The Guibord Center’s Advisors were wildly enthusiastic and began an unexpectedly earnest conversation about what our various faiths’ teachings have to offer to the full spectrum of concerns for the well-being of animals. Jan Creamer and Tim Phillips, the force behind ADI, met with us and they too had a lots of ideas. Our initial image of a 1-2 minute public service announcement (PSA) quickly began to morph into an exquisite full feature documentary film. Fortunately the constraints of reality brought us quickly back to what we could actually do within our limited time and budget and the faith leaders who could make themselves available.
After many conversations Jennifer Jessum, our award-winning film maker, devised a plan. We could rent all of the necessary equipment for two week period. Given union rules, that would give us 12 days of shooting with the mandated hours and days off. While Jennifer gathered the team, I got on the phone with our advisors to begin blocking them in to the schedule – trying to make sure that each of our faiths had a representative speaking for them.
The thing that has humbled me time and time again throughout this project is how enthusiastic and generous everyone has been. Incredibly busy people have altered their schedules for us, made room in their sacred sites and ceremonies, fed us, and stayed long past their planned times to deepen the conversation or add in an important piece of scripture. They have allowed us to spend hours setting up, blocking out their windows, bringing equipment into their private spaces, and interrupting the flow of their communities all for the sake of sharing their faith’s love and respect for animals as an integral part of God’s Creation.