I’d like you to meet Nick Sadler, director/producer of Times Like These, a documentary film about male breast cancer featuring my friends Bob DeVito and Bill Becker. Bob is a breast cancer survivor and Bill passed away from the disease last September. Nick tirelessly advocates for male breast cancer awareness. When I received his latest update on Times Like These I asked for and received his permission to post it here. Please consider making a donation (tax deductible in the US) to help see this important project through to its end.
Reflections on Editing and Asking for Volunteers
I’ve been immersed in editing. This is what I am learning.
First off, we are enormously grateful to you for supporting us. There is no way we would be this close to finishing the documentary without you.
I’m very heartened by how the film is coming together through this edit. Even in its very rough assemblages – it’s remarkable to see how the days and elements weave together. How a moment captured in the background of one shot is actually the key insight to a day filmed months later. The revelations, at times, are breathtaking.
With our grant application deadlines for LEF and Sundance among others fast approaching, I’ve been focusing on the 15 minute edit of sequences we are submitting. I’ve been working through the series of events that led to Bill’s results when the cancer spread from his bones to his soft tissue.
To watch and re-watch these moments in real time and then compress them really messes with me. In a way, I’m “controlling” what happens in terms of shaping the story, but wanting so so so much to be able to change some of the outcomes. Bill fishing with his sons, the peace of the water, the timelessness… Bill in his element, in peace and joy jamming with Dave, and then with Mark – the release is mesmerizing. They are in control, ironically, of giving into the moment of creation – creating music, solidarity in something bigger than themselves.
And then there are the doctor visits. The treatments. Bill making those around him laugh and feel good when it’s so obvious he’s not feeling well. Lisa being steadfast, balancing her emotions, supporting Bill – but being unyielding in questioning the doctors, clarifying what they can expect, what needs to be done… Yet there is no control. There is only information and disease and how to best handle the news and have faith the next treatment will stop the cancer from creating and spreading.
I’m finding this film in many ways is about creation. Cancer creates cells. We create life. We create ways of understanding our lives through our family, our art, our friendships, our faith, our love. These creations join – and then separate and battle and destroy and rise and confound. But they are never still, they never rest, they never die… They just find a way to reinvent…
I’m understanding the power of hands, of eyes… The looks we exchange with those we love in a profoundly new way. Bill reaching for Lisa’s hands. Sarah reassuring Bill with a look and a smile. Tony gently grasping Bob’s hand in comfort. Bob meeting Tony’s gaze in wry knowing. Lisa taking hold of Jacob. Bill searching for a note on his frets. A technician calibrating the radiation beam, little Charlie reaching out for a finger, a snack, a kiss…
As emotionally difficult it is to work through much of this footage, I’m eagerly looking forward to sharing the finished film with you as soon as possible.
We Need Volunteers
I need to be honest with you. Our resources are tight right now. All the money we raised last year has been spent to cover production costs and allowing us to edit the first PSA spot and begin the rough edit of the documentary.
We have a lot of filming left to do: Interviews and life events with Lisa, the Kids, Bill’s siblings, his mom, Lisa’s siblings and parents, Bob and Tony, Bob’s Support Groups, Bob’s Medical Team, Bill’s Medical Team, the Medical, Oncology, Radiology, Psychological, and Research Experts at Harvard, Dana Farber, MacQuarie, and The Mayo Clinic.
And of course, the editing of all this footage into a 90 minute film. Which for documentaries is the most time intensive and expensive part of the process.
Right now, we have no money to do this.
I’m confident we will. But we need help.
To meet our expenses for February, we need to raise $5000.00.
To stay on schedule of finishing the film by July and begin our festival screenings and distribution plans, we need to raise $100,000.
Meeting our funding goal will allow us to cover our production, post production, film festival, free cancer support group screenings, distribution, and office expenses for 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.
It’s an ambitious plan. But it accounts for every penny we need, rather than relying on favors and the availability of our production and post-production teams to work for free. And like all of us, we have families and responsibilities that must come first.
Our strongest strategy is to expand our donor network. 70% of what we have raised has come from donations of $100 or less.
Although we’ve been incredibly fortunate to have many talented individuals donate their time and expertise to help us with foundation research and grant applications, we don’t have the budget to hire a fundraising staff.
We are looking for friends willing to reach out to their networks to promote the film and raise donations.
If you know someone who could volunteer to help us, please e-mail or call me: 310.880.8829 or email@example.com
We Will Get There!
This film will get made. I promise. It’s just a question of how long it takes. I will never give up on this mission. I made a promise to share this story and I will do whatever I have to make sure that happens, no matter how long it takes me to do it.
I believe in my heart we can make it happen this year.
Please please please know how much I appreciate your support.
I will keep expressing my sincere gratitude to you until the stars stop shining.
This is a special film. Thank you for believing in us.
I will be in touch soon. With more stories from the edit bay, from filming, and all the news of our progress.
Please reach out to me anytime. I love hearing from you.