Friday, February 22, 2013

New Projects, Problems, and Plans - February Newsletter

What a great start to the Year! The last 6 weeks have been a blitz of production. Traveling to 4 different cities in Cote d'Ivoire where I was able to shoot for 6 different projects. The project is well underway and it's fantastic to be able to start sharing these amazing stories.
One new story I'm very excited to share, is a little of mine. For 3 months this past year, I lived in Brobo. A little city of about 2000 people located about 24 miles east of Bouake. The people there welcomed me into their homes and their lives. While living there we worked together to produce this short film so that everyone can learn what I did. Brobo is the Best!

Problems

Right now there are 20 projects at differing stages of production, from preliminary requests to videos waiting for their internet debut. Each of those projects has their own problems. In pre-production it often is scheduling and figuring out where I need to be when and how to get me there. While in production the barrier of language and trying to get to understand what is need to capture the story can be exhausting. When it's all done I have to try and find a strong enough internet connection so that the final video can be uploaded. A strong connection is anything over 20 kbps.
As I said in the last newsletter, this project is bigger than me. It's that perspective that keeps me moving forward. Problems come quickly, but the solutions are never far behind. Exhaustion and fatigue are as constant as the heat. But each time I start to feel week, encouragement comes like a fresh breeze in the shade. In the little moments between all the business, someone gives an encouraging word, reminds me why this is so important, lifts my head to realize, “I live in Africa. I make movies in Africa. My life is awesome!”

Plans

I'm learning that making plans in Africa, especially concerning travel, is an on going and continuous process. If the plan hasn't changed 5 times yet, then you probably don't have plan. After getting lots of feedback and advice from colleagues, locals, and experts this is what the next couple of months might look like for me.

March 1-10 Mali
March 11 – April 6 Guinea
April 6 – May 10 Senegal
May 10 – May 31 USA
June 1 – 27 Cote d'Ivoire

Many of the details are still up in the air but that is part of the process. I'm very excited about the opportunities to travel to new countries such as Mali and Senegal and start telling the stories in those locations. For those of you watching the news, I will only be traveling in the south of Mali where things are stable and secure.
I'm extremely excited to be able to travel back to the US of A for a good friends wedding and while I'm there want to see as many friends and family as possible. So if you want to try and make something happen during those weeks send me an email and we'll make something happen.

This is just the begging of this project and already we are seeing great results as people view and share these stories. I can't wait to see what else happens as we continue to work together.  Thank you for your continued support and involvement with me and this project.

Your Fellow Servant,
Drew

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