A documentary about inspiring children and the healing power of art.
I am currently a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I am making this documentary for my thesis project. I will be graduating in May 2013 with a MFA in film and video production. I first learned of CHAP when I became a volunteer there in 2009. I am very honored to finally get the opportunity to make a documentary about the program.
The Children’s Healing Art Project (CHAP) is a nonprofit organization in Portland, OR. CHAP brings the healing power of art to children in crisis and their families through a mobile team of teaching artists working in partnership with hospitals, schools, community organizations and local businesses, creating programs through which children are known for their creativity and ingenuity and not by their disease, diagnosis, or disability.
This documentary tells the story of CHAP through the eyes of the kids that have benefited from the healing community they have created at CHAP. I feel that it is important to stay true to CHAP's mission to help the kids to be known for their creativity and not by their diagnosis. So, that is why I have chosen to enlist the help of the kids at CHAP to help me tell this story. I started the process by leading a 4 day film camp at CHAP this past summer. In those 4 days I worked with Teresa, Stella, Maya, and Jacob to teach them how to use a video camera and the basics of filmmaking. To my surprise they became very interested in conducting interviews. We spent the 4 days interviewing staff members, board members, parents, and even each other. I was amazed at how fast the kids picked up on the techniques I had showed them.
At the conclusion of the camp I flew back to North Carolina and started sorting through the footage. While I have acquired most of the footage I need to complete the film there is still some crucial footage needed of additional interviews and the new CHAP Art Studio. I will be flying back to Portland in December to finish shooting and to hold a film camp reunion. The kids loved the camp so much that they have asked to do it again!.
With your help we will be able to share CHAP’s story and show the healing power of art.
WHAT YOUR MONEY WILL GO TOWARD:
A second trip to Portland to finish filming: air fare, accommodations, and food.
Equipment rentals: I can only manage to bring my camera on my flight so I will need to rent tripods, lights, and audio gear in Portland.
Post Production: Editing will take about 4 months to complete. I will be using found footage that has been captured over the years at CHAP to combine it with the new footage I have captured during my visits to Portland.
Website: While I have started to build the website I will need funds to purchase a domain name and to make the website official.
Distribution and film festival submissions: Once the film is finished funds will be needed to create the DVD’s and marketing materials. I would also like to submit the film to festivals all over the country to help share CHAP’s story with as many people as possible.
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The major challenge with this project has been the distance. Living in North Carolina while shooting a documentary in Oregon makes each shoot that much more crucial. I do not have the luxury of filming often. I have had to be very organized and prepared for each shoot because it may be the only chance I get to film an event. The distance also raised the cost of the film due to travel expenses. I have tried to be as efficient as possible by only making two trips to Portland while maintaining a relationship with the kids and their families that are involved in the film. I am fortunate enough to have the help of a volunteer videographer to help capture events in Portland that I am not able to attend. While the distance has proved to be a challenge with the help of others I have been able to make it work so far. I hope to complete shooting during this last trip to Portland in December. This will allow me use my resources and to focus on editing in the spring in order to finish the project by graduation in May of 2013.
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