Monthly Archives: February 2012

US Filming ( Part 2)

US Filming (Part 2)

January 23, 2012

Today I got a little a down time which was needed. I had intended to do a training with Awareness and Action unfortunately I could get consent to have the filming with me advance and thought best not to go. I had given my consent to be apart of this and felt that I should not go places where I knew filming would not happen. Instead I kept my original day off and planned that we would do my formal interview that was needed anyways. I was happy to sleep in a bit and get rest as my knees where bothering me a bit. I ended up with the morning off as Momo was checking-in to things for filming for the evening. We all sat and had lunch and then there was setup for the interview. This took a fair amount of time and the location was chanced a few things before agreeing on the space. The most difficult thing about the interview was how they wanted me to sit. They were concerned about position and lighting I was concerned about comfort of my legs in particular which is something people do not always understand. The interview went well and then they filmed me reading which I thought was rather weird. Then I got the rest of the day to rest as they went to do the formal interview with Sandra and Master McCorry at Martial Arts.

That evening I had plans to hangout with my friend Zayda from work. We planned to meet up at the mall an go on the Jumpy Thing in the center of the mall. I had wanted to do this for sometime but had not got around to do it. It took us a little while to locate the man at the jumpy thing and then got setup. I was nervous at first as I had never done this before and I do not have a great like for heights. I held on tight at first and slowly got more comfortable with it. I did a bunch of bouncing and jumpy no big tricks. I did have a great deal of fun. There was a bit of screaming at first thou that ended quickly. After that we got a drink an headed home. We had planned to make some brownies but ended up doing hair and makeup which was really fun. I can not remember the last time I had done hair and makeup with a friend. We giggled and laughed a great deal that night. Then I got my picture taken. I was told to pose and stuff which had in a fit of giggles because it felt very weird.

January 24, 2012

Filming happen in the evening for me on this day. They had spent sometime filming the north shore because it was pretty warm that day. Also they were really not interested in filming any more meeting at work which was fine with me. I had a very important meeting at work that day and did not need the stress of the filming. At Tae Kwon Do that night there was to be an interview with one of the young students had been bullied at school. His mother was there as well and she was interviewed also. I did a small private with him going over forms, belt combinations and saw his new weapon he was learning. They leaned that he had some knowledge of chucks and wanted him to do the with me. This was uncomfortable on a few levels first I do chucks different then others and did not know if this would confuse him and second I realized he was just learning the chucks. Then there was the fact that he needed to get back to class. They had bee with him for sometime and it was important for him to rejoin class which he did. They then decided to interview his mom. This gave me a break.

I have to say at this point the filming was getting to me. It had been a week and everyday they were there with the camera. They wanted to know what we were doing next or they were trying to interview my friends and family while in the middle of things. Everyone seemed ok with it but I felt uncomfortable for them. I still had a week to go. It was at this point i remember why I had originally agreed to seven to ten days not to fourteen. Fourteen it was going to be and I just reminded myself that this would make a difference for other people.

The second class started an we broke up into groups. I was in the front part of the class with another teacher and we were working on forms with the students. This was a little nerve racking as do not usually lead a class and was getting the feeling that is what they wanted. I continued with want I usually do never the less. The next class was my usually class. They were very interested in me sparring and asked if we could do that tonight. I told them it was not up to me it was up to Sandra. As it turned out we were doing weapons and breaking that night which was fine with as I enjoy both of those things. They were excited to film both of these things. They also continued to randomly interview my friends in the middle of class which was a little uncomfortable. Class went well I did have a little trouble breaking the board with my hand but in the end I succeed. My hand hurt a bit and might have bruises in the morning but that was part of the process sometimes.

