palliative Medicine. I will never forget when a mother carried out her little boy still wearing his cowboy pajamas. He looked like he was sleeping and the mother softly cried as she carried him to the waiting transport outside. I wanted to honor that memory and that little boy. I am surprised how I am both dreading and looking forward to filming the scene. It is an important statement about love and life and I am proud I have the opportunity to tell it with such talented actors and film crew.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

One More Time

Allen (Hubby and Director), Tamir and Jenia (Exectutive Producers), completed another set of auditions and found replacements for all of our open roles! Sill need to get use to the frequent change of actors, but I am repeatedly told this is normal. More and more I realize how tough it must be to be an actor. You are continually critiqued on your appearance, your ability to take on a character, and you end up working long hours trying to pull up believable emotions in front of 20 people busy looking at camera equipment or their phones, and you must make all of it look effortless. No thanks, give me an open chest wound any time! Well I digress, I am looking forward to welcoming our new cast members. Don't have any specifics other than Allen was very impressed with our new Cooper. I just hope there will be some good chemistry between him and Niko.

I also want to thank the cast members who wrote such kind words in response to my blog. It really feels like we are becoming a family! I am so grateful you are a part of this project and that you really understand what this film is all about.

Well, hope everyone has a great day and keep those prayers, positive thoughts, and energy coming!!


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Going Forward

I want to thank Rupinder and Niko for their kind words and insight. I agree the important thing now is to enjoy this film journey. It may not feel like it now, but it will soon be ending so I need to cherish the friendship, the craziness, the frustration, and the laughter. I honestly feel this will be a project we will all be proud of. It still amazes me how one door may close but three more will open !

Auditions are being held today for a new Cooper and some other characters that opted to leave or were switched around. We will be welcoming a new Dr. Roberts, Dr. Joshua Little, and Astrid. I am beginning to accept that change is truly the only constant. But, hey, it's all about the Journey right?!!
I love Allen's new photo for our web site, and I am grateful for all of his work on the funding sites. We are definitely going forward.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Day 2 & 3 of Filming

The train into work is delayed at least 20 min so I thought I would get blogging. I wanted to wait until Monday to summarize the weekend filming. Not so sure if that is the best idea. I end up with way too much to talk about.

  • Rupinder (Valerie) turns out to be an amazing actress. So grateful for Niko (Michael)and Dean (Thomas) spending time with her. She absolutely nailed her performance. I think we may need to be careful she doesn't change careers.
  • Niko (Michael) is a natural stripper. His performance in his red onesie was hysterical. It will be one of the major highlights of the film.
  • I want to thank Niko for brining Michael to life. He provides all the quirky and playful elements I envision Michael would have. It is so surreal to watch this character that has lived in my mind for the past 4 years come to life. I am so grateful we have him in this production .
  • We were so fortunate that Clair agreed to take on the role of Anna. She is doing a great job and has seemlessly blended in with Niko and Valerie's characters. She is kind and funny and pleasure to work with. She was in a car accident on the way to our filming, but still managed to show up. Grateful she wasn't hurt, and amazed at her commitment to this project!!
  • I cannot say enough about Deseriee, Yogi, and Bella. They are nurses that I work with in Out-Patient clinic, that continue to help with feeding all the cast and crew and showing off their acting talent as extras. They are such troopers with everything from helping with clean-up, running out to buy pizza, helping print name tags, and agreeing to wear a giraffe onesie complete with giraffe slippers!
  • I wanted to thank the nurses in ETC and o n the units for coming in to act as extras and freeing up from their work to help out where they could. They did there best with being available and often they were subjected to the "hurry up and wait" filming. They never complained and stayed as long as they could.
  • We are lucky to have some  future additional food support offerings from Premier Infusion. We have a hungry cast and crew and all contributions are appreciated.
  • Dean is helping coach the acting and works with me to help rehearse the actors for a scene. He is a huge help for Allen and myself. This acting stuff is so foreign to me. I was not aware of the need to give more background and emphasis on why I wrote things as I did. I have come to the conclusion that I need to help with this. Dahhhhhhhhhh
  • My Husband has really gotten into the role as director. I am so grateful for his dedication and for all his hard work on this movie. He may pretend to complain about the workload, but I have never seen him happier.
  • I am enjoying the fact our cast and crew are functioning more and more like a family. Everyone involved is so helpful and kind, and they truly want this movie to succeed. 
  • I am so honored to have Tamir and Jenia as our executive producers. Their belief in this project, and the talent they have gathered for our cast and crew has been amazing. I am surrounded by such incredible talent!!
Well, time to end this novel. I will continue to try to emotionally roll with each crisis and challenge making this movie throws at me and to enjoy the positives more, because it really is all about the Journey.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Walk-ons in Jammie's Needed

