The Official Becoming Fools Movie Trailer

Drum roll, please …. After much anticipation, we are thrilled to release the official Becoming Fools Movie Trailer.

We’re not yet finished with the film, but we’re close. It’s in the final phase of post-production: coloring, music, mixing, animation, art, and credits.

After a year of pre-production and research, 6 months of production and 6 months of editing and post-production, we are rounding the turn towards the finish line. My heart has swung through all emotions imaginable over the course of this journey – from loving the story, to absolutely hating it, to loving it again.

The production phase is my favorite. It is a time when we are out in the world together, collaborating, capturing a story and experiencing the richness of community. It’s hard work, but somehow we don’t notice because we are together. You should hear the laughter at 2 AM when we’re logging footage, after a 12 hour shoot in a dirty environment … and the water is off, so you can’t take a shower before bed. It is a true joy!

Then there is the flip side. If production is a joy because of community, then editing is the Alcatraz prison of loneliness. To be honest, I often wrestle with depression while editing a film. It is a long period of isolation in the “editing cave” with only small spurts of community when we evaluate the film. And because those small doses of community are focused on critically evaluating the film, it usually results in me having to spend more time editing in isolation. Don’t get me wrong. I greatly value constructive criticism during the process and want our films to be the best they can be! It just begins to take its toll after 6 months of 16 hour work days. Needless to say, I am very glad that I can see the light at the end of the editing tunnel!

After all this work, the film is slightly different than we originally imagined. But, this is normal because you never have control over all the production elements in a documentary. In this case, we were thrown some pretty big wild cards during production. I compared it to riding a wild bull. We just held on tight, kept the cameras rolling, and prayed we were capturing what we needed to tell a great story. Thankfully, we captured some great stuff!

During a recent Athentikos meeting, we engaged in a deep and honest discussion about the film. We asked some  tough questions ….

Is this a compelling story?

Does this film achieve what we set out to do?

Is the story depicted in the final edit the same story we passionately felt called to produce in the beginning?

It was unanimous. Even though the story is different than we initially imagined, it compellingly accomplishes the goal we set out to achieve. This is the story God called us to tell.

It’s full of warm characters, beautiful tension and redemption that we couldn’t have written better if we wrote it as a narrative. It still makes me cry … and I have seen it thousands of times over the course of editing! So, either I am completely off my rocker, or this story truly connects to the heart.

As we work diligently to wrap up the final details in this project, I have mixed emotions. I’ve committed 2 years of my life to developing, filming and editing this story. I’ve grown to love these street youth as dear friends. Their delicate charm has captured my heart! I would love for this film to raise awareness and bring needed resources to this issue! But, I have no idea what will become of it all.

We raised enough funding to get through production. But we still lack the financial resources to release the film. Unfortunately, we can’t subsidize this next phase with our sweat equity. Unless we receive additional funding, we will be forced to put the film on hold. We truly believe this story has the potential to make a difference in the lives of street youth around the world. But we need your help … will you consider giving a donation?

As of right now, we only have one official film screening planned. Let’s make it count!

Becoming Fools will screen at the Omaha Film Festival on Sunday March 10 at 12:15 PM.

Gather your friends and meet us there! If you are too far away to attend, please help us make noise so we can try to fill the theater. Use every means necessary to tell people about this opportunity to see the film: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, phone calls, post cards, smoke signal … and especially talking face to face!

Please watch the trailer and share it. Give a donation if you can. Work with us to help bring the film to your city. Let’s become fools together and make a difference!

Give a tax-deductible donation to help us release the film.

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner At Art Camp

This year I wanted at Art Camp to create a memorable art masterpiece as a group that would be a reminder throughout the year of the fun we had, the friends we made and the lessons we learned.  Through much planning and experimenting, I came up with the idea to create a tie-dye banner to hang in the schools in La Limonada in Guatemala City.  Throughout the process, I knew what I wanted the finished product to look like, but having never done anything like this, I was unsure of exactly how it would turn out.  The final result was more than I could have EVER imagined and I am so happy the kids can look at their beautiful group art work everyday in the schools!

