I hope you are having a wonderful summer. I’m back in the office after some interesting travels. A Life Ascending took a break over the summer too but is gearing up to go back on the road again this fall. It has been almost a year since the film was finished and started making its way around the globe. It’s strange looking back on it all, and in some ways still being in the middle of it. The world has changed so much for filmmakers since I did my first film. With the Internet, you have the ability to be a part of a film’s life in so many ways from connecting with your audience, to finding ways to promote it, to ultimately selling it. It makes for a much more satisfying experience.
Thirteen years ago I made a feature film, Love From Ground Zero (it was pre-9/11 when ‘ground zero’ meant something else). It was my first feature right out of film school. I wrote the script after graduating from AFI and in true indie style, I raised the money fast (dot-com mania helped) and was blessed when this incredible casting director, Mali Finn, agreed to cast the film. Mali was the biggest casting director in town (Titanic, Terminator 2, and Mission Impossible) but she did a pro bono film each year because she knew how hard it was to get films made. I was the lucky recipient of her generosity and talent. With Mali on board the money came in, and so did the cast. The film was shot that summer in Nebraska and Colorado. The story was based on the aftermath of a close friend dying of cancer and it too had mountains, nature and loss at its heart.
It doesn’t surprise me that I keep coming back to the same subject matter. I think the combination of having been raised in Colorado but living in Los Angeles has something to do with it. I am always looking for ways to escape the pace, chaos, smog and busyness of our fair city. Stories are certainly one way to do it, especially if you can’t get your butt out of the chair and go hiking. And stories are on my mind today.
In the next month or so, we are going to be introducing a redesigned A Life Ascending website. At its heart there is going to be a place to collect and share stories. I certainly hope that some of you, our first and most avid fans, will help us with this effort. There will be a place on the site where you will be able to post your stories of what A Life Ascending means to you. It might be mountain climbing, it might be tree climbing, it might be getting out of bed, and it might be overcoming something in your life that you feel is important to share. The stories can be written, photographed, videotaped, spoken, or even sang for all we care. We just want to hear from you. (Let us know if interested.)
The new website will lead us into the fall where the film itself will be making exciting pilgrimages to Arkansas, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Katmandu, Japan and China. The only frustrating part of this news is that I can’t go. Instead, I will be here in LA, getting the film ready for its other big event: THE OFFICIAL DVD and DIGITAL launch of the film Winter 2012 (more on that in the next newsletter).
Keep on ascending,