Losing  the actor who was to play Cooper caused some last minute filming schedule changes, and my favorite scene was bumped up to this Sunday. It is the scene at a nurse's station when all of the nurses are in their pajamas to take part in a Jammie party for Danny, a 5 year old little boy dying of metastatic brain cancer. I need as many nurses/ CHO staff/friends of staff/etc as I can get to show up with or wearing their Jammie's (the sillier the better) this Sunday (8/13) at 9:30 am in the Main Medical/Northwest building at the Biller Center. Two scenes with Jammies will be filmed back to back. The first scene is with Valerie (Rupinder, our social worker) thanking the nurses for being involved with the party, and the second scene involves Michael doing a kind of striptease by taking off his Jammies in an effort to cheer up the nurses who are upset when little Danny dies. I will be asking at least two nurses to speak. The lines are short and primarily focused on oohing and ahhhing at Michael. It will be fun, and all can say they were in a movie, so spread the word!

I am still adjusting to all the last minute changes and complications that are occurring. We are also saying good-by to Mary, she was playing Anna in our film, and we wish her the best of luck in her career. It seems the more the cast and crew whether these frequent changes, the closer we become. I am going to be working with Dean (Thomas) to review a scene with cast members before filming and help with providing a focus and better understanding of what is going on. Everyone is dedicated to providing the best possible performance. It seems we all agree on how important this film project is.

Keep those prayers and positive thoughts coming! We really need all the help we can get!!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

More Challenges

The scenes for this weekend were all set, and Allen was making progress on editing footage from last week. All things were going well, I knew this was a bad sign. Sure enough, things started to happen. The actor who agreed to play Cooper dropped out and a few of the actresses with smaller roles also decided to take other jobs. I am grateful I learned my lesson earlier to not let this devastate me. Although, I do admit to being disappointed, I have to trust in what will be will be. We are all on a learning curve trying to do the best job possible with this film. There are so many concerns when you finally have time to focus on details as we review the film footage. I hope we can remain realistic of what absolutely must be corrected and what is just our OCD coming out.

On a separate note, my lyrics have been set to music and we may have additional help with the sound tract. I am just going to continue to believe in the amazing group that has assembled to make this film a reality, and prepare for this weekend with the new schedule they are putting together.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Getting ready for the Weekend Filming

Sorry for the scattered postings. I had a lot of sleep to get caught up on from the weekend, and had to fit doing laundry and some house cleaning in around 2am. How do movie people do this? Oh, they have to make it big and pay for help, oh well, maybe in my next life.


Just got the call sheets (movie talk for filming plan) for this weekend. We hope to accomplish quite a lot. Ten scenes are planned to be filmed. Lately the biggest problems have been scheduling conflicts with the cast. Fingers crossed that everyone can show. I pulled the pages from the script to double check what props are needed. We are advancing into needing more hospital equipment. I am so grateful for the help I am receiving from my fellow nurses! I could not do this without them.


Waiting for a final plan to know when to bring the Grand children out. They are practicing their lines and picking out what to wear. Kenna is especially proud of her clothing choice.


I still cannot believe this is all happening on an almost non-existent budget! I think all of your prayers and positive thoughts must be working!!