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

First step to making the banners was getting the material ready.  I bought 5 yards of plain white muslin.  Muslin is REALLY awesome because you can tear on the bias.  Tearing the fabric makes creating 100+ strips of fabric so much easier.  After I had tons of strips of muslin.  I cut each strip in thirds, giving me ~135 pieces of 3 inch x 30 inch strips.  I wasn’t exactly sure how we were going to mount the banner, but I knew the easiest way would be to hang the material on something.  Therefore, I sewed 1 inch pockets on top and on the bottom of each strip.  After several hours of sewing, I was off to JoAnn’s to buy fabric dye.  I purchased several different brands to get the colors I wanted (JoAnn’s was a little low on their stock of fabric dye).  And that was all the work I did before going to Guatemala.  Because of limited room in my luggage and our budget, I didn’t purchase containers to mix the dye or to use to apply to dye for the fabric.  I also waited until arriving in Guatemala to purchase rubber bands and salt.  We waited until we were at Art Camp to start collecting plastic water bottles for the dye.

A couple of hours before we were going to tie-dye, we starting mixing the dye.  We gathered about 50 plastic bottles (some water, some Coke, some juices, etc) and started filling each bottle with hot water from the bathroom sink!  We added 1/2 of the package of the dye and one bottle cap full of salt (to fix the dye to the material) to the bottle fill with water….and then shake, shake, shake and shake.  The dye we used called for boiling 140° water, but we just used really hot bathroom sink water and hoped that with shaking really hard we would get the same result.  After we had mixed all the dye, we separated each bottle into 2 bottles, half the mixture in one and half in the other, and then filled the bottle up again with hot water and shook some more.  We repeated this separation and refill step again with some of the really dark colors or colors we wanted more of.  Most of the dyes we were using say you can dilute the dye mix with 3-4 gallons of water, but we wanted really vibrant colors so we didn’t use that much water.  We then poked a tiny whole in the top with a push pin.

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

We gave each kid (and most of the adults) a white strip of materials and some rubber bands.  And this is where all the fun starts.  Tie-dye is created by using the material and dye to create patterns, and there are endless numbers of different ways to do it.  We explained to the kids that every one could come up with their own technique for folding the material.  You can roll, fold, wrinkle, twirl, swirl or squish the fabric as you wish and then bind with rubber bands to hold that pattern while you apply the dye.  We then went into the grass (for easy clean-up and limited mess on the floor from the dye).  Everyone chose 2 colors and sprayed their fabric as they wished.  We had everyone only choose 2 colors so that we could create a “rainbow” or gradient look with the strips of fabric at the end.  It is much easier to organizes strips in color order with 2 colors than with 3, 4, 5 or lots of colors.

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Then we waited.  We let the fabric sit rolled, folded or swirled on a table overnight.  And then let each kid open a strip the next day.  We didn’t bother with names or who’s was who’s.  We encouraged the kids to see this project as a group project and TOGETHER we were creating something beautiful.  It wasn’t important who had the most beautiful strip or who’s was the most creative because each piece was equally as important in creating the final product.  I used this time to explain to the kids that the project is much like their life.  They are all different but together than can be the beautiful future of their community and their country.  The kids at camp are from different rival areas in La Limonada, and while in La Limonada are not allowed to cross area boundaries because of gang violence.  However, at camp they are free and develop close relationships with one another.  It is these relationships that can change the future of their community, La Limonada.

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

After Art Camp, we assembled all the strips into banners for the schools.  We hung that at the Art Show and then hung them in the schools before we had to leave.  The banners are absolutely beautiful on the walls, and I hope they do remind the kids of Art Camp whenever they look at them!  ValorArte 2012 was an unforgettable experience.  I am so happy to have been a part of it again, and I hope and pray everyday that next year we are able to give the amazing experience of Art Camp to the kids of La Limonada again.  Fundraising has started, and we have a long way to go.  If you are interested in sponsoring a child to go to Art Camp or would like more information, please contact me at ericha@athentikos.com.

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Photography by: Sara Harper and Amelia Moore

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner At Art Camp

This year I wanted at Art Camp to create a memorable art masterpiece as a group that would be a reminder throughout the year of the fun we had, the friends we made and the lessons we learned.  Through much planning and experimenting, I came up with the idea to create a tie-dye banner to hang in the schools in La Limonada in Guatemala City.  Throughout the process, I knew what I wanted the finished product to look like, but having never done anything like this, I was unsure of exactly how it would turn out.  The final result was more than I could have EVER imagined and I am so happy the kids can look at their beautiful group art work everyday in the schools!

