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About the Production

Calling Scene


In the June, 1995 Videomaker Magazine, executive editor Stephan Muratore published a challenge to all of us who used our camcorders for only half an hour a month: hook up with other video enthusiasts and produce a work for a "doer's group." Quoting from the article:

"Video is other people" means reaching beyond one's two hands and one family. In this connection, video user's groups seem a good idea when they actually shoot and edit together. But user's groups swell with behind-the-camera types. What about the people for whom the lens cries out? Imagine User's Group Meets High School Drama Club, User's Group Meets Local Basketball Team, User's Group Meets Gallery Owner... That's the idea: User's Groups Meet Doers Groups.

Original Concept

In February of 1996, a group of Dallas, Texas area video enthusiasts began meeting with a goal of producing a tape for a non-profit organization. In July, a group member asked the Collin County Women's Shelter, now called Hope's Door, to consider a joint project. By September we all agreed to go forward with a project, although the actual subject matter was still up in the air.

In January of 1997, the video group presented two treatments to Hope's Door: one was a remake of an existing video, with an emphasis on improving production values as well as incorporating new programs, such as the Batterer's Intervention Program (BIP). The other treatment, however, proposed a dramatization of a domestic abuse case. Hope's Door reviewed both treatments and decided to base the production on the latter. This was a radical change to the original concept for the video.

Treatment and Script

During the first half of 1997, Hope's Door took this original concept and developed the treatment for A Journey of Hope with the video group providing feedback. Once this work was finished, a video group member wrote the first script draft which was finished in August.

Hope's Door performed a thourough review of the script, specifically to check for clinical accuracy. A key interest was developing the BIP scene to accurately reflect statistically typical domestic abuser behavior. The script went through multiple revisions, and the third draft was finished in April of 1998. By this time the video group had dissolved, but several members remained committed to this project.

Casting, Production, and Editing

Casting was completed in June of 1998 with assistance from the Collin County Community College District's (CCCCD) theatre arts program. A final revision of the script was completed in July. Shooting on location at Hope's Door's administrative offices and abuse shelter was finished by the end of the month.

Editing proved to be problematic. We had originally planned to use low end personal computer based editing equipment. Although the software proved capable of digitizing video and developing an editing decision list, the hardware was unable to perform machine control without dropping scenes during assemble editing. In October, we started looking for editing assistance.

In January of 1999 we obtained a tentative agreement from an editing studio to complete the production on a pro-bono basis during down time. But the studio won several contracts and became over booked. About six months later the CCCCD television programming department agreed to provide editing studio time. We published the production in October and registered for a copyright in January of 2000.

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