Thanks to all!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Day 1 of Filming

First full day of 12 hour filming. The production team was so professional and organized! It felt strange that I didn't have a task. I was asked to just listen and I would make suggestions when asked. The whole experience was amazing. I cannot believe how much work is involved in making a movie! I have so many people willing to help. My friends Bella and Yogie managed the food and kept us in ice tea. Nikko (Michael), Jimmie (Adam), Mary (Anna), and Dean (Thomas); all did a great job. Nikko and Dean took on some of their most emotional scenes and nailed them! Nikko chose to help us instead of celebrating his 11th anniversary with his wife Genna. I am truly grateful for their sacrifice and hope they have 100 more years together! We had professional make-up and cupcakes from Patricia, and I got to torture one of our producers who had a crick in his neck and was walking around like Quasimodo. In general it was a long and productive day, and I am thankful for everyone's hard work.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Day One

Today we did a meet and greet of the cast and crew. We also did our first full read through  and the crew practiced lighting set-ups and confirmed film sites. Everyone is so talented and wanting to see this project done right. I am amazed with our Producers and how they were able to organize everyone, and the crew is so experienced. All had great ideas and such unique ways of looking at things. Jenia came up with filming ideas I would have never thought of and Tamir was awesome at keeping everything moving on schedule. They are great to work with as is all of the crew.

I want to thank Claire and Scott for coming by and getting to meet some of the cast and crew. Everyone did an amazing job with the script. My favorite parts were when Jacob belted out a slow rendition of "Anchors Away" on the kazoo, and when everyone joined in on the Flintstones song. Zayden was awesome as Cooper's son Jessie, and as usual Nikko blew everyone away and he even brought rice Krispie treats! Jimmie, Michael, Rupinder, Mary, Megan, Jacob,Monique, Jillian, Richard, and Debbie;all did such a great job and made the whole day one I will always treasure. I want to give a special thanks to Dean who took on reading both Thomas and Cooper's roles. He is a true talent and a great snorer! I am hoping Dean can take on some acting coach responsibilities too.

I want to share my love and thanks to my dear fellow nurses who came in to help set up the food. You made everyone very happy and very full. I am so blessed to have everyone's support and willingness to put in such great efforts to help us make this film happen.

Just a huge thanks to everyone! Now on to Day 2!!

Friday, August 4, 2017

We're Gonna Make a Movie!!

Our Executive Producers Tamir and Jenia, my hubby Allen, the Director; Samuel our Director of Photography, and myself met with four major cast members: Mary, who plays Anna, Niko, who plays Michael, Rupinder, who plays Valerie, and Jacob who plays Paul. There was great chemistry and all seemed to be having a good time.  I am so thrilled at the dedication all cast and crew are making to this project. It seems everyone has a story to share about the loss of a loved one, and I am thrilled to be involved in a project that can set the bar for standards of care that should be available to all dying patients and their families.


Niko is awesome and was given a leather Gatsby/newsboy hat. He really got into his role. Mary did a great job as Anna, and she projects just the right about of intelligence and compassion. Jacob an amazing Paul. I told him his look was perfect for the character and to not change anything. He volunteered to live in the same clothes and not shave for a month! He might just be too agreeable...
Rupinder is having fun essentially playing herself. I want her and everyone in the cast to make their dialogue their own. Rupinder is a very caring and compassionate social worker who is not afraid to say what she thinks. That is why she makes the perfect Valerie.


Glad Allen and Samuel finally got time to strategize and bond. They had a lot to review and seemed to be working well together. Tamir and Jenia made our partnership official as all the paperwork got signed. So guess what?  WE'RE MAKING A MOVIE !!!!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Time to Play

Looking forward to tomorrow. Going to have our first meeting of the "friends". Michael gets to meet his best friend Paul, Valerie gets to meet her best friend Michael and her husband Paul, and Anna gets to decide if she wants any part of this group. It will also include Valerie and Paul's children Kai and Kenna on Skype. I am sure it will make for an interesting day. Then we prepare for the weekend. The August filming begins! I cannot believe it is finally going to happen! I am so grateful to my Husband Allen and our great Executive Producers for making this all happen. It is an amazing amount of work, but I think we will be happy with the results.

