As artists, as filmmakers, what kind of story are we offering? A cautionary tale? An adventure? A moment of comfort and understanding? Humor? Light heartedness? Laughter? Or are we trying to get people to believe something? Are we trying to use our art to make them think like us?
Two things excite me more than any other thing in the world: Being a filmmaker and being a father. The other thing that excites me is that these two things do not need to be mutually exclusive.
We are excited to announce we are officially in pre-production on Kitty's 9 Lives, a short quirky romantic comedy written by Denise Churchill and Karen Aldridge.
I thought you were a filmmakers? We are. What makes speropictures great is their ability to tell great visual stories. Matthew has illustrated four children's books, a comic strip, a poetry book, and a parenting workbook. The visuals he uses enhance the written text. He has continued to learning how to frame shots, direct characters, and light a scene, and much more through this medium. You can find the books on our behind the scene page and/or amazon.com
In my mind the event was a huge success. Though the sound was off, the lighting cues were spotty, and the videos had a slight delay, we accomplished a major feet on May 3rd, 2014. As a community of people, we were in good spirits. We joined together and chose not to be discouraged. We had fun. We were entertained, and we laughed at the technical difficulties that we faced.
Not only had I poured my life into the 3rd Annual BSSM Film Festival this year, so many others did so as well. We all had high expectations. Some of which were let down.
So what happens when you put your heart and soul in something you believe so deeply in and things don’t turn out quite the way you hoped they would?
Such is life. Oftentimes we get so hung up on the pictures in our heads we forget to focus on all the things that go right. I volunteered countless hours in planning and preparing for this event for almost a year. I had meetings galore, emails in abundance, classes and deadlines. With all the organization and grace I could muster, I still lacked a certain amount of know how and structure. If I got anything out of this last season it is what not to do, from the numerous mistakes I made along the way. My personal failures have become a great teaching tool and therefore can be viewed a rewarding success.
When you have such huge aspirations and high standards, all you can do is dust yourself off and keep going. We are in the middle of a learning curve. I myself need to get better at learning to delegate to those with the gift and ability to take it on. So many people caught the vision I have been carrying and came under me to support it and bring it to fruition. I have had enormous amounts of grace and favor. There is no way I could have pulled off such a grand event without the passion of those who came along side and carried the burden with me.
I have been overwhelmed by the amount of love, encouragement, and belief people have in this vision. There have been countless numbers of those who desire to bring to life, excellence in the realm visual storytelling. All they have needed is a platform in which to jump off of. It has been my hope to be apart of raising up and equipping filmmakers to go into the marketplace and become successful.
We are accomplishing that goal!
The day after the event when I was feeling tired and deflated a good friend of mine who is a professional in our field said, “You guys are ambitious in trying to model your film festival after the most prestigious film festival in the world… “the Oscars””. You guys are doing an amazing job. Since then I have received tons of positive feedback as well as constructive criticism. What encourages me the most is the amount of people who have come up to me already hoping to be apart of next year’s track and festival.
Acknowledging that perphectionism is overrated, I understand we still have a lot to learn. I am also grateful that we are in an environment where we are safe to make mistakes and grow.
I can list so many things that went right this year: the musical performers were stunning, the motion graphics were awesome, the director interviews were outstanding, the student projects turned out so well, and the community of people grew as a whole. However, my favorite part was that we stood together and made the best of something with what we had to work with. And that my friends is all we can ask for.
How do you do it?
That is the question Matt and myself get asked all of the time. The simple answer is grace and team work. We do what we love with who we love. In that, we have a special grace. We roll with the waves and go with the tide. Neither one of us feel threatened by each other's positions, rather we compliment each other.
Our dreams are important to us, so is our family. We have learned how to blend them so we can do both well. It's all about choices and communication. We have learned to rely heavily on trust and vulnerability. We have to first be real with each other and share our hearts. It is very intimate to be doing business with your life partner as well as raising children. We have gotten really good at telling each other about ourselves and not about the other person. We have learned to ask a lot of questions rather than make assumptions, start blaming, making accusations, and judging each others motives and intentions. Most of the time we consciously take turns putting each others needs before our own. Other times we operate out of common goals. All in all we put the necessary work and effort into relationship so our life source is grounded in safety and security.
We are passionate about equipping others, so it is important we have the right tools to give them as well. Once people start operating out of fear, they make poor decisions by allowing panic and anxiety to set in. It is our goal to cultivate confident people who navigate their world from a place of peace. We want their rational to come from integrity and character, which is firmly rooted in perseverance, strength, hope, and joy.
This includes our children. We intentionally focus on drawing out their identity from within, teaching them how to be the captain of their ship and not to try to control their environment.
We encourage healthy risk taking. If you are going to go after your ambitions, you must start somewhere. You can't wait hoping someday you will miraculously be good at something.
We value education. It is important to be life long learners; remaining humble and never thinking you have finally arrived. It is vital to receive feedback and critique as to develop as a person.
We are okay with mistakes. They are a great teacher. If you are trying, inevitably you are going to make mistakes. We don't expect perphectionism, just your best effort.
We live where messes are excepted and offer help in the clean up process. If you are living, you will have to learn how to clean up after yourself. It is all apart of growing into maturity. Taking responsibility for your actions and living with your consequences will allow you to have greater influence in empowering others.
We are not afraid of emotions. Feelings are what make us human. They can be an indicator of intuition, paradigms, or personality. However, they are not right or wrong. So feelings should not be a guide to navigate life, rather they should be a starting point of discussion. Once processed, feelings can change. The truth is the truth regardless of our feelings, therefore we must learn how to question ourselves so we come to healthy conclusions.
Last of all, learning to be wise leaders. Rallying those who believe in the vision we carry is important. What we have taken on is no small task. We are getting better at delegating authority, drawing out the strengths and giftings of those around us as well as appreciating people who cheer us on, who want to see us achieve our goals. Our sincere desire is for other people to be inspired and catch a vision for their own journey.
People look at us and see how happy we are. They see us accomplishing a lot. What they don't always see is the long hours, the focused attention, the hard work, and sheer determination it takes to live life to it's fullest. Behind the scenes we have learned to navigate copious amounts of disappointments, hurts, and frustration. We have trudged through tears and questioned our abilities. Through all of that, it takes more than getting out of the boat to walk on water. It requires our gaze to focus on the one who called us out there in the first place.
Join us: sink or swim- we are jumping in.