Diane's Diary #7: Steve and Henry to the rescue
Updated: Sep 20
Note: This is Excerpt #7 in Diane’s Diary. If you would like to read previous excerpts, you can find Diane’s Diary 1-6 here.
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The only way to make documentary films is to have subjects that are willing to be filmed. The first few phone calls I made (March 2019) in search of organizations willing to be filmed were unsuccessful. (See Diane’s Diary #6 to learn why.) But persistence is my middle name and I continued calling. I was introduced to a woman named Lois who gave me more names to contact and that’s when I met Steve Booth.
Here are just a few things that are special about Steve. Steve is a retired police officer and when he retired, he wanted to continue giving back to the community. He knows firsthand the stresses that first responders experience. Steve has a dog named Henry (swoon). Together Steve and Henry are a therapy team. As Steve told me, Henry is a peer support dog for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
Wait, there’s more. Steve and Henry are part of the Pet Partners network of approved teams. They make therapy visits to kids in hospitals, seniors in senior facilities, and they do destress events at schools. And, Steve is the Regional Director for HOPE AARC (Animal Assisted Crisis Response) Team. These are the therapy teams that are present at crises and disasters all over the country. As you might imagine, being a crisis support team requires a lot of extra training. So, Steve and Henry are busy helping people all the time.
I told Steve that I was planning on making documentary films about the human-
animal bond and the ways animals help people. I asked if I might be able to film Steve and Henry doing their work. He told me that they were planning on doing a de-stress event at Cal State Fullerton University during finals week for the students and that he would ask them if we could film.
Cal State was happy to have us document their program and Steve connected us with all the appropriate people so we could coordinate the day. Now I had to circle back to my cameraman, Chateau, to make sure that he was available. He was! We finally had a date set to film.
Steve told me that he would be there with Henry, plus there would be two other therapy dog teams and a therapy rabbit team too!
Chateau has his own camera, so we didn’t need to rent equipment. The only thing he didn’t have was a microphone for interviews (the tiny kind that clips onto a collar which, for the most part, are hidden). My friend, Lila, is a cinematographer and wasn’t working at the time and she loaned me her Lavalier microphone set.
Next, I contacted my attorney who created a release form that everyone appearing on camera would need to sign. We had our subject, a date, a camera person, releases, and we were ready to go!
In the next Diane’s Diary excerpt- find out how my first shoot went, and about the two major goofs I made.