Diane's Diary #5: My Quest for a Camera Person
Updated: Sep 20
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Now that I had decided to start making mini-documentaries, I was considering which stories would lend themselves to a short film. I was simultaneously becoming aware of so many of the different ways that animals help people. Therapy animals, emotional support animals, service dogs, equine therapy, pets and more. The stories and applications are endless.
I had seen some beautifully filmed videos and short documentaries along with some really poorly cobbled together videos. Yet, even the poorly cobbled together videos often had merit and impact. (We’ve pulled together some of the good ones on my website. Click here to watch.)
My first idea was that I would use my iPhone and do the camera work myself. Even though there are plenty of videos that are filmed on an iPhone, that idea didn’t last long because I’m really not good at it.
So now I needed to find someone who could operate a camera. I was mentioning this to a friend whose son had graduated from a high school film program. She reached out to one of his classmates who originally said she would do it. Then she went AWOL. Next…
In early 2019, I learned that our local community college has a wonderful film program and I reached out to them. Well, the person that they connected me with, didn’t end up being my camera person. She’s a producer, her name is Lindsay Eberts and she loves making films. And she is passionate about animals. In fact, when we connected and I told her about my project she gasped. She had just returned from a conference and had scribbled in her notebook that she wanted to work on a film about the human-animal bond! Holy moly. Soon thereafter we met in person and while she wasn’t interested in being the camera person, she is mentoring me about my films, and I hope that she is more involved as things move forward.
I also contacted one of my son’s high school teachers who is a filmmaker and teaches film. He spent about 30 minutes on the phone just giving me good ideas.
But I still didn’t have a camera person. This was when I started shaking my head. I mean I live in Los Angeles and I haven’t yet found someone. Granted I had barely scratched the surface, but I was striking out.
I kept asking the Universe if this is my project to do and I kept hearing yes and I forged ahead.
Another friend of mine, Brenda Goodman, is a wonderful filmmaker. In fact, one of her films, Sophie and the Rising Sun was highlighted at Sundance in 2016. She also teaches at USC film school. Why I didn’t think to call her first, I don’t know. Her teaching assistant, Chateau, had just graduated and she thought he might be willing to help out. Thank you, Brenda! Chateau is fabulous and while he is really a director, he loves animals and was happy to help me out with this project. Yay. I found my first camera person!
Around that time, I had lunch with a friend/colleague, Kathleen Kaiser. She was my publicist when What to Expect When Adopting a Dog was published, and we’ve stayed connected. I told her about this project, and she told me that at one of her recent events, the speaker was the founder of Seed and Spark, a crowdfunding platform for filmmakers. I filed that away in my mental Rolodex!
Little by little everything was continuing to move forward. More clues that it’s still my project…
In the next excerpt from Diane’s Diary, we will find out what happened when I started calling organizations to film!