I am sure this won't be the last hurdle we encounter. I am beginning to think when things go smoothly that's when I should prepare for the crash. So, let's see what happens next!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Just Breathe

Took a few days off from blogging, needed to clear my head. I guess that's what blogging is for, but I did'nt want to frighten anyone away with my ranting. I am learning just how tough film making can be. There are so many things that can go wrong, and so many changes. I have decided to just roll with it and accept there will always be some challenge. I can see why they have such large film crews. Problems emerge almost continuously from equipment failures to not having enough bottled water. I value everyone's agreement to work without pay, but with that comes the acceptance that they are likely to leave if offered a paying job. It's like walking a tightrope. I am storing up on reminders to stay balanced and just breathe. It's a good excuse to shop, but even a better way to avoid a meltdown. I feel as though I have created this child and must let go of protecting it. I must find peace that others share my vision. The alternative is a panic attack and sitting in a corner blowing bubbles. I need to just breathe.......

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Still Moving Forward.

I think I have found some peace with losing Timmy D and Big John. I will always be grateful for there total belief in this film project, and  how they  were able to motivate my Husband and I to take on the challenge of making the movie ourselves. They helped us to believe in our dreams, and for that I will be forever grateful. I wish them the best of luck on their tour and hope life holds for them much success.

We have had great success obtaining actors who are interested in our open roles and all should be settled by the read-through planned for next Saturday the 5th. I still marvel at the talent we were able to assemble in-front of and behind the camera. I am truly blessed.

I am taking a much needed day to catch up on laundry and work-related writing projects. This will be my last "normal" day for the next two months! May even take a nap!!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

the Journey Continues

Staying very busy trying to finish script revisions that caused us to also say good by to two more cast members. It has been grueling to meet the producer's  requirements to cut the script down to 90 pages. I worry about losing content, but I did find areas I could consolidate. The problem is it cost the opportunity to work with two  talented actors. I never realized how assertive/aggressive film makers must be. It's tough to be in a role that can cause such emotional pain for all involved. I can understand  why people become so negative when they must do what is best for the project.

We are getting a great response for the roles of Timmy and Cooper, and have obtained the services of several more essential crew members. I am looking forward to Saturday and the run through of sets lighting, and our read through. This project is like a living thing. It is always evolving and I am learning to accept this.

On to some fun news, I wrote the lyrics to a song that a friend of ours is setting to music. Fingers crossed. If things work out we may have the base for a sound tract!  I wanted a song to express what palliative care is about. Let me know what you think.

You'll Never Be Alone

I wish I had some magic
that could take your tears away
But I have only hope
To guide you on your way

Hold my hand and know I'm here
As you begin your journey home
My wish is to spare your sorrow
you'll never be alone

It's  hard to watch your sadness
My hands can't make it right
but I can sit and listen
And support you as you fight

Hold my hand and know I'm here
As you begin your journey home
My wish is to spare your sorrow
you'll never be alone

You'll never be alone

Another, exciting development is that I made contact with an editor who has agreed to help me clean up my book Resilient Hearts. My previous publisher did a terrible job with the editing, no wonder they went out of business. I want to make the original story available to coincide with the movie release. It provides so much more background, wonderful stories, characters and the medical focus I fear health care providers may need to see the real value of the film. I now understand why books and their film counterparts, are often so different. I am emotionally preparing for the comments, but they are two totally different media projects.

I want to thank every one for their dedication and support. Your prayers are working!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Where do I Start

Confirmed yesterday that Timmy D and Big Jon will not be able to continue in the lead roles of Michael and Cooper. You think in my job I would be accustomed to dealing with  bad news, but nothing prepared me for this. It is truly a painful loss for us, but I understand how important touring commitments are, and I wish them every success. Timmy and Jon were so supportive and so dedicated to this project, but their touring schedule just couldn't mesh with our filming time line. We are lucky enough to obtain some very experienced film makers who have amazing contacts all willing to donate their time, but they also have limited availability and I am not even touching on the commitment we have asked of the other actors. So, sadly we are going forward without them. The planned read through is postponed until next Saturday and it will be at City of Hope in Duarte, California. This will give us time to complete auditions and start with a full cast. We also wanted the crew to meet and run through technical issues. Lunch will be provided.

