July, 2008 Archives


Film Shoot in Mexico

by Pj in Film Production

We are going on one last research trip to “the Place.” I say we are going home. I often feel like that. It is where I bore and raised my children. I also call California home. I wonder if Arizona will every feel like home…doubt that one.

I am taking a small film crew. There is so much to do and so little time. No matter what, I will enjoy the moment. Have too. My blood pressure is officially in the dangerous level. So you never know. My business partner says, “ Great, finally get you to do what your supposed to be doing and you’re going to go out early!” Funny girl.

All my friends down there are being so helpful. They are willing to do anything to assist me. Kind of cool I think. Funny how once I figured out all I have to do is let people know what I want they are so supportive and encouraging. Why was I so hesitant to go for it? Surely fear of failure was a factor. Imposing on others played a part. Valuing me was a huge deterrent. So here we go. Hang on. Chris is driving. Hope the second car can keep up. Oh heck, that might be me driving! YIKES. It’s all good. Driving is relaxing for me. Time to think and plan and discuss our next research project. No time for going out early. We’ve got too much to do.


Carmon Hardy

by Pj in Film Production

carmon.jpgYesterday, while on yet another research trip, we spent the day interviewing a history professor at University of California – Fullerton. His name is Carmon Hardy. He did his doctoral dissertation on the Mormon Colonies in Mexico. He was the one that helped Nelle Spillsbury Hatch complete her book, STALWARTS SOUTH OF THE BORDER.

After getting lost for over an hour, we met him at a restaurant near the campus. We enjoyed lunch and became acquainted with each other. We went to the University but, ultimately, he took us to his home to complete the interview. There, we met his lovely artist wife, Kamillia. During the filming and interview we were pleasantly surprised with the amount of information he had accumulated through the years and the insight he has over the subject of the colonies. It was a pleasure to be in their home. I personally witnessed the care and consideration they have for each other and others, even strangers like us!

They were both such generous and kind individuals. Carmon patiently sat for hours and answered questions under the heat of the lights and the California summer afternoon. Kamillia prepared a light supper for us to enjoy on their patio. Interviews can be tedious, difficult and exhausting, but we found Carmon to be articulate, responsive and insightful, the golden interviewee.

We left feeling like we had been in the presence of sincerely kind souls. Thank you, Carmon and Kamillia, for sharing your home, your life experiences and your authentic selves. It was a joy meeting you. We appreciate you both and wish you the best.


Come Play!

by Pj in Random

So I got this from another blog, and it seems appropriate. Kind of like the WIKI page. I remember once going to girls camp and the girls were getting a little irritated with each other so I suggested we play the “say something nice” game. I know I am pathetic. So, everyone had to say something nice about the person on their right. Then we isolated every one and everyone had to say something nice about each person. It completely changed the ambiance. The girls still remember that. Now that doesn’t mean you have to say only nice things, but I warn you if you say a mean thing you have to say three nice things to counter it.

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn’t matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. Yea, that means you will have to create a blog page. Not a hard thing and it kind of falls in the category of “journal writing.” Great, more multi tasking. Hope you have a sense of humor. You all know I do!

3. If you leave a memory about me, I’ll assume you’re playing the game and I’ll come to your blog and leave one about you. That could be scary. I just might surprise you.


… If Only

by Pj in Random

In doing this project, I have come to a place where I realize that there is no one else to blame. It turns out that the ultimate success or failure ends up being on me because of the resources I found, or used, or was able to make available to me. At the end of the day, there were many people who offered advice and made suggestions but it was my choices, my decisions, my skill level and my effort that have given and will give the ultimate shape to the documentary. Unlike the Africa films, this project was my idea. It feels different. It is a daunting responsibility. Paralyzing sometimes. But, thus far, I am able to keep moving toward the goal, hopeful that people will like it. And still in my head I hear, “If only … ”

“The man who can smile when things go wrong has thought of someone else he can blame it on.” — Robert Albert Bloch
I really need to smile more.

JUSTIFY: To pronounce free from guilt or blame; to declare or prove to have done that which is just, right, proper, etc.; to absolve; to exonerate; to clear.

“A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” — John Burroughs
Stop blaming me because I will never blame you.

“Men use thoughts only to justify their wrongdoings and words only to conceal their thoughts.” — Voltaire
Here I am blathering away with words!

“You never find yourself until you face the truth.” — Pearl Bailey
Hmmm. Finding oneself is so over rated. The heck with the truth. I know there is someone somewhere I can blame.

…if only


Teen Angel

by Pj in Family

cjgreen1.jpgWatch a movie about Ciera Jo Brooke

I discovered with Ciera Jo the fun of being a parent. I enjoyed Ciera as a baby. I appreciated how short the time was before she was grown and gone. I savored every moment and had fun watching every stage SHE discovered in her own life. I wasn’t in a hurry to get her to walk or talk. Being around older siblings her entire pre-teen life has made her wise beyond her years. The other day she reminded me that she will always be our baby. I want to remind her that she will always be loved. Click on the picture to watch her grow up right before your eyes.


