Late in May I received a phone call from John Lockmer, a man who was looking for an editor for a film contest that he had entered months before. A mutual friend, Rene Garzona, had put him in contact with me. We talked on the phone for a brief moment. At the end of the conversation we had decided to fly me down to Long Beach, California to help film and edit this short film. The next day I was on a plane to LGB airport.
At the time my life was not going well. I was not spending my time wisely. I was seeking out lies that twisted my perception from what I should have been doing. The year was not a success. The first year trying to run my own business: a flop. I was in debt. I was trying to fix it on my own, and really just adding too much or not enough water to the mix. I was stuck. My technicolor dream world was falling apart. I knew that I needed something else. I was going through depression because of my failures, and pinning it all on myself. It was a spiral and I thought I could pull out on my own, but I could not.
I am so thankful for the guys who I was living with at the time. After a few months of struggling, I had a really tough heart to heart with my housemates about my situation, the things that I had done, and how I was trying to fix it. I finally asked for help. It blew my mind that instead of tearing me apart for what I had done, they comforted me through my struggle. It was a confession that haunted me but letting it out was a beginning of a new era. All I had to do is ask. The conversation helped tremendously. They sent me off with prayers, and generous support. I felt closer to my brothers in the house and ultimately felt like I was starting to see the light of Jesus. I couldn’t think of a better way to be sent off on this journey. A journey in which I had no idea when I would be returning or what I was getting myself into.
The next morning I arrived in Long Beach. A new place that I had never been to before. I was terrified and excited at the same time. I tend to think about things too much. Going down to Long Beach turned out to be quite the opposite of what I was expecting. A beautiful airport in a city I had only heard about through movies and video games. I was in Long Beach California, or as Snoop Dogg would call his original stomping grounds “The LBC.” I thrive on new experiences, places I have never seen before and around people I didn’t know existed.
I had been sent the script via email but didn’t have a chance to really look it over until I was at the producer John Lockmer’s house. I was picked up from the airport by the director “Serei” (billed as Sereirath Sieng). These two men had known each other a long time, and had at one time been housemates, and here I was this “Seattle hipster” (as John would make fun) working on this little short film that had to be wrapped up/edited and sent off by the end of the week.
I had never worked from a script before, I spent more time trying to learn how to read the script than actually reading the script. We had a lot of discussions on dialog and the direction with John and Serei and through some collaboration we were able to finalize the script in a way that all three of us were satisfied with.
Over the next week we worked and worked on this little DIY short film. We didn’t win any awards except an applause when the film completed at the 168 Hour Film Festival. It was good enough for all of us, as we worked hard with what we had to get the job done. To tell a story with or without the gear we need. We tried our best to not let our limitations limit our film.
With that, I introduce you to the final product:
In retrospect I think that the title and the story behind the film fits what I was going through exactly in my life. Just like Daniel in the film I didn’t think that I was the problem. He blamed everything on everyone around him. He chose to believe this lie. It was not until things hit rock bottom that Daniel went to his friends for help. It wasn’t until Daniel realized the power of the truth of Jesus in his life that he wanted to turn his life around, and love his family.
It was not a total coincidence that things went down as they did. Praise Jesus.