“Your Mom Would be Proud”

by Gail Mooney
December 2 2011

This was a remark that someone made to me after the screening of Opening Our Eyes the other evening in Seattle. It was probably the nicest thing that anyone has said to me since I’ve been screening this film.

Most of you who have been reading this blog know that this film was created by my daughter Erin and I during our 99 days in the field on six continents while making this movie. We had a lot of “together time” and that was the best part of the experience. Our little two-person crews was able to work on a shoe-string budget made up of airline miles, hotel rewards and trades for gear and services. and create a 76 minute documentary.

During the Q & A after the screening, one attendee asked about the financing of the film. I told her that even though the shoot part of the production was financed with airline and hotel points and trades, there were still the costs of visas, vaccinations, and all the post-productions costs of editing, sound mixing, music rights and stock footage. When all was said and done, including buying the gear, it was just under $50,000 – and that doesn’t include film festival submissions, PR and marketing etc. going forward. I did raise $10,000 on Kickstarter and we are currently running a funding campaign on IndieGoGo, but where did the other money come from?

I answered her questions by telling her that when my mom died in 2004, she had left me a little money. I had never spent a penny of it until we began this project, when I set up a separate LLC, Nola Productions, named after my mother and placed my inheritance into that.

I think my mom would not only be proud of me, but also her granddaughter, my daughter, Erin. My mother always thought of others and their needs first – before she thought of her own needs. She taught me to think about how my actions could affect others. She also taught me to believe in myself and encouraged me to follow my dreams. She gave me everything I needed to accomplish this film – the courage to take action on my dreams and the means to make that happen. I think she would be proud of what I chose to do in her name.

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