In this world there are creators and consumers. I have always had mentors who told me that it is better to create than to consume, no matter what the creation. Whether it’s words or images, creating something is to give, to provide inspiration, even lessons, to others and to share with the global community. In creating, you are more closely connected with those around you, your work influencing and shaping the thoughts of others.
But sometimes I have to remind myself that I am a creator. Many of my friends work in the film industry, creating tangible things, and I have been known to doubt my own abilities. This probably happens to any creative, no matter what their field.
In the last two years, however, a project came along that put those insecurities aside. I have long worked with the talented team at Uncage the Soul in varying capacities. A group of high-energy boys who feel more like brothers than coworkers, I am honored that they believe in me. While I don’t stand behind a camera (yet?) or sit in front editing software, I have always enjoyed the process that comes from conceiving a concept, planning and executing a project. It’s no surprise that I like the role of producer. So when the idea of doing a documentary film about Frank Moore came along, I wanted in.
Frank Moore is a 91-year-old World War II veteran. A respected fly fisherman. An eloquent man with a lifetime of stories. He’s the kind of man you wish were your grandfather. Spend a few days with him, and you start to feel like he’s your grandfather. He’s a man of vision and wisdom. Mending the Line is a story about Frank and his quest to return to Normandy to fish the rivers he had once crossed as a young soldier in battle. The goal was a trip of a lifetime and a resulting film.
But Mending the Line is more than a film. It was a team effort to create an experience for a deserving man and his family. Ultimately, the experience of creating the platform for Mending the Line, spending hours on the phone with French fly fishermen and cobbling together a production plan that spanned three countries, didn’t only result in being proud of a film. Certainly, the film is the end product, but what was even more meaningful was knowing that we created an experience for Frank, one that he never dreamed would come to fruition.
Throughout the process, I have come to know Frank and his wonderful wife, Jeanne. They let the entire production team into their lives, sharing an intimate and touching experience with a group of passionate filmmakers. Sometimes I think that they have given us far more than we gave them.
That’s the beauty of creating. You learn, you experience, you feel, and if you’re lucky, you touch lives. You become a part of something. It’s not the ownership over the end product that’s important; it’s the satisfaction that you are a part of something bigger. That you give instead of merely take.
As Frank once said to me, “If you really give love and are not afraid to receive love, there’s a heck of a lot less stress in life.” Just like love, creating is about giving, and, ultimately, it means you receive so much in return.
In addition to being the producer of Mending the Line (Mountainfilm 2014), Anna Brones is a writer and digital communications specialist. A believer in connecting passionate people to do good, she uses her marketing and production savvy to work on cause-driven issues and amplify stories that deserve to be told.