Can You Wiki?

by Pj in Film Production

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Distribution for THE LAND OF REFUGE, aka “The Colony Doc” is Fall of 2008. Am I feeling the pressure? Some days I am paralyzed by it. Last week, I went to find some last minute research documents. As more are uncovered and collected, we realized that there seems to be an infinite amount of information out there. People are anxious to hand us their family histories to help us understand all that occurred in the colonies and the role their ancestors played. Unfortunately, a DVD can only realistically be two hours. Unless you are Steven Spielberg … then you can make a 14-hour documentary called SHOAH. Never heard of it? Neither had I. For 14 hours, I doubt I would have been able to stay awake for it! wikipage.jpgAnyway, we decided a WIKI was the best method to collect everyone’s histories and be able to share them with others. Check it out. If you’ve never heard of them before, a WIKI (like Wikipedia) is a group of people who gather a bunch of information about a topic area of interest (like the Mormon Colonies in Mexico) and put it on a website for everyone to share. It’s fun and easy to participate. Join up and add your colony connection information. Or simply go to the LINKS page and add a link to another site with colony information. Sometimes this internet stuff can be so cool!


Ask And You May Find

by Pj in Film Production

lakewashingcorrected.jpgOne of the interesting things about research is visiting different research facilities. Some are so accommodating while others are…not. While I was in Utah this last week I went to different libraries to see what they had that might supplement our growing pile of information. This one library had glass negatives. I had never handled them before and I wasn’t sure how to get the information off of them. My handy librarian brought me to the back room. There was a light box. YEA! I hoisted my camera upon the table. Stood on a chair and clicked away. This is one example of the pictures I found. I emailed it to Cyndy. She did her magic and brought out the texture and color of the glass negative. She is very good. I love this picture.

At one library they actually asked me how I felt about acquiring information from their library. I was honest and told her it was a little frustrating. I was the only one who really knew what I was looking for. If you would just let me see the documents it would save you and me a lot of time. Instead I read through reels and reels of microfilm and when I did find a document I wanted they were unable or unwilling to make a copy of it. I had to type it myself. Some of these documents were 12 to 50 pages. At other libraries I was able to photocopy the copied documents in my hand, saving me time and the library staff effort as well. Perhaps libraries should listen to their patrons. We might have ideas that could save everyone time and money. I know they are interested in “b”.

They might argue that the documents are fragile and sensitive. Well Duh! Researching is part of my writing process. I understand the sensitivity of the documents. I protect the information with the wearing of gloves and I do not use flash photography. I found documents that are unreadable. Photographs are fading. How efficient could it be if researchers were given the freedom to research and a cd to save their research that was downloaded to the libraries data base. Then other’s would have easy access to the information. I know, stick to my job and mind my own business.

At the end of the week I felt more comfortable asking for what I wanted. Didn’t mean I got it, but if you don’t ask you’ll never know.


I Am The Producer

by Pj in Family, Film Production

The first day of our research/reunion trip was … well … educational. I decided I wanted to see Lee’s Ferry, again. Apparently Chris took me there years ago and I showed no interest. This time I had two cameras in hand. We parked the truck and Wistie, Ciera and I started walking the trail to the original ferry. The sign said: 1/4 mile. I thought, no sweat. Quarter mile later Wistie said she’d had enough and headed back to the truck.

By now Chris had caught up with us.pjchriswalking.jpg We kept walking … in 101 degree weather … another 2 miles. You might think 2 miles is not a big deal, but it was high noon and we were carrying equipment. Whine, whine whine. The night before we had experienced food poisoning so our hydration levels were pretty low. Ciera was feeling a tad weak, but she tried to be a good sport and kept framing some good shots.

We finally arrived, or at least I thought so. I looked at Ciera and realized as the producer and the mother I needed to get her some liquid and fast. I told everyone we were heading back. Chris apparently thought we needed to keep going. “Just a little bit further, I know there will be more photo opportunities,” he said. I made a command decision and ignored him. We started walking and the funny part is that I actually thought he would follow. After all, I am the producer!

Pretty soon we could not see him. We yelled for him, but no answer. I could not go back to look for him or stop and wait. I needed to get Ciera some water!cjhot.jpg I realized once Ciera had water I would have to make a return trip with water in hand for the “injured” crew member. Maybe he had been bit by a rattesnake. I hope he didn’t sprain his ankle because I couldn’t carry him out. Then I started thinking that maybe he had a heart attack. He has been experiencing numbness and pain in his arms and legs lately. Maybe he fell in the river. That would be bad. He had my camera! As usual, my imagination ran wild. This only made me even hotter under the collar.

When I got back to the truck, Wistie was not there and the truck was locked with the water inside. I wandered around angrily and finally found her soaking her feet in the cool water! I had retrieved drinking water for Ciera and me when Chris showed back up. I scowled at him and told him he was grounded. “I am the producer! You have to do what I say!” He bowed his arms in mock acquiescence. Then told me about the shots he got.

ARGHHH! Tell me people, where is the respect? We finally had a moment to cool off. The water was FREEZING! How was that possible in this heat?usgirls.jpgDid I mention that the night before Chris wandered off, we could not find him for an hour … at the Grand Canyon? Oh, another story for another day!

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