Thank you all for your continued dedication and support, and Best of Luck Timmy and Jon!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Growing Pains

Seems as the time gets closer to actually filming the more issues come up. I apologize if any of the cast or crew worried about our continually evolving script. I was told once that a film script is an actual living document. It is continually evolving and re worked as needs are identified. I altered it to fit actors that were available, filming time frames, and to modify the doctor lingo I obviously took for granted. The challenge is to meet the needs of your audience. What will go over one person's head will make another shake their head and claim the writer is clueless. It is back to trying to write something I am proud of and that is doable. It's back to remembering I cannot please everyone, and it is back to staying committed to my vision and listening to my heart. This film is a labor of love. If it in anyway becomes a burden to anyone, I guess I would have to wish them well and encourage them to stay focused and pursue what is important to them. I have met many wonderful people on this journey and I am holding tightly onto the belief that what is meant to be will be.Now I chose to take a deep breath and continue to go forward, and hope cast and crew come along and continue on this crazy merry-go-round.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Major Themes of Resilient Hearts

Worked on the script all day yesterday and finally crashed about 1 am. I was able to condense the script to 113 pages and realized the set directions and background info collectively make up about 10 pages so I am thinking the actual script is really around 100 pages. If you take away what will end up being edited out, I think we will easily have our desired 90 minute film. At least that is how I am rationalizing it.

A general e-mailing went out to all the cast and we are awaiting confirmation of their attendance for the read through on Saturday. So any cast reading this, help settle my nerves by confirming. We found the perfect Louis, so it looks like all of the movie rolls are cas, now the test will be if they show up.

I want to thank my dear friend Dr. Lynda Reed for her efforts to get Azusa Pacific University School of Nursing to approve our use of their patient care training rooms for filming. I hope to get a decision from them this week. I am going to search for a back up just in case. I guess I need to guard myself from disappointment, and I just need to be sure this filming isn't delayed. As an Alumni for Azusa, I would just love to have them be part of this project.

I am now going to work on a business plan to use to obtain funding for Resilient Hearts. I wanted to start by supplying some of the major themes I feel are addressed in this film. Let me know if you have any other thoughts/suggestions for those of you who know the story-line.

  1. Death should not be viewed as a failure. Our only failure is when we miss the opportunity to celebrate an individual's life and fill their final days and hours with compassion and love.
  2. Laughter is a natural emotion and can sustain an individual through hardship and adversity. It provides moments of normalcy and escape at times when sadness and grief can overwhelm us. It is not a tool for making less of a serious situation, rather it is a method to strengthen our ability to endure, preserve our dignity in the face of adversity, and to allow our brains a moment to refocus/re-frame life's challenges.
  3. When an individual opens their heart to help another in distress their actions not only assist the intended to accept/deal with their challenge, but it can reaffirm that the individual is truly valued and cared about. There is an additional gift obtained when helping another, and that is the gift we give ourselves of knowing we made a difference and that we have a true purpose.
  4. Self care is a huge issue in the medical and nursing field as many as 40% of physicians are estimated to have committed suicide yearly because of their unrealistic expectations and sense of failure. Who knows what nursing numbers are, as nurses transfer or quit to reduce their stress at a time when nursing shortages are the greatest. Burnout is rampant in the healthcare field as we hold themselves solely accountable for issues out of our control. We need to accept what we have control over and what we do not. All we can do is our very best, and let go of the idea we have any control over how our patient's bodies will respond. We need to focus on what we do have control over, and that is our patient and their families final journey together. We need to embrace that opportunity to provide lasting positive memories for the families, and help celebrate the life of our dying patients. This is what will sustain healthcare providers. Knowing we made a difference will help us be resilient.
  5. The movie itself is intended to be a self care gift to health care providers. It supplies laughter, music, and a gorgeous leading man and cast of actors to stare at and help us escape from our problems for 90 minutes. Resilient Hearts emphasizes the importance of supporting each other as we provide a very special brand of caring.
  6. Resilient Hearts was written to get people talking and to help all of us enjoy the time we have and the individuals that make our lives special.
  7. Healthcare providers are way too serious and often unapproachable in their lab coats and professional attire. We need to be more human, more open, and more vulnerable.
  8. We need more cute guys to get into nursing!!
Woah, long blog. I got way to philosophical, but I think it will help me with fund raising. We shall see. Please keep those prayers and positive thoughts coming! Common Azusa!!
 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

This is a Lot of Work

Had another successful meeting with our executive producer team. They have assembled some amazing talent and support that have helped us go forward and has made filming starting on Saturday August 5th a reality. I am humbled and truly greatfull to the many experienced film crew who have agreed to help without pay, and for those who lowered their rates to keep this project doable. Over and over I am told this generosity is because of their belief in the importance of this project. I am humbled by this support and happy that individuals share our vision.

