BY CYNDI GREENING, ARIZONA, USA — Pamela Jo is out of town. They left Saturday morning to take their first born daughter (although third in the total pecking order) off to college. She won’t return until late Wednesday so I thought I’d do a guest post to keep her blog from being fallow. She’s a far better writer than I but I make up for it by being more verbose. She is far more reticent about herself so, while the cat’s away the mouse will blabber!
Many of you who read her blog know that she went to Zambia, Africa to shoot two films. What most of you don’t know is that the Zambia film probably would NOT have happened without her commitment and determination. Early in the process of trying to find funding to go (we had a small Innovative Project Grant from Mesa Community College but it was not nearly enough to get the whole crew there, get all of the supplies we needed and maintain us in Zambia), there were several times I almost gave up. It was too much pressure, too big a job. One weekend, I’d gone to LA to meet with a development exec and pitch the project. I was lying on the floor in the fetal position when Pamela called.
“Whatcha doing?” she said.
“Nothing.” (Boy, was that true!)
“I think you should write to Oprah. I think this is something she’d be interested in.” she says. I think this woman is out of her mind. I’m going to give the grant back and call the whole thing off. It’s too big. It’s too hard. I can’t do it. I started to argue with her about what a tiny little project we were and how Oprah would never talk to us. About twenty minutes later, I’m up off the floor, pacing in the hotel room trying to come up with who else we might call to ask for funding.
There were many moments like that before we left for Zambia. There were just as many once we got there. Three other wonderful faculty from Mesa Community College had come along but were only able to stay for a week or so because of the impending start of Fall Semester. Fortunately, I’d brought Pamela on as the other Producer. The last three weeks of the film shoot, we were responsible for the safety of the student crew and the success of the project. She was the “Rock of Gibralter.” I was so lucky.
I was surprised to discover that Pamela’s BA was in Journalism. While in Zambia, she loved interviewing the women and children about their lives. Some of our most poignant and powerful moments were captured as she talked with people. More accurately, listened to their stories.
This past year, we have continued to work on the Zambian film projects as well as other short and not so short (thank you very much Ms. Gingher) film projects. When the whole copyright claim surfaced, Pamela never wavered in her support or commitment. Even though we were having to keep it all quiet because of the impending hearing and it was cutting into our creative production time, she kept going.
During the grueling administrative hearing, I was allowed to have one person at the table with me. Guess who I chose? Of course. It was supposed to last one day and, so far, it has gone three days. I hope it will finish next Friday. If it doesn’t, I know Pamela will be there because that’s just the sort of human she is.
As loyal, supportive and kind as she is, it is nothing compared to her skill as a writer and filmmaker. I am so anxious to get this hearing behind us so the world can discover what I have come to know in the last two years, Pamela Bowman is a gifted visual storyteller with the commitment and determination to do anything she puts her mind to. See. I shouldn’t have ended the sentence that way. She’d have done it better.