Posts Tagged ‘SAfe HArbor’

A Cause Worthy of Passionate Work.

December 15, 2008

When we creatives talk about our work, we tend to throw the word “passion” about freely. This past week, I got a lesson in what passion truly means.

My firm had the opportunity to create a fund-raising campaign for Safe Harbor, a safe haven for victims of domestic violence in upstate South Carolina. I was charged with helping oversee the production of a video that would include interviewing over 40 “real” people who had volunteered to appear.

Our production schedule was challenging to say the least. Participants were scheduled 15 minutes apart. Few had any real briefing as to why they were here, and fewer still had any sort of on-camera experience. To complicate matters, we were working without a script. Truth be told, I awoke the morning of the shoot with a mild sense of dread. Most had been coerced into showing up, I thought. It’s the middle of the work-week. They’ll be inconvenienced, uncomfortable and irritated by the pace at which we’ll have to work. It’s going to be tough to get through the day, much less create a worthwhile production.

The first participant showed up. We talked for a bit about Safe Harbor and what we hoped to accomplished with the video. Since we were tight for time, we did away with chit chat and got started. She walked in front of the camera and took her place on the X underneath hot lights in a cramped, makeshift studio.

That’s when it started.

With little direction, she began to speak. Clearly, she wanted to be there and she wanted to be heard. In those few moments, we were all reminded that the gravity of the cause we had undertaken would trump any inconvenience and passion would overcome any case of nerves. Then came the next participant. And the next. And the next. Each matching their predecessors’ conviction and energy. Many sharing unthinkable stories of violence, of lost childhood, of hopelessness. Others heralding the hope that Safe Harbor had brought to so many lives. It quickly became a magical shoot with an incredibly positive vibe.
I’ve never been so happy to be so wrong about what a day would bring. Clearly, our biggest challenge would be editing down so much wonderful material. As time wore on, we weren’t tired, we were energized. We felt like we were accomplishing something.

We were passionate.