Diane's Diary #3: The Inspiration Behind Animal Magic Films
Updated: Sep 20
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(This is a continuation from Diane's Diary #2 and this was all happening in 2014)…Lightbulb moment! I’ll call Steve from HABRI who I had just met at Blog Paws where I learned about the therapy dogs assisting people going through chemotherapy...
I called Steve and explained my predicament to him. He pointed me to a few studies
about the effects of therapy animals on people going through chemotherapy and other relevant information. At least now I was armed with something powerful to share.
The idea behind American Cancer Society’s Bark for Life is this: It is a relay (or a walk-a-thon type event) that celebrates how important it has been to have our dog by our side during cancer treatment. And in some cases, how we’ve been by our dog’s side during their treatment.
My job would be to kick off the race with a
short inspirational speech. Because I had exciting information from HABRI, I was able to share it with this group that really understood what I was talking about. It was a great event.
Despite my lack of firsthand experience, I was invited to speak at other Bark for Life events to share the same inspiration.
Around that same time, I was volunteering at k9 connection and had written a story about them in our local newspaper. k9 connection pairs at-risk teens with shelter dogs and the kids train the dogs to help them become more adoptable. What happens is that the kids really blossom during the program. Anyway, I was working with Juliet, who runs k9 connection, excitedly going on and on about what I had learned from HABRI at the conference and she said: "You should make a documentary film".
Oh dear, I thought. I just learned how to make books. Now I have to learn how to make movies?
My internal voice said: OK, let’s find out what that might look like.
That month I also accepted an out of the blue invitation to a social impact film festival. First of all, the person that invited me had no idea that I now had this idea brewing, and I had no idea what a social impact festival even was! It got me seeing what is possible. If these people are sharing information that might make a difference in the world through film, then it might be worth investigating further.
My husband, Andy, produces movie trailers for a living. His first boss, Barbara Glazer, is still a mentor of his and a good friend of ours. He suggested that I reach out to her. Great idea. She’s kind of brilliant and has watched hundreds, if not thousands, of films in her lifetime and successfully marketed many of them. I took her to lunch and shared my idea and my thoughts about sharing the science about the human-animal bond in a documentary film. I explained what I had learned, and her response was this: This all sounds fascinating, but a film that just talks about the science is going to be boring. We need to meet the people and hear stories. That will make a much more compelling film. Of course, she’s right!!!
She suggested that I reach out to some friends and acquaintances that have made documentary films which was my next step. I had some great conversations and took copious notes and starting framing what these stories might look like.
But life got a little overwhelming. I was finishing up and preparing to publish What to Expect When Adopting a Dog. I am also a wife and a mom to two human kids and two fur kids. Adding a brand new project that I knew nothing about when I was already committed to another work project, plus family was too much and I shelved the film idea.
Come back next week to find out how and when it got picked back up again!