In 2014, I set out to do something I had never done before—make a documentary film. This was definitely outside of my comfort zone. As former college teacher with a Ph.D. in Accounting, I was ill-equipped to make a movie, but, something inside of me wouldn’t let me walk away from doing it.
At the time, I lived in Fort Smith, Arkansas. As in most towns, there is a large disparity in the quality of life depending on where you live in town. My daughter chose to attend the high school on the “tough” side of town which allowed me to see behind the scenes of the Northside High School band program.
I was inspired to launch into this project by what I saw in the students and band directors as I interacted with them as the unofficial band photographer. I saw grit, determination and love. And all of this was taking place in a public school system. This I felt, was a story that had to be told.
I learned to use a video camera, hired a production crew and followed the Northside High School band and the Band Directors for an entire school year. Our journey covered more than 800 miles of travel with the band and resulted in 150 hours of video. The result is a 90 minute film, Leaving a Legacy, about more than band or music.
I am very proud of the finished film and the brave students and directors that shared their lives with me. I’m working hard on getting the movie to a screen near you!
If you’d like to learn more or watch the movie, visit the website Leaving A Legacy Documentary Film.