Last September, I began working as an instructor for an innovative film workshop that uses film production as a way to help veterans struggling with PTSD called I Was There film workshops. I wrote about my first experience in a blog post last Fall. It was the 2nd workshop they had done since beginning in 2011.
Earlier this year, I had to miss out on 2 workshops due to shooting Summit. But when they started back up again this summer, I jumped right back in. I have now done a total of 6 workshops, more than any other instructor. I didn't anticipate loving it as much as I do. It's been such a rewarding experience, getting to do what I love, make films, while helping people and introducing them to the medium that has so inspired me in life.
I'm mainly writing this post to share a news story that was done by Lee Woodruff for CBS This Morning at the last workshop back in October. The piece aired this past Monday, Veteran's Day, and features interviews with 'I Was There' founder Ben Patton and two of the veterans that participated in that workshop, as well as b-roll of the workshop itself (including footage of me working with one of my groups). Watch it to find out more about the workshop and why it's so helpful and effective.
Not only have I done 6 workshops and helped create its new curriculum, I'm also incredibly proud to announce that at the next workshop in December I wont just be an instructor but also co-running it with CongestedCat friend & occasional collaborator Sean Mannion. We're hoping that this CBS story will bring more attention to the workshop and allow us to do even more of them next year. It has not just been a wonderful thing for me to be a part of on an emotional & mental level (it keeps my brainstorming & technical skills sharp), it has also been incredibly beneficial financially in terms of helping me get out of my post-Summit & "Kelsey" debt. I truly hope that it can get to the level where it replaces all my other freelance work and my two focuses will be our CongestedCat projects and being part of the workshop. I can see it being applicable to various groups of people outside of the Military that are struggling with PTSD as well, and I'm really proud that I was part of this workshop from the beginning and will play a role in broadening its reach.
I just wanted to share that with you all. Thanks for reading/watching. Feel free to comment & share. Also, be sure to check back soon because we've got new updates coming about Summit, "Kelsey", IndieWorks, a new short that Ryan's shooting soon and a new short that I'm working on next year!