Dementia caregiving is hard.
Popping a cork, laughing, and lamenting about it ain't!
Stumped Town Dementia is proud to present...
(Well, truth be told 'round here we go from proud to present to terrified to present, and with the amount of wine that's gonna be drunk I'm quite certain a little ashamed to present will work its way in there before all is said and done.)
It turns out documentary film making is a lot like dementia: OVERWHELMING! It also turns out it still ain't as overwhelming as dementia so I think we got this.
But it has kept me from being able to fill you all in on our progress. I shall take this time to redress the wrong and catch you up on the last couple of months.
I hired these three hooligans...
Director: Chris G. Parkhurst is a freelance director based out of Portland, Oregon. He has been working in documentary and commercial production since 2004. Chris’ beloved grandfather, “Parkie”, lived with Alzheimer’s until his death a decade ago.
Sound: Richard Walters has worked as a location sound recordist and post-sound mixer for countless documentary, narrative, and commercial projects. Richard’s grandpa, Leo D. Smith, who was a WW2 bomber pilot, a business owner, and loving family man, had dementia through the last years of his life and passed away in 2007.
Producer: Bryce Hill was a jack-of-all trades freelancer in the world of feature film and television production until producing pulled him into the world of commercials. He’s culled together years of experience and is happy to put these skills to use for WWD, as Alzheimer's has affected both his grandmother and step-mother.
They bring a wealth of experience to my vision which makes it a win-win for all of us. (Or should I say wine-wine?)
I then bought this used RV...
The first RV I test drove died twice! This one didn't so much as backfire.
Much less exciting but ultimately more practical for a 7,500 mile road trip.
Then I started designing the vehicle artwork because that RV is gonna be a rolling billboard for Wine, Women, and Dementia!
Then I landed our first corporate sponsor: Carely.
Thank you, Carely, for supporting the stories of dementia family caregivers!
Check out their free social caregiving app, it may be just what you and your dementia person need for a smoother ride on this bumpy journey.
In between all of that I've been working furiously on budgets, additional corporate fundraising proposals, documentary scripts, travel schedule, campground research, and story, story, story!
AND last weekend we did our first shoot with my dementia caregiver friend Allyson Schrier, co-founder of Zinnia TV. (If you haven't checked out Zinnia TV yet, do! It is specifically designed for dementia viewers and their caregivers to create moments of engagement.) It was absolutely lovely to get to meet her in person, share a couple of bottles of wine, and talk dementia caregiver smack into the night! And a good learning experience better preparing all of us for the cross-country road trip to shoot the remainder of our dementia caregivers in September.
Phew! I'm breathless just typing it all out! But even with the action-packed days, stress, self-doubt, a whopping filmmaker learning curve, newbie pitfalls, and a to-do list a half-mile long, I'm positive this is what I need to be doing right now.
I feel like we (not just me) have accumulated a wealth of dementia caregiving information throughout the pages of Stumped Town Dementia; our family's story coupled with the wisdom, empathy, and know-how you've shared in response. It's time to reach a larger caregiver audience who may glean support in the shared caregiver outlook that brought all of us together.
So, wine, women, and dementia my comrades in caregiving, because until there's a cure there's community and I'm grateful you've been mine.
P.S. If you own or work for a business that would like to boost their brand to a wide swath of the 16 million strong dementia caregiver community, let me know! We still have sponsorships available, and a spot on the RV for your company's logo!