January 25, 2012

I have been told that I’m really going to Korea. This is exciting! I really wish they would confirm some details. Filming today is Tae Kwon Do again. They are interviewing another student and then I will have my regular Wednesday night class. The interview went really well. I learned that she had been bullied at school as well and did not know that before. She also told me that when I presented at her school last year it really made a difference for her to know that I was bullied when I was a child and that she was not alone. After the interview we joined the stretch and then there was class for her. We did kicking drills during class and I went around helped with kicked and tried to keep the students focused. My regular class was next. I learned just before that we would be sparring tonight which made me very happy. Then I learned that they wanted my friends to to wear a camera on their heads when sparring. I did not like this idea. I told Master McCorry hoping he would tell them no but he said I needed to tell them if I felt uncomfortable about the idea. I tried to convince him that it was a bad idea. That did not work. Finally I told him that I would not ask my friends to do that it made me feel uncomfortable. I understood it would get better shoots with the camera but people were here to do class not to do things differently because of me. So he had to film with the other camera. Class was great because we were sparring and moving around quickly there was no time for questions/interviews of me or my friends. I was free to focus on Tae Kwon Do and I really needed it. Work had been very stressful and I was not getting my usually stress relief at Tae Kwon Do because of the camera being there. After sparing there was some questions but I was too tired to care.

January 26, 2012

Today there were two things planned to be filmed today a presentation about HAWC at Endicott College and roller skating after work. I arrived a early for the presentation which is a norm for me. The filming guys were late and then I realized that I had given them the wrong address to the main entrance to the college. I started the presentation with a video and then went on to present. The filming arriving a few minutes into the video. The presentation went great I had candy and gifts to give out this made a good interaction between me and the group. I was throwing candy around the room without that much difficulty. After the presentation I had checked with the professor about and interview which he was agreeable to. Then all of a sudden he wants to film me driving on the campus. I understand the need to film the coming and going but he had ever asked this of me before when we planned the day. I needed to get back to work as I had many things to get done. He went without this filming as I went to work. I left feeling rushed that having the filming was keeping from doing my job properly, even thou it was not.

Everyone was getting sick at work which caused only a few to be able to go roller skating. I was fine with it but they kept asking me were are your friends it was annoying even if it was not meant that way. As it turned out my sister, nephew, dad, and two friends were able to come. When we arrived there were more issues because the rink was in use for lessons already. We were able to made it work for about a half hour which was good for me as I had not roller skated for a while. While waiting to figure things out we come to realize my old roller skating teacher was there doing lessons, small world. It was a lot of. It was a lot harder then I remember. I skated around with everyone and was having fun. Then Momo put this camera on my head which messed me all up. I was thinking and feeling that and within seconds I was on the ground. I also feel to the side that the micro phone was so it hurt more then it should with the little box on my hip. While there they interviewed friends and family all the while this not so bad because they all were there for filming so it did not feel weird. Until they tried to interview my old teacher. He was teaching lessons that did not feel ok to me. He was ok with the request and declined. His wife was there and did remember me and was interviewed for a few minutes. They wanted me apart of it as well I last only a few and left my legs were tired and I needed to sit down now!

After skating I decided to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things for my house party tomorrow. They seemed taken back by this expecting me to go tomorrow after work before the party. That seemed crazy to me because needed to be getting for the party at that point not going shopping. I ended up going shopping with Michelle because they really wanted to go with a friend. I guess it makes for better filming to have another with me. I think they thought I was going to prepare more for party. It was was a potluck this is how parties happen with us. I was a little stressed and grumpy with work so when asked about food I was quick that was not cooking. The shopping was fast. I am not sure if it was what he was looking for but did not really care.

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US Filming (Part 1)

I was scheduled to meet at 11am so I went to the office early to start to get things in order and have the time to leave the office for a few hours without issues. I already knew that I needed to know to set good boundaries as the film crew was already asking to film before we had our schedule meeting. I told them no. I meet with my supervisor to be clear on what could be filmed during work hours. We also discussed what time off I might needed because I was still waiting on the decision to send me to S. Korea. I had everything as organized as possible and to the meeting I went. We meet at the martial arts school with Andrew and the producer Momo.

They explained to me that the overall purpose of the documentary was educate youth about bullying and offer them inspiration towards improving themselves. The documentary would have four themes: my personal life including family and friends, my professional life including my work at HAWC and my motivational speaking, Tae Kwon Do accomplishments, and my trip to South Korea. We then went over the schedule for the next week. I spoke to them about my commitments at work and what things could filmed there. We worked out a schedule that worked for Master McCorry’s Martial Arts school. Last we discussed how to include my family and friends.

