Friday, February 11, 2011
Mumblecore - Part 3 The Story of The Zone
I called all my friends and asked for favors. The bottom line is I got all the equipment I needed and the resources that were going to be necessary to get on the air—we got it all.
It wasn’t until 5-1/2 months after WCPO decided to air the program that we got our first check from a donor. At some point, you are going to need money. No the check wasn’t for $250,000 or even $100,000, which is the type of money I needed to get the show up and running in the first place. But God met our needs. And we received $20,000. Never has $20,000 ever been stretch further. We were able to finish the renovations on the studio, buy the lighting system and build a non-linear editing system.
The reason I want to share this story is to show you that this is a process that you have to live day-by-day. I could have thought of a million reasons why I should have just given up. Every day had its share of trials, tribulations, and obstacles. But it all worked out.
The studio was renovated by volunteers. Most of the people I didn’t know. For three weeks, they came night and day, tearing walls down, putting up drywall, ceilings, electrical, etc. All we did was pay for materials. Remember the second rule of low-budget filmmaking. We didn’t pay retail.
I’m not telling you that first year wasn’t hard. And after all of these incredible things, there were always plenty of reasons to quit. Including myself and a staff of four, we were all working for nothing and would not be paid a salary for several months. Eventually, the money would come. We would find advertisers. Donors were stepping up. But we had to hang in there in the meantime.
That first year was special. And I want to thank all the people who made it possible. Many I know, but a lot of volunteers I didn’t know, who volunteered their time because they saw the vision and the greater good. We may have produced this show on a low budget. But it didn’t look low-budget. In fact, we got many compliments about how good the program looked on the air. You would have never know the look of the set was done with smoke and mirrors.
Over the years, the show improved and we eventually won numerous awards, including Best Program from The National Religious Broadcasters at their 2008 convention. It’s an incredible story. And if God has called you into filmmaking and media making for his glory, you will have your own incredible story.