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January 31, 2006

Jenks, you are too kind.

Even though holding that camera for a month wasn't easy, i really can't take ALL the credit. I demand that the "pat on the back" go to Andy; he really is a genious. Period.

-Jonah

Jonah, Will: Masters of DVX100A

(note: Jonah was the Director of Photography for this film. He was in charge of one of the cameras, cinematography, and was an editor for the film. Will was the Assistant Director, in charge of the other camera, and also an editor for the film. I met both last year in college, Will (my roommate), Jonah (kid down the hall). Along with Sean (jack of all trades and Music Supervisor), the four of us last year got together and decided we were going to try and make this documentary happen).

A million and a half people have helped greatly since this meeting (both before and after it), and we will soon try and put a page up to mention all of these people—we certainly asked for a ton of favors (good time to mention Noah, of TNIntegratedSolutions.com Made this incredible website)…

We were looking back on some of the footage last night and spotted an astute comment by the always astute, Will Godel. He noted that on any given day, a resident could have a bad day—a cough, a cold, etc—and really fall seriously ill. Even something like tripping on your shoelaces can be life-threatening. There was a very strong sense of enjoying everyday because the ambulance outside, as Carl said, “will one day be out there for you”. In the next couple of days I am going to see if Will and Jonah want to post some stuff up here. They’re both pretty smart, much better writers, and even better looking—so you’ll get much more bang for your buck.

About 1 of 6 celebrating National Singles Week were 65 years of age or older.

Sex is a topic discussed in the film. I don’t know of anyone who celebrated national singles week, but I hadn’t even heard of this week until I saw the statistic…

So I am going to avoid talking about the issues covered in the doc. Maybe more of what you don’t see in the film…

I think a huge facet that we simply did not have time to cover (or a camera to cover it) was the experience both Will and Jonah had behind the scenes. For literally one month, they lived everyday behind a rusty, used, Panasonic DVX-100A. They also were in control of the boom microphones (microphones that are intended to be held by a long pole but since Will/Jonah only have two hands, each carried the microphone with their non-camera hand and pointed it wherever there was valuable noise). Now don’t forget, they had their headphones on; if they wanted to hear anything, they could only do so by maneuvering their microphone into the correct position. And that position always had to be where the best content was for the film. They had it rough—not to mention they weren’t exactly going back to a party every night—they lived in the “independent living” building next to me. For one month, we all really did live, breath, and get the feel for what it was like to live in a retirement home.

I remember filming some footage here and there, and really couldn’t even keep my arm up for more than ten minutes (even a pez dispenser is heavy after you hold it with one arm for ten minutes). Every time they turned the camera on they had a long checklist before they could even look through the viewfinder: white balance, color balance, various wires, audio levels, headphones, tape, focus, zoom, etc. We were not familiar with many of these features so Will and Jonah had to teach themselves as the film shoot went on.

This could have made for an entirely different film. The documentary is really about Bill, Tammy, and the other residents at HP (harbor place).

men from the boys

So it is 2:25 in the AM and im sitting here staring at the film one last time. It is an amazing feeling. Our girlfriends may leave us, we may be completely broke, and it is true that we haven't slept well in the past year - Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. Not to mention that we leave for Santa Barbara in less than 48 hours. Can't wait for the free food.
OH GOD! The computer has crashed, the movie is gone.

It's nights like these that separate the men from the boys, and gentlemen, im sleepy.

-jonah

Baby BOOMERS

As of Jan 1, 2006 a baby boomer will turn 60 every 7.5 seconds

-AARP

January 30, 2006

Mad Teachers

Jonah will have a lot of homework to make up--that is for sure.

Correction from the last blog (thanks mom):

THIS Saturday is the World Premiere.

Jonah and I are leaving on Wednesday night. We are excited, a tad nervous, and ready to sport our Bill-inspired hawaii shirts. Will joins the party on Friday night. The three of us have never made a real movie before, much less a film that will be shown to "real people", so that will be, well, we'll see...

If you live in Santa Barbara, turn to channel 7 around 6:30 AM this Thursday. We're going to be on the morning show. God, that is early.

Jonah and I are going to be busy tonight getting together press packets, trailers, etc. so we'll try and post something later--maybe talk about Libby a little (we're trying to figure out if her fight with Carl should be in the final cut)....

Later all,

Andrew

Welcome

Hello to everyone, I am sure mostly friends and family for now…. Anyway, what’s up Mom.

After today, I am going to use this space to talk mostly about my experiences at Harbor Place and the incredible people that live in the assisted living facility. I think I’ll start tomorrow by talking more about Libby Smith, room 206 (age 80) and my time with a woman who refused any help with getting out of chairs (she had bad arthritis), wouldn’t use hearing aids or glasses (although much needed), and had over 70 puddings in her mini-refrigerator (mostly vanilla). She is incredibly independent, funny, and ready to go to war with anyone who slightly gets in her way.

So we made this movie to really understand the elderly, hopefully come to appreciate them, and see what they are really like. After experiences with my own grandparents, and other dealings with old-er people I truly wondered exactly what they were thinking at this point in their lives. Anyway, it ended up being an unbelievable experience which made the documentary so successful, strange, and something I think most people wouldn’t expect. More on that later.

Just a quick briefing for those who accidentally typed “Andrew Jenks, Room 335” on Google and are now reading this blog:

I think watching the trailer is the best thing to do to get a feel for the film. It will have its world premiere at the CINEQUEST Film Festival (rated as a top ten film festival in the United States, Ultimate Film Festival Guide), and an Official Selection at the Sarasota Film Festival. It is about 90 minutes. We have submitted to many more and still waiting to hear from over twenty festivals.

Let me know if there is anything I can say that will get you back to the site and more interested in the film…I will do my best to keep you posted on the various happenings of the film. More importantly, I am going to get Jonah (who was Director of Photography for the film) to write some pieces. He shot some really incredible footage. I would also like to include some journal entries I wrote during my stay at Harbor Place.

Bare in mind, this is more of a journal than anything so please disregard the various grammatical mistakes…

Take care folks.