My biggest goal with this story was to start by introducing Adianna as a relatable person. My collaborators wanted to start with the day she went into foster care, but I felt like we needed to see her first as a person that we can identify with and then as the person who faced serious hardships as a child. In the Heroes Journey this is referred to as the “normal world.” It was good that I had this in mind and wrote it into my creative brief because I had to come back to it several times and remind folks to start with her as a normal person. I think having that clear idea really paid off. It was a tool that I could return to and remind us that we needed to see her first as a normal kid facing extraordinary circumstances.
We also started with one editor who took our notes and really just gave us what we asked for literally without using their skills as an editor. Our second editor took what we’d filmed and really brought it to focus. It’s incredible how much of a difference the right editor can make. We'd shot all the footage with a very emotional interview. We just needed our editor to help focus the visual elements.
This was a collaborative effort between our amazing cinematographer, the editor, me the director and our incredible subject who was really honest with her story.
Even though I've collaborated on films my whole life, this project really reminded me of the importance of letting go and trusting the genius of your collaborators. The director keeps the ship moving in the right direction and keeps the story focussed, but it will only become amazing when each collaborator can bring their ideas and craft to the story.