After countless hours in front of a computer screen, a poster presentation, and a wholesale change of plans in the middle of the summer, my documentary presentation is finally complete. On Saturday, I, as well as Jarred Treshok and Corey Benedict, presented our documentaries in front of our friends, family, and consultants. It was such a rewarding experience being able to show them the hard work that we put in, and it was especially rewarding knowing that they enjoyed our projects.
In conclusion, I just want to say thank you to everyone who helped me throughout this process and followed this blog during the fall. Although it was extremely difficult, showing how much that Camp Halo impacted my life is pure joy for me, and God’s guidance is the only way I could have gotten through “the documentary process.” I especially want to thank Allie Bollinger for asking me to help at a camp that was completely out of my comfort zone. I can’t say what I would have done with my documentary if I hadn’t walked by faith, not sight. At the end of the day, everything I do is for His glory alone, and I truly hope you see that in the documentary. So without further ado, here is my documentary, By Faith, Not Sight. Enjoy and God Bless!
By Faith, Not Sight from WCN 24/7 on VIMEO on Vimeo.
I find myself asking that question more often than not during the editing process of my documentary. I filmed for about two weeks in the summer, and about three hours each day. That adds up to countless (42 actually..) hours of film to review, label, then edit. When I used to watch movies, I typically never questioned how they got a shot from the edge of a cliff, or something exploding in the middle of the street. Being a broadcast communications major and going through capstone, however, has changed my perspective drastically. Instead of asking, “How do you do that again?” I’m usually saying, “Can you even do that?” Fortunately, I don’t have a multi-million dollar budget and a multitude of fans to worry about, but some things still prove themselves quite difficult.
In the midst of everything happening at Camp Halo, I wasn’t able to get interviews with my friends Allie and Dayna, both of whom were integral in the film and the mission of Camp Halo. I’ve had to adjust accordingly, but I know I have to make sure they get the credit they deserve. In the actual editing, I’ve had trouble putting adequate audio underneath some of my interviews. Other than those and a few other technical issues, the biggest challenge is putting together something that the parents and counselors of the children would find to be worth watching.
On the best part about editing a documentary like this is watching each and every shot I filmed during the summer, and being able to look back on those moments with great joy. At the end of my presentation on December 7, I want people to feel just how much love and peace I felt during my time at Camp Halo. I know some moments in this documentary process will reflect my time at Camp Halo. Some were filled with laughter, some with frustration, others with joy, but it was all worth the time and effort to tell a truly heartfelt story.
The title of this blog is actually the title of my consultant, DaMarra Underwood’s single, appropriately named “Nothing Without You”. DaMarra’s help has also been very vital to the completion of my documentary, and the creativity in her music adds a special element to the project. She gave me plenty to work with, including the hit single that this blog is titled after. Her quote sums up her willingness to help perfectly.
“If there’s anything I can do to help you further God’s kingdom, don’t hesitate to ask!”
To get a feel for how talented DaMarra is, check out her cover of Mali Music’s “All I Have to Give”
As mentioned in a previous post, my consultant, Brandon Hudson, is no stranger to television. He has been of great help to me during this process and has given me invaluable advice. The biggest piece of advice he’s given me is to craft my documentary exactly how I see it.
“Don’t be afraid to edit how you want, because this is your documentary, and that’s why it’s unique.”
He also said that while my project is centered around faith in Christ, which is a belief that others may not have, the human element of the story makes us all more similar than we think.
Here’s a link to a few clips of preview footage that Brandon has seen, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as well.
By Faith, Not Sight Preview from WCN 24/7 on VIMEO on Vimeo.
I know it’s not Christmas yet, but more and more families begin Christmas shopping in the summer and fall, when snow is only reserved for Northern Canada and snow globes. I don’t have the necessary budget to go early Christmas shopping, but finally finishing my documentary in December after beginning in January is a more than adequate gift! The official release date of “By Faith, Not Sight” is December 7 in Mueller Theater at Westminster College, and my showing will begin at 11 a.m.
Although I’m extremely excited for December 7 to roll around, there’s definitely a sense of nervousness because of how important this project could potentially be. My success as a Broadcast Communications major basically hinges on how well I produce this documentary, which is very unnerving. Also, I want to make sure that everyone represented in the documentary is pleased with the finished product. They took time out of their busy schedules to help me in my endeavors, so the least I can do is make sure they feel like their time was well-spent.
There have been a lot of people that have contributed to the making of this film (Thanks Mom!), but there is one that doesn’t need an invite. God has seen me through this whole process, and without Him, I wouldn’t have the unique and special opportunity to glorify Him in the most important time of my career at Westminster, and shine light on His people.
I think a majority of Westminster students would agree that our college careers consist of a plethora of moments that can’t really be explained or expressed on paper. For the most part, college has been a blur to me. However, one class and one particular professor helped shaped the way I think about God and led me to be the person I am today.
Before the spring semester of my sophomore year, I was fortunate enough to avoid classes at 7:40 a.m. I wasn’t so lucky that spring semester, and ended up in Understanding the New Testament at 7:40 with Lisa Hickman, an adjunct professor here at Westminster, an author and blogger, and a pastor at New Wilmington Presbyterian Church. While I struggled every Tuesday and Thursday to make it to class, I noticed that Lisa was always cheerful and smiling from the beginning of class on. There was something about her that was captivating, and I couldn’t figure out what.
I had always considered myself a Christian, but I never took the time to read my bible thoroughly. Lisa’s class didn’t just teach me how to study my bible, it also taught me how to LIVE my bible by the way she approached her students everyday: with love, kindness, and concern. I eventually became a student of the Lord, which propelled my drive to let Christ shine through in all my actions, including my documentary. Being able to show His love for us through the most important project of my college career is an absolute blessing, and I can’t thank Lisa enough for not only inspiring me to learn more about the beautiful gift that Christ has bestowed upon us, but also helping me to spread that gift to others.
In the last post, I briefly explained the criteria that Westminster College would like us to follow in order to make sure the footage in our projects and the process by which we gathered the footage helped to serve others around us. The Drinko Center here at Westminster explains service learning as a “real-life” experience that causes the student to reflect on their time servicing the community. Meeting your requirements is a great feeling in itself, but at the end of the day you have to ask yourself, did I serve with a purpose?
This summer, I finally learned what it meant to serve with a purpose at Camp Halo. Near Corry, Pennsylvania, Camp Halo is a Christian camp dedicated to serving children around the area with every need they have, while also teaching them the love that Jesus has for them. For four weeks, camp director Barbie Pfeil and her husband Dale bring in 50-60 children from ages 5-16 and provide them with food, shelter, extra clothes, blankets, school supplies, and everything in between. While I only stayed for two out of four weeks, I quickly learned that dealing with such a vast array of children was no easy task. Being able to communicate with all the children was of utmost importance, and in my opinion, one example I dealt with exemplified what service learning at Westminster is all about.
As I greeted my new campers, I met a little boy that I was told was the worst of the bunch. He couldn’t write very well, had a hard time communicating, and didn’t even know his own birthday. After talking with him for a few minutes, I noticed the hat that he was wearing was a fisherman’s hat, so I decided to start a conversation about fishing, and things took an unbelievable turn. I found out that he loved to catch fish, frogs, and turtles, while I loved to WATCH fish, frogs and turtles on TV! From that moment on, we became best friends. If anything else, that friendship helped me realize that service learning is more than just filling a requirement. It’s about serving with a purpose, and learning to communicate with others by recognizing that at our core, we’re not so different after all.