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

First step to making the banners was getting the material ready.  I bought 5 yards of plain white muslin.  Muslin is REALLY awesome because you can tear on the bias.  Tearing the fabric makes creating 100+ strips of fabric so much easier.  After I had tons of strips of muslin.  I cut each strip in thirds, giving me ~135 pieces of 3 inch x 30 inch strips.  I wasn’t exactly sure how we were going to mount the banner, but I knew the easiest way would be to hang the material on something.  Therefore, I sewed 1 inch pockets on top and on the bottom of each strip.  After several hours of sewing, I was off to JoAnn’s to buy fabric dye.  I purchased several different brands to get the colors I wanted (JoAnn’s was a little low on their stock of fabric dye).  And that was all the work I did before going to Guatemala.  Because of limited room in my luggage and our budget, I didn’t purchase containers to mix the dye or to use to apply to dye for the fabric.  I also waited until arriving in Guatemala to purchase rubber bands and salt.  We waited until we were at Art Camp to start collecting plastic water bottles for the dye.

A couple of hours before we were going to tie-dye, we starting mixing the dye.  We gathered about 50 plastic bottles (some water, some Coke, some juices, etc) and started filling each bottle with hot water from the bathroom sink!  We added 1/2 of the package of the dye and one bottle cap full of salt (to fix the dye to the material) to the bottle fill with water….and then shake, shake, shake and shake.  The dye we used called for boiling 140° water, but we just used really hot bathroom sink water and hoped that with shaking really hard we would get the same result.  After we had mixed all the dye, we separated each bottle into 2 bottles, half the mixture in one and half in the other, and then filled the bottle up again with hot water and shook some more.  We repeated this separation and refill step again with some of the really dark colors or colors we wanted more of.  Most of the dyes we were using say you can dilute the dye mix with 3-4 gallons of water, but we wanted really vibrant colors so we didn’t use that much water.  We then poked a tiny whole in the top with a push pin.

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

We gave each kid (and most of the adults) a white strip of materials and some rubber bands.  And this is where all the fun starts.  Tie-dye is created by using the material and dye to create patterns, and there are endless numbers of different ways to do it.  We explained to the kids that every one could come up with their own technique for folding the material.  You can roll, fold, wrinkle, twirl, swirl or squish the fabric as you wish and then bind with rubber bands to hold that pattern while you apply the dye.  We then went into the grass (for easy clean-up and limited mess on the floor from the dye).  Everyone chose 2 colors and sprayed their fabric as they wished.  We had everyone only choose 2 colors so that we could create a “rainbow” or gradient look with the strips of fabric at the end.  It is much easier to organizes strips in color order with 2 colors than with 3, 4, 5 or lots of colors.

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Then we waited.  We let the fabric sit rolled, folded or swirled on a table overnight.  And then let each kid open a strip the next day.  We didn’t bother with names or who’s was who’s.  We encouraged the kids to see this project as a group project and TOGETHER we were creating something beautiful.  It wasn’t important who had the most beautiful strip or who’s was the most creative because each piece was equally as important in creating the final product.  I used this time to explain to the kids that the project is much like their life.  They are all different but together than can be the beautiful future of their community and their country.  The kids at camp are from different rival areas in La Limonada, and while in La Limonada are not allowed to cross area boundaries because of gang violence.  However, at camp they are free and develop close relationships with one another.  It is these relationships that can change the future of their community, La Limonada.

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

After Art Camp, we assembled all the strips into banners for the schools.  We hung that at the Art Show and then hung them in the schools before we had to leave.  The banners are absolutely beautiful on the walls, and I hope they do remind the kids of Art Camp whenever they look at them!  ValorArte 2012 was an unforgettable experience.  I am so happy to have been a part of it again, and I hope and pray everyday that next year we are able to give the amazing experience of Art Camp to the kids of La Limonada again.  Fundraising has started, and we have a long way to go.  If you are interested in sponsoring a child to go to Art Camp or would like more information, please contact me at ericha@athentikos.com.

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Tie-Dye Banner at Art Camp 2012

Photography by: Sara Harper and Amelia Moore