Lately, when I've been running into friends or acquaintances, people ask, "what are you up to these days? Editing?" Which is a natural assumption. I have done some shooting, and now there's editing, right?
Yes and no.
There's a lot of footage, and the heavy lifting --which is both difficult and enjoyable-- is crafting a story from that footage. But there's also approximately 1.5 million other things that need to happen. There's all the stuff that has to happen before you can even start to edit --transcoding footage, transcription, and crucially, getting stuff in Cebuano translated. On top of that, I've been honing my skills at accounting, grant writing, budget making, crowdfunding fulfillment (it's coming soon, folks!), shooting recreations, social media (ya, I'm lagging at that), marketing, forming partnerships, research and strategization of all of the above, and possibly hardest of all, networking.
So it's so great when people offer to help out --and really amazing that some people actually have stepped up! So today we're going to learn a little more about Melanie Choy, an emerging filmmaker who I met taking a location sound class at Berkeley City College. When she found out about this project she instantly offered to volunteer... and then she actually showed up! What a rare and wondrous event... And so deeply appreciated.
So let's learn more about Treeclimber Media's first volunteer, Melanie Choy.
What made you interested in working on The Long Rescue?
I am interested in working on The Long Rescue, because I support anti-trafficking. Also, I have always dreamed of working on an overseas documentary and this is a fantastic opportunity to get hands-on and behind the scene.
What have you been doing for the production so far?
I have done mostly editing such as blurring the faces of My Refuge House residents and creating video sequences for translation. I also made my acting debut in this documentary to recreate a few scenes of Hope's dark and emotional past.
What's been the most interesting?
The most interesting part is when I was pretending to be sad and crying to reflect Hope's overwhelming feeling and experience. To help me be emotional in front of the camera, I thought about the sadness I will face when I lose loved ones.
Has anything surprised you or have you learned anything new?
I have learned that some youth and women are forced into prostitution by social forces and even by family members; they did not choose this profession.
What other projects are you working on now?
I am currently editing my friend's live jazz event performance and will later make a video about my church young adult ministry.
What are your career goals?
My career goal is to make films and short videos to advance social causes and make positive changes among communities.
What kinds of issues are you interested in working on?
Besides sex trafficking, I am interested in working on environmental injustice, less-privileged communities, special needs, overseas Christian communities, and Asian American identity.
What films have you seen that inspire you?
Many independent and foreign films have inspired me and if I have to choose one, then I would say The Drop Box. I chose this, because it is a heart-wrenching look at abandoned babies with special needs and how one Korean church pastor started adopting each one as his own. I cried throughout the film because the characters and story are that powerful.
What are your other hobbies or interests?
Besides watching movies at home and in theatre, I like to get crafty! That includes making stationary cards, vintage button stud earrings, and duct tape wallets!
There you have it folks --more evidence of crossover between documentary filmmaking and crafting!
More updates afoot soon...stay tuned!