The filming ended up going on a little longer then I first thought. I had been told seven to ten days however they were here for fourteen. I think the best way to explain the two weeks is to reflect back on each day as best as I can. January 18, 2012 the filming started with and afternoon meeting with other advocates. We were meeting to discuss changes that we were making to our manual for the HAWC’s required training. My friends were great at work being willing to be filmed. They had me wear a microphone and then began filming it was a bit weird because the camera was at a distance one minute and then almost in our face in the next. Then there was light that I was told was not bright but it was in my opinion. They left after this meeting and meet me at my house after work. At the house they filmed me coming into the house and then getting ready for Tae Kwon Do. They were interested in simple tasks like eating dinner and cleaning up. They then filmed Tae Kwon Do I warmed up the class and then we did kicking drills. As they started to film I started to see how this filming going to play out. They filmed me along with other students. Then they were interested in impromptu informal interviews. They filmed Master McCorry asking him random questions along with other students and myself. Once class ended we all went home and they planned to film me getting ready for work the following morning.

January 19, 2012 I woke up and got showered and dressed. Then I waited for them to arrive. I thought they would be there for 8am however they were late. They arrived about twenty past at first they wanted me change back into my pjs but I explained them I needed to be at work in a half hour so that was not possible this morning. We agreed that we could do that part Saturday morning. It took them a few minutes to setup the camera and then got some breakfast, washed so dishes, brushed my teeth and a few other morning activities. There were several times when I was asked to repeat an action so they could get a better shot. The setting up and repeating of things seemed less real life to me. I guess I had this assumption that they would just film the day to day as is but I was learning that was not the case. This was explained to be the difference between reality tv and a documentary which is what we were doing.

Momo then drove with me to work that day. This allowed him to film me driving. We got to the office and I introduced him to everyone. They he asked to go back outside and come back in because it was important to film transitions. Everyone was cool with this and so I came back into the office as if it was first thing in the morning. The filming then captured a meeting with a volunteer. Then they interviewed HAWC’s executive director Candace. She offered I thought to see if the District Attorney’s Office would be interested in being interviewed as they do much around bullying and teasing. That after I had a personal presentation at Salem Hospital where I was talking around my experiences growing up within the medical field. The hospital was kind enough to allow this to be filmed. They filmed most of the presentation and then left and said they meet up with me later that afternoon. They needed to get permission from the pizza place for tonight’s dinner with my parents. We went to dinner at my favorite pizza place Santarpio’s in Peabody. My parents and I beat them there so we needed to reenact our arrival for the camera. My parents laughed when I had told them this might happen because the coming and going was important to film. We sat down and had some casual conversation at first. Then there some informal interview questions to both of my parents. The filming stopped for a time to eat and times we repeated stories that Momo wanted capture as we talked through the evening. Over all it was a nice evening.

January 20, 2012 on Friday there was only a little amount of filming done. Momo installed a small camera at my desk to capture things that I did throughout the day. I was able to get a hold of my friend Misty and was able to confirm that we could come down to the Cape on Sunday before the game. Misty’s son has TAR Syndrome as well and we hoped to have this trip work out. Throughout the day I tried to reach the roller skating ring so we could go skating unfortunately I was having no luck so we decided to just go and hope for the best. Throughout the day Momo was filming the Northshore and the Boston area in order to capture the area I grew up in. That night I meet them at the roller ring with a few friends. Unfortunately, when we arrived we found out that we could not film because it was open skate an far to many kids arounds and we could get releases if the kids got filmed. Despite the no filming we decided to go skating anyways. This would be only the second time in 15 years that I skated I was here with friends why not. We stayed for about an hour and a half had dinner and fun.