I will be meeting with security to firm up our filming locations and arrange for doors to be unlocked on Monday. I am grateful for the additional support from my Department to grant me access to conference rooms and our large media center (Biller Center) for filming. I will be working with a grant specialist to identify and apply for grant money to support our film project, and I have obtained assistance with much needed props. The team of nurses in the Out Patient clinics are organizing to be sure we have much needed extras and a nursing presence in the film. They will also take on the organization of providing the meals and snacks for the cast and crew and have agreed to make our daily catering budget work. The Nursing Department will be covering the cost of providing daily coffee for our cast and crew, and we  received our first donation from Children's Hospital in LA that will be used to help with filming expenses. So, we are definitely getting essential elements of this production in place. Now, I am hoping to obtain permission from Azusa Pacific School of Nursing to use their patient room simulation labs for filming. Keep your fingers crossed.

I am looking forward to our full cast reading next Saturday and we are in the process of confirming attendance. The gathering will take place in Anaheim. I cannot wait to hear my written words come to life. The auditions have been stellar, we have such a collection of talent!

My latest project is to get the script as close to 90 pages as possible. The script is currently at 123 pages.This will be no small task, but I think the problem is that I used too much of the dialogue directly from my book that isn't necessary. My action directions are too detailed and many of the long responses are just too wordy. So my mission for today is to edit, edit, edit, but not to lose content.

 I have gained such an appreciation for film makers and actors. This is proving to be a huge  undertaking. It is much more work than I ever imagined, but it is an honor to be part of making this crazy film project a reality.

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

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 something...one 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
Bonnie

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: www.endwellproject.org, 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.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Always a Challenge

Things are continuing to come together thanks to all of Allen's hard work. Thanks to the cast. Your patience is deeply appreciated as we continue to shift things around. Allen hopes to have lighting plans done by mid-week, then he will post the shooting schedule. I look forward to meeting everyone in person at the read through on the 29th. We are still finalizing the film crew and deciding what additional equipment to buy. Allen is in his glory. Film directing and production is what he was meant for. Even the most challenging issues are approached with such joy. He just bends with every challenge, and ultimately it all seems to work out.
More character backgrounds:
Thomas: Retired salesman who always wanted to join the navy. He never had a chance to enlist because his wife was too ill. He is a loving and kind man who struggles to find his way now that his wife has died. He is lonely and now he continues to deal with a bad heart that has been broken for a long time.
Tiffany: A college student and daughter of Cooper. She is having a hard time with his illness because she stopped being a part of his life a long time ago. She now blames herself for the times she has missed and wants to make up for everything yesterday.

More characters tomorrow. The train is almost at my stop. Thanks for your interest!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Continuing Forward

Allen and I are spending all weekend working on filming details. We now have several offers from very experienced assistant producers and film photography directors. I have got to learn the fancy film talk, AP's, DP's, PA's, grips and gaffers. It's a whole new language!  Basically, there are lots of talented people out there who want more experience, and who believe in what we are doing.  I am so thrilled at their offers for help. Allen is working on organizing them and is planning another teaser for next week. We will be posting our shooting schedule (call sheets) by the end of the week so all cast and crew have a clear idea of when they will be needed. I want to thank everyone for their patience. We took into account persons who let us know what weekends in August they would not be available, so if you have any scheduling conflicts for the month of August please let us know at resilientheartsproject@yahoo.com.

Our casting is complete, and now I am working on props and costumes. I am hoping everyone can wear their own professional attire, and I can provide lab coats for those who don't own one. I am checking into costume rentals, and will be contacting actors that will be in a scene requiring they wear pajamas (the sillier the better) and ask them to bring their own. I will also use my blog to ask for help with other items, but things are really looking good. I have already obtained or made the most unusual objects. There is just so much to think about!

