Seed of the Free Premiere
We were so excited to get accepted into Louisiana Film Prize. Unbelievable really because of the competition!!!
When we set out to make this film we were a bit ahead of the curve because we had received the Founder's Circle award from the judges at Louisiana Film Prize last year. We had a little "seed money". But I needed to raise the rest, so I decided to do a Seed and Spark campaign. I had always been opposed to doing this kind of thing, but I wanted to make the project more than I wanted to let my pride get in the way.
When I started the process, I brought on writer and friend Kay Landon. She was excited about the challenge I gave her. I said... I want a film about Sojourner Truth with two characters. No night scenes, and it has to be under ten pages. She started writing. We got a lot of people to check out the script. We got feedback and heeded it.
Once we raised the money on Seed and Spark, (thank you to all of our supporters). I picked the only date possible on Aaron's schedule that fit within the time guidelines and started planning. I knew one thing, I wanted a beautiful film with a strong leading lady to play this historical icon. After much prayer and thought I offered the role to LeCourtney Harness. She ended up being the best choice.
She was perfect!! She even looked like her. Then I brought on an addition to the team who would be a crucial part of the success of this film. Dennis Hershberger. He is a local to the beautiful Beinville Parish. He helped us secure our locations. I was so proud to use the church we ended up using, Cypress Springs Baptist Church. The walls were my favorite color light green. I love green and I'm always looking for ways to put it in my films. So I was tickled by the fact that even the walls were perfect.
The rest of the cast and crew were assembled. But I felt like I needed one more person. I invited TaRhonda Bazille to bring her directing skills to the table. I realized that because I was going to be acting in the film. I needed someone to direct those scenes. I knew that our team would be strong, but I had know idea how powerful all of us would feel when we were are out together. We got into a grove the second day, and we watched the weather and timing work out beautifully.
I will say that the local people of Beinville Parish that came out to support Seed of the Free were amazing. We need jurors and and a courtroom full of people. I had rented old 1800's jackets from Tulane costume department. I needed the bodies to fill them and on the day of the scene we had just enough people. Thanks to Dennis and his friends.
I have included a few behind the scene photos so you can get a feel for the crew of people that it took to pull this off. My mom has been doing the food for my films for about 4 years. She retired after this year. I would have to say that, she really cared about the details. That is what made the difference. She would make food, then have flowers on the table to create a loving environment. True Love. Mom's are so good at that. She has had a helper for the past few years. Karen Sanders Bean, my roommate from college. Seed of the Free would not have been the same without these ladies.
This film was special because it was the first short film where Aaron and I worked side by side. Director and cinematographer combo. We are now doing our first feature together. It's been really fun.
This film has been a blessing so far. It went through a few edits and some major notes from a old friend from Los Angeles, Eric Klien. I have him to thank for caring. I really can't wait to take the ride with this film. Seriously a little dream project. I'm hoping the world will love it. Shreveport here we come!!!