In my latest video, I wanted to show the world the amazing community we have here in Southern Maryland especially after the tragic event that took place on March 20, 2018. This one really hits home. I grew up in Great Mills, went to school at Great Mills High School, and pass the school everyday. Winson Media LLC is based in Great Mills, Maryland. The media would only report the negative aspect of this event. I wanted to change the narrative and show the people the positive side, the stories that this community really needed to see.
March 20, 2018 in the wake of a tragedy, a community comes together to be there for the students and staff of Great Mills High School. I was inspired to do something for the community after seeing the support on social media. I wanted to share the outpouring love from the community to the students, the staff, and to those who were affected.
I’ve never worked on a solo project like this before. A documentary style video where I had to interview people on camera. I didn’t know how this would turn out. I didn’t know if I would be able to put something together. I was unsure about a lot of things when it came to this project, but one thing I was sure about is that I wanted to give back and do something that would put a smile to people’s faces. I kept the students and staff in my mind throughout the whole process and that really helped me continue to push through.
As a filmmaker, figuring out what to include in the video is always a challenge for any video that you create. After some time, I was able to generate a list of ways people have shown their support. This was created based on what I saw on Facebook and what events were referred to me by people from the community. I began contacting those who organized such events and scheduling a time to sit down to film their story. When the project was complete, I understood that I could not include everything. There were events or people that were not included in the film simply because I did not know or hear about it. Some people didn’t respond to me when I reached out to them. The ones included in this film should not be put above anyone else. That was not the intention of this film. All the support that was put together whether big or small were greatly appreciated by the students and staff. If I had it my way, I would’ve love to include everyone!
“I was unsure about a lot of things when it came to this project, but one thing I was sure about is that I wanted to give back and do something that would put a smile to people’s faces.”
June 1, 2018 was the day I decided to publicly release the film. The seniors at Great Mills High School were graduating that day. I figured, what a great gift it be for them! I was nervous about the release and didn’t know how the community would react. I didn’t anticipate the exposure that it may get. I can recall that day. I scheduled a 9:00 AM EST release of the video on Facebook. Early that morning I drove up the road to be part of a photo shoot for a major movie (this can be a blog post on its own, but I can’t say what it is). Let’s just say you may or may not have seen me (really my leg) in a major character (celebrity) reveal for this particular movie. That day I was away from my phone from morning till the late afternoon when the photo shoot was complete. Since the film was released in the morning, I was shocked to see the overwhelming response the video had within a few hours! I was taken back to see the kind messages from so many people. Then I remember thinking about those times about whether or not I would be able to pull something like this together. I took a deep breath and smiled. I did it.
Sometimes you have to continue pushing through even when you are unsure. If your heart is in the right place, somehow some way it will work out.
I am truly grateful to all of those that gave me their time to make this possible. A big thanks to Dr. Heibel, principal of GMHS who was a big supporter of the film, those who agreed to sit down with me, and to all of you in the community that gave your heart to those who needed it. As the community moves forward in this healing process, I hope this film continues pushing us in the right direction. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love you SoMD! We are Great Mills! #hornetstrong
This video has been selected and jury nominated in the 2018 Southern Maryland Film Festival. It will be screened in Leonardtown, Maryland on July 14, 2018. For more information about this event and to buy tickets visit http://www.smdff.org/ or go to Southern Maryland Film Festival Facebook page.