I want to continue with providing backgrounds on the movie's characters as I promised:
Astrid: a Psychiatrist with the Palliative Care Team. She is very structured and is not impressed by Michael's originality. She likes to be in charge and is very structured and serious.
Nicole: A Chaplin for the team. She is non-denominational, supportive, and very approachable.
Jessie: Only son of Cooper. He has a good relationship with his father, and is very close to his mother, Kelly. He continues to try to be supportive, but is deeply sad over the thought of losing his father.

Please keep checking the web site for information and schedules. I am attempting to make contact with leaders in the field of Palliative Care, and am trying to make this project known to their organizations. I find it interesting there is now a focus on the importance of telling stories to educate about the needs of the dying. Our movie fits right in. I just hope I can get the word out.

Keep the candles lit!
Take care.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Kick Starter fund raising site is now Up !!!!

Staying very busy. Allen got the Kick Starter site up and we got our first donation! Only $29, 975 to go! How's that for being positive? We are very close to filling all of the roles and have a location for the read through in Anaheim the end of the month (see schedule link on this web site). Met with some experienced film makers as they were preparing to set up to film a documentary at City of Hope and networking with other hospital media departments. Cannot believe our luck. I want to thank everyone for the positive energy!!

Back to character summaries:
Anna: A dedicated neurologist who enjoys helping her patients and co-workers. She is kind, and has a playful sense of humor. She is attracted to Michael and they are becoming close friends. She is a good friend of Valerie's , and is a reliable and supportive person for the team.
Alex: A pharmacist for the team. He is very serious about his work and doesn't quite get Michael's sense of humor. He is kind of nerdy, but is always there for his team mates.
Valerie: A very compassionate social worker with a bit of a temper when it comes to Michael. A very take charge woman who is accustomed to being listened to by her two girls and her husband Paul, so she is challenged by Michael's fierce independence. If Michael is the soul of the Palliative Care team, then Valerie is the heart.

I again thank all of our actors and encourage you to contact me if you have any questions about your roles. And, to my fellow blog readers, please share our Kick Starter information with your friends and family.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Thanks CHLA!!

Got some wonderful news yesterday. Children's Hospital in LA would like to make a donation to help with our expenses in making Resilient Hearts. I was fortunate enough to meet the amazing people that make up their Palliative Care teams and participate in a workshop focused on helping them stay resilient. I think one of the toughest parts of my job is working with dying children. How can you not get personally involved? Children are so brave and they know what is happening, and through it all, they are most concerned about their families! There is such love and sadness, I understand how it can take its toll on the nursing and medical staff. I really feel the special things we do to make the child's final days special are as much for us as it it for them and their families. I want to help health care providers to let go let go of any sense of failure and focus on making a child's final journey as loving and special as possible! Thanks Children's Hospital of L A for believing in us!!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Never Giving Up the Dream

I am finding the toughest obstical to completing this film project is myself. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed. Allen has a huge list of tasks for today and I need to be supportive, wish I could work on the film organization full time. I need positive people around me. I think of Timmy D. and the challenges he faces with his music, and all the energy Big Jon puts into promoting teams him set a much needed positive example for me. They never give up the dream. I can add the actors that have agreed to work for just a credit on the film and food. They are holding on to a dream too. I guess the thing to do is focus more on how important the dream is, and things become less daunting. It would be far more painful to give up on the dream. It boils down to believing in yourself and trusting that dreams do come true. I am being very philosophical for 6am in the morning! Now I need to shift gears and do more character backgrounds.

Adam: Adam is an Oncologist who has bought into the traditional way of showing he cares about his patients by coming up with one more treatment, one more study, because when you care you don't give up. He sees no need for "small talk", and doesn't care if he is liked. What is important is that he is doing his job. He is one of those intellectuals that never developed any social skills, and he has no patience with the need to be warm and fuzzy. He was sent to St.Mary's to work with Michael and the Palliative Care team and to learn better better people skills.

Steven: Steven is also an Oncologist with a desire to improve how he can better relate to his patients and staff. He is learning a lot from his experience at St. Mary's and is open and willing to share.

Well so much for today,
I promise to keep dreaming!