Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pinata: A Life Of Brokenness

Well I finally got Pinata: A Life Of Brokenness up online! Some of you are saying "wow its about time!" And I can see others saying, "What on earth is a Pinata?!?!" Well, if you asked the last of the two, I will leave you to go ask your mother about your childhood depravity.

Pinata in many ways launched my filming enterprises. Although not the first film I made, it was the first one to have critical acclaim beyond my own little circle of family, friends and a few people in my church. Suddenly my little video was not just playing in front of 30 people at the young adult service once, but in front of the entire congregation, me and my brother where interviewed for both local papers and papers in other bigger cities, the regional TV station did a News bit on us, Pinata was shown in the biggest all Canadian film festival, we were interviewed by a teen magazine, and it is when people by the droves began phoning me up from the church and asking me to put together clever promo-videos for the potluck after next weeks service, 'ya right, not happening'. Pinata was an overnight success, and bigger than life, for me, event.

So what happened? What is the story? Well, first of, it was bigger for me, than for the rest of the world, most of the papers and media attention was not front page or anything, bit it sure felt like it, getting more attention than I had ever before, and over something so... small. It started out like this...

Me and my brother had ben getting in to video stuff helping our you paster with our churches burgeoning video... stuff. We had helped with a few projects, promo and an update or something like that, and then the young adult paster asked us to do a sermon illustration for the monthly young adult service, it was about finding perpuse through brokenness, and he thought a pinata would fit perfectly. We were teemed up with two young adults to come up with an idea and shoot the project in a day. We searched the city for a pinata, for 3 hours, finally we found one, then we shot the thing twice, because the sound was not working the first time, and I took it home to edit. We showed it at the young adult service to much laughter, it was a hit. It sat on our shelf.

Then the local paper did a tiny little article about how the NSI Film Festival was opening there national exposure contest to all of Canada, and we thought, oh, cool we could enter pinata in that! So we did, about the time we had forgotten we had entered, I got an e-mail, we were in the top 12, and we would be screening Winnipeg! Wow cool! We let all our friends know, and NSI sent out there press release, only thing was, although we had free tickets to the event we couldn't afford to fly there, and my dad couldn't take time off to drive us there (a 21 hour drive?), but that was ok, we got top 12 with over 100 entries, and that was just fine with me.

We got an interview with the paper that had published the article about the festival, and then things began to snowball, the other local paper wanted an interview, and then the church waned to show it on a sunday morning (6-700 people) and then the Calgary TV station (Global) wanted an interview for their evening News, and then a national teen magazine called called interviewed, and then a the Winnipeg Newspaper celled to see if they could get an interview at the festival. Which brings us back to the fact that we couldn't go...

With all the attention, almost everyone new we couldn't go, my youth paster offered to drive us down, but them something happened, people gave us money. I was amazed, it was just a little video! Well we got enough money for me and my Dad to fly to Winnipeg (it was winter here, and Winnipeg doesn't have a reputation for nice winters), my brother was busy that weekend so he didn't go.

We didn't win, and I was thoroughly unimpressed by the other films, some had ok production values, but many didn't have that good, and the stories were week, and hopelessness, depression, death and futility seeped out everywhere. I was in shock, I expected not to win, but I expected to be beaten by better films than mine. It was big moment of, we need better film makers, we need better, stories, we need hope, and we need God. And the industry I saw there wasn't going to give it. And I didn't want to work in it.

Pinata was an amazing experience for me, more than just a movie, and a convicting one. Enjoy the film.


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