Friday, November 26, 2010

Shooting a Documentary In Bolivia!

Just to warn you, before we even get started, I’m going to ask you for something in this blog post. I’ve had an idea for a documentary swimming around in my head for a long time, and I want to make it. My cousin Heather, a chiropractor from Wisconsin, decided a few years ago, shortly after graduating from Chiropractic school, to go to Bolivia to be a missionary. The thing is, the interesting thing, is that she went there as a missionary to practice chiropractic on children. I don’t know if you know this, but I come from a long line of chiropractors. My grandfather is a somewhat name-worthy chiropractor from way back; my mom and dad are both D.C.’s (that’s an abbreviation for chiropractor, fyi), two of my aunts, three of my uncles, my cousin and my brother-in-law – all chiropractors. My entire life I’ve been immersed in holistic medicine and the art of chiropractic. Whether you believe in it or not, or whether you’ve ever gotten a chiropractic adjustment, I think we can both agree, physical therapy is good for people. And that’s what my cousin does in Bolivia now, full-time, for free. And the most incredible, interesting and unique thing about her practice, is that her patients mostly consist of orphans and street-kids - all children who don’t get a lot of tender-loving-care in their day to day lives. Warms your heart doesn’t it!?

Heather also wanted me to mention that along with chiropractic, she teaches the Bible, acts as a mentor, teaches nutrition and does counseling. Also, she's been "working once a week at a clinic for the poorest of the poor and the majority of the patients are adults."

And so for the last few years I’ve been thinking through her decision to leave her country and spend her time doing chiropractic on kids, with no material pay-off. I think it’s tempting to think that she’s getting a life-long vacation. She doesn’t have the stress and worry that come with maintaining an American lifestyle, she’s supported by donations, she gets to eat Bolivian food and probably drinks those big, glass-bottle Cokes made with real Cane-sugar. Or does she? I don’t know actually. And that’s why I’m going to make a short documentary film about her in January 2011. I imagine it takes a great sacrifice to leave your family (and trust me, she’s got a great family) and dedicate your life to something that will not pay off in any material way. And I think this film will be important. I believe that God gives every single one of us a gift, or a talent, and it’s our job to use them. Mine is hopefully filmmaking, or story telling (but I’ll let you be the judge of that). Heather’s gift is loving on kids and aligning their backs. She shows them that somebody loves them and tells them that Jesus loves them and shows them that God sent her to go and to love them. That’s a lot of love!

This documentary will take a little bit of money to make. I am not being paid to make this film and I am requesting that you, if you have a heart for missions, or, if you believe in chiropractic and want it to be used to heal children in need all over the world, I ask if you would consider donating a little bit of money to make this short film happen. Christian Chiropractors Association, a legit 501(c)(3) non-profit is teaming with me and has agreed to make sure that all donations will be tax deductible. If you would like to make a donation, please send any amount to:

Christian Chiropractors Association
2550 Stover, B-102
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(Just write "Anton Documentary" or "Bolivia Documentary" on your check)

I need about $3,000 by January 5th, to make this movie. Whether you donate $5 or something more, it’s all good, every bit helps! Any extra money that is donated will go straight into Heather’s Bolivia account and will help her continue her work there.

More than anything, I’ll need your prayers for this trip. I’m traveling with a bunch of my film gear and that’s stressful when I’m flying to Pittsburgh, let alone South America. Pray that my very expensive luggage with make all of it’s connections. I put a lot of pressure on myself when I try to tell a story and there’s always the worry that I’ll just straight up fail. So you can help me out greatly by simply praying that I will not fail completely in my effort to make a compelling documentary. The dates of my travel are January 6th 2011 – January 21st 2011.

I hope to travel around with Heather as she sees patients and to film cinematic shots of her giving adjustments to children. I will conduct interviews in Spanish and English with people who know her and will collect stories about how chiropractic has made a positive impact in these children’s lives. I will also document how Heather lives day to day and how she’s adjusted to life in Bolivia. This will hopefully be humorous and will highlight the fact that people get by in a more simple way than most Americans are used to, and will show some of the idiosyncrasies of the Bolivian culture in Santa Cruz. Although Heather's work encompasses more than just adjusting children, the documentary will focus specifically on orphanages and how Chiropractic benefits the children there.

I can’t thank you enough for reading all of this and for thinking about helping me in making this film. I love you. PLEASE, email me if you have any questions.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

GRO Performing "Baby" by Justin Bieber

Watch it in HD! It looks and sounds better!

I recently directed a series of 5 new music videos for Green River Ordinance, all famous cover songs, for a new EP. The band was a pleasure to work with as always, just very gracious people and passionate musicians. The recording of "Baby" was sort of thrown in last minute and the band learned the song on the spot and put their own groove behind the lyrics. I'll post the rest of the videos as their edited, about one every two weeks.

We didn't have a huge budget, so we were forced to get creative. For lighting, aside from some borrowed Kino Flo's, we bought 9 cheap lights from a local "big box retailer":
Our lighting setup was very simple, with the idea basically being, the more lights that we can shine into the lens, the dirtier the image, the better. We achieved this by removing all of the lamp-shades:
The bulbs in the center, stand-up lamps (which were only $9.99) were soft, daylight balanced CFLs, the 5 yellow bulbs in the octopus lamp in the back were 50w, party bulbs and the back-lighting in the booth and behind Jamie were (A25) 40w bulbs, all purchased from Home Depot for a grand total of $35.

We shot on a Canon T2i with 2 L-series lenses, a 16-35mm f/2.8 and an 85mm f/1.2, and a naked Panasonic HVX-200 video camera:
After the shoot, all lighting was returned safely to it's home. It now lives happily with poor college students:
For a way more in-depth and beautiful look behind the scenes, check out photographer Sara Kerens' blog, here(1), here(2) and here(3).

Sara Kerens, getting the band to strike a pose: