We racked our brains for weeks without a breakthrough! We knew we had a good story, but we didn’t know what to call it. Getting the name of your child right is important, but so is the name of a high impact life changing documentary. Once you have a name, you are usually stuck with it.
In the world of documentaries and movies, getting the right name is everything. Think ‘Jaws’, ‘Titanic’ and ‘Finding Nemo’. Great names are ‘short and sweet’ and to the point. Great names of documentaries are truthful and also don’t overstate the story. Great titles usually help gather enough curiosity in their hearing for people to want to investigate and see the truth for themselves.
But what do you call a documentary about the scourge of childhood sexual abuse, which one in four women and one in six men have experienced before the age of 18? That computes to 5 million Australians, or 1.5 billion people world over. The numbers are horrifying but very real!!
Start quoting statistics and people’s eyes begin to glaze over. That is why films have to tell stories and then back those stories up with expert opinion in order to create a series of high impact, life-changing stories which make up a full 70 minute documentary.
We knew we were on to something huge and we could have people’s stories in their tens of thousands. Unfortunately there is no shortage of stories from childhood sexual abuse survivors in Australia. But the challenge for us as documentary makers was getting the right balance of stories to paint the true picture and at the same time, the right balance of experts to present the real solutions.
Each of us on the production team were united in the belief that healing always has a spiritual component because human beings are body, soul and spirit. But how do you tell a story of faith, hope and love about those who have suffered the ultimate betrayal without lapsing into depression as do many Australian films? The other side of the ditch to raw depression in documentary making is a shallow jingoism which we equally wanted to avoid.
The job was made even harder because of the fact that two of the five member production team had suffered some form of sexual abuse in the first 18 years of their lives. His experience was far worse than mine, possibly because I was 18 at the time, while he was much younger, and I had the presence of mind to resist my molester.
I love fishing and met a man on a flight back from Tasmania who was really into fishing. He invited me down the South Coast of NSW to his holiday house to catch a big one from his boat. I guess I should have smelled something fishy but the phrase ‘young and stupid’ is not without meaning. I remember him telling me to say that I was one of his nephews if any of the locals in that sleepy coastal village asked any questions. I must admit it did sound a bit strange at the time. Later that night he did his best to verbally seduce me, but by that time I could see where this guy wanted to go, and I resisted him at every level.
Prayer is powerful and looking back I believe it was a miracle of God’s grace that I was spared what 5 million adult Australians have suffered as children and know only too well. The fact that I was 18 years of age was the other deciding factor. I guarantee that if I had been younger by even a few years, I would have been another statistic with all the horrible emotional consequences that sexual abuse incurs: depression, anxiety disorders, poor self-esteem, aggressive behaviour, suicide attempts, eating disorders, use of illicit drugs, alcohol abuse, post-traumatic stress, disassociation, sexual difficulties, self-harming behaviours and personality disorders.
In the end it was my wife who broke the nexus of the log jam in looking for a name for our documentary. Her suggestion, Humble Hope, expressed so well what we were all feeling and hoping for. Could a mere documentary begin to turn the tide of childhood sexual abuse in our nation? Could a humble documentary bring hope and healing to abuse survivors in Jesus name?
That is our hope!
Maybe you can help us?
Together we can make a difference!
For starters, only use an ISP that can provide porn filtering at a provider level. I have been using Webshield for a decade and I would not think of using anything else.
As parents we need to be informed about the issues and keep a watchful eye on our children. Internet porn is available on almost all mobile devices. Unfortunately you have to start talking about this subject when your children begin to talk, because if you don’t someone else will.
Secondly, get yourself a copy of Cyber Parenting by Australian authors James & Simone Boswell.
Yours for our children
PS. Humble Hope, the documentary, will be on tour in Victoria (and once in Sydney) this coming week for a series of FREE entry pre-screening fundraising dinners. Bookings are essential. I will be touring in Victoria, along with one of the abuse survivors from the documentary, Mark Stiles.
Humble Hope can be seen this week in:
Monday 18 July 2016
Tuesday 19 July 2016
Wednesday 20 July 2016
Wednesday 20 July 2016
Thursday 21 July 2016