Diane's Diary #6: How I Found Subjects to Film
Updated: Sep 20, 2020
Note: This is Excerpt #6 in Diane’s Diary. If you would like to read previous excerpts, you can find Diane’s Diary 1-5 here.
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As you know from reading Diane’s Diary #5, in early 2019 I had found a camera person. I had also spoken with a few human-animal bond organizations over the past few months that were interested in being filmed. But they were either out of driving distance, or I felt that their program and story would be better suited to a feature film rather than a mini-documentary. I wanted to speak with organizations that were local and interested. But I also realized that anyone I spoke with was going to want to know who in the heck I was since I was likely just a stranger calling them, unsolicited.
Chateau, my cameraman also has graphic design skills and he helped me create a basic one sheet to share with people about the project and what we were asking of them. Likewise, we needed some kind of website where people could go since websites are the standard place for information these days. Mandy, my super-duper talented remote assistant helped me create a landing page (a mini website) so that people would have somewhere to gather information.
We weren’t going to spend a lot of money or time making it fancy (that could come later) but we wanted something functional. I had been working on my Vision, Mission and Purpose in grad school which came in very handy as we were filling in the information.
I assumed it would be super easy to start calling organizations and everyone would want to participate. Well, you and I both know what happens when you assume… Essentially, I was looking for anyone who had a therapy animal and was making visits in hospitals, at schools, in senior homes, etc. I called a few organizations that I was familiar with and either couldn’t get anyone to call me back, or they wanted to find out what else I had filmed.
That was going to be a problem because this was my first foray into filming.
I then connected with Pet Partners which is one of the leading organizations that supports Animal Assisted Therapies. From their website: “Pet Partners, formerly known as the Delta Society, is the national leader in demonstrating and promoting the health and wellness benefits of animal-assisted interventions."
Through Pet Partners, I found a Southern California community partner and picked up the phone and called. I spoke with a lovely woman and explained that I was making documentary films about the human-animal bond. She would have been happy to help but she was not doing any therapy animal work at the time because she was at home caring for her husband. However, she is an evaluator (of potential therapy animal teams) and knew a bunch of people for me to call. Every day she would email me with more ideas of people to contact.
Then I struck gold when I found Steve Booth. In the next newsletter and blog, we’ll find out who Steve Booth is, and why is he so awesome!