Lately I've been on this blogging tirade in regard to what's going on in America, Detroit, and of course the African American community. Some people may see it as me just saying things for the hell of it. Others may see it as me riding the bandwagon of other bloggers who have been doing it longer and more effective than me. You can believe what you want, that's the beauty of having your own mind. Whether you believe me or not, I do care. While it may not affect me as hard as it would if a family member is involved, I do feel pain each and every time I watch the news and hear about what's going on. I feel pain whenever I hear such and such happening to people I've once knew. I feel pain whenever I hear about such things going on around the world. Whether you believe me or not, I do feel pain.
I know I'm not doing much by sitting here in the comfort of my own home typing up blogs that I'm sure some of you feel are not sincere. However, the purpose of my blog other than to hone my skills and benefit myself in the long run, I want to try to spread the word out to as many people as possible. What is the word? It could be anything. It could be some form of entertainment, it could be information, it could be words of encouragement, etc. It could be anything. So in a way, I am doing something. It may be small as compared to those who had made sacrifices in order to change the world for the better, but it's still something. I'm not much of a speaker, so my choice of getting the word out is through my blog entries. Once I get myself in order, I shall continue to get the word out in another form of media, which is through my films.
As a filmmaker, sure my goal is to make money. But I also want to leave something behind, something people can remember me by. I don't want to just be known as a guy who makes movies and writes blogs. I also want to be known as a guy who has made a difference. I don't care if it only reaches a young child who is ignorant toward the problems of the world, as long as it has reached him/her, I'll be satisfied. I may have mentioned this before, but a few years ago in school, my crew and I did just that. It was a small difference, but it still helped some people back on their feet. We were given a film project and we were given free reign to do anything with it, as long as it didn't have any hardcore nudity or very gory details. My friend E and I were going to originally shoot a screenplay that I wrote, but we came to the conclusion that with the little time we had, it was impossible. We ended up hooking up with a mutual friend and his partner. We became a 4 person group (3 guys, 1 girl). We came together and decided to tackle the homeless situation in Detroit.
I wish I had a copy of the full movie, but I don't. I never received it, but I do have a clip from my friend E's YouTube page of which I will show at the end of this entry. Going into this project, I was already humbled because about a year prior, I was almost in the same position as the couple we spotlighted. 2007 was a bad year for me and my family. Jobs were lost, relationships crumbled, and my home was in a delinquency and in danger of being foreclosed. With the exception of being around a very special person for the first half of the year, if I could erase 2007, I would. Without going into too much detail of my troubles, I will say that my family and I found a guardian angel within the Wayne County Department. I don't know if the guy is still around, but I wish I can thank him every year because he personally saved us from ruins. I wish there were more people like him out there. He didn't even have to do it, but he was one of the few who felt the need to actually do his job, and he did it with sincerity. So I'm one of the lucky few, unfortunately there were many others who were not so lucky. So I had that extra motivation going into this video project.
I can't recall every single detail, but I will try with the best of my ability. Around the end of January-beginning of February 2008, while we were working on our other projects (smaller scale), we started the planning process. I wasn't the primary person heading this project, this was my friend D's baby because he's one of the few who doesn't even live in Detroit, but is very passionate about the city. He was the primary camera operator/director. I was co-director/production associate. My friend E was the producer, he pretty much got everything set up for us. K, she helped with the other stuff, but she also worked as the voiceover/talent. So everyone knew what they were going to do. By late February-early March, we started going around talking to people and we were set up with people from the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. We met various employees, homeless residents (who came to eat), and a pastor who was our primary connection. Through him, we met this one couple who fell on hard times. To make a long story short, it was a story you've heard time and time again, but this couple was just so unique that we had to spotlight them. Throughout the whole process, a wide range of emotions came into play and it really hit close to home. It feels good to say that in the end, all parties benefited. We filmmakers felt good about ourselves and the couple with the help of a social worker, was given a home. They were also provided with job assistance. I've only seen them once since, but they were happy and were given an even better home than the one we filmed them in. So all in all, they received a happy ending in my book. I just hope that others will be able to receive one as well.
I know I went off a little from the original intent of this entry, which was to explain why I blog. The answer is simple...I want to make a difference. I've done so in the film I've mentioned and hope to continue to do so whether it's in the form of a film or a typed blog. I just hope that I'm not the only one who feels this way. People haven't realized that both words and action holds a lot of power. You can't really say one trumps the other because if you combine them both, you can do just about anything.
And I do mean ANYTHING.