January 21, 2012

They arrived a little early to filming my morning routine. They had me wake up which had me in giggles at first. Then I got some breakfast and got ready to go to Tae Kwon Do. After getting changed they wanted me to put on different cloths that I had on earlier when they had filmed the morning routine. I explained we will be late for Tae Kwon Do if you want to do that and I do not want to be late. As it was it had snowed the night before and I still needed to clear the car off and that was going to take sometime. We all agreed it was time to go. I went out side turned on the car and started to clear it. It only took a few minutes since there was not a lot of snow. As the cleared they filmed me and asked me a few questions. I bringing to get use to the random questions during activities. They then filmed me driving a bit in the snow and wanted to do more however again I expressed that we were going to be late for class especially since it snowed last night. I got into there car and we went to class. We arrived late has I feared but not to late. We did a variety of things in Tae Kwon Do that morning forms, kicking drills, and belt combinations. They also did some impromptu interviews with some of the other students.

After Tae Kwon Do we went back to my house. I had collected pictures, awards, medical papers, school records etc from my childhood and they were interested in get all of that material. Also my friend Danielle was coming over for lunch. Danielle and I have been friends since I was maybe ten and she had told me how our friendship had made a positive impact on her life. When she was fourteen she had cancer and us being friends helped that experience. Danielle and I had a great lunch and I made her food which might of been the first time ever. She was then interviewed and talked about our friendship when I heard her speak about me it brought tears to my eyes.

Later that evening I went to Drum and Dance with my mom. This is a spiritual space for me and many of my friends. I checked first to see if it was alright to have some filming done. It was decided it was fine conditions. Momo would not be able to use the light because it was to bright and it would only be allowed for about a half hour. We had a small group that night probably because of the snow. It was very enjoyable for me. Momo did not seem to getting the footage that he would of liked because the room was rather dark. Nothing could change that because this was community space was not all about me. I think of all the filming this was the place that I had most nervousness about because I did want disrupt others. There was opportunity for and interview but Momo left before the end and missed the chance.

January 22, 2012

We got up really early to get to the Cape by 9am to visit with Misty’s family. We had plans to join Michael at his Kung Fu class. I had been excited to learn that Michael was involved with martial arts and was loving it. Michael has TAR Syndrome as well I had meet the family through Shriners about five years ago and we became close friends. Michael’s leg problem were different then mine and so he is still learning to be able to walk. This weekend I was able to see him walk for the first time and this was very exciting. Michael Kung Fu class was a lot of fun I learned that I knew a lot more about Kung Fu then I realized. After the class ended Michael and I worked together to see how each of our styles could help the other. Then we went back to house to have lunch and hangout. Michael showed me how played video games using one hand and his chin. I realized that this worked out pretty well. Momo then interviewed Misty and Johnny about our friendship. He also interviewed Michael as well. Over all it was a great day. Shortly before the football game we drove home.

Human Documentary

The last month has been a bit of a whirl wind. January 11, 2012 a call came into Bruce McCorry’s Martial Arts from S. Korea and they wanted to speak to me. Later that night I spoke with them and it turns out that there was a coming attractions to a documentary that myself and our school were figured in and people were really interested in my story. They wanted to produce a five part series documentary on my life featuring me here in the United States and then going to visit S.Korea. They were very eager and wanted an answer immediately however I thought it best to think it through and check with other people who would be affected by my choice as well e.i. Friends, family, and work.

The following day I started to speak to work, friends, family and called Andrew. Andrew worked with me on the prior documentary and was friendly and knowledgeable about the system. As soon as I called him he was quick to help I gave him the contact info to the people calling me and he said that he would check into things for me and would be in touch. Meanwhile friends and family were on board and excited for me. I was a bit hesitate as I wanted the full picture before I made a decision either way. Andrew became my agent immediately and had conversation on my behalf so I could truly understand what they wanted from me. In the end I agreed to the filming and they were set to arrive Tuesday night January 17, 2012. At this point I was aware that they wanted to film me doing everyday life with my friends, family, work and Tae Kwon Do. It was not as much detail as I would of like but it was enough for now. We were set to meet with the filming crew Wednesday morning January 18, 2012 to setup a schedule for the next 7-10 days.