Film making and budgets don’t match. For those of you who are creative individuals you know that nothing can compare to when you have accomplished a goal you are passionate about. Be it music, painting, events, or film. You will know that you are willing to go through great personal sacrifice in order to see it happen to the fullest of your dreams. Art in general is a priceless thing… sadly its also very expensive. Making films of any kind that people are going to want to watch requires money. A lot of it. Equipment isn’t cheap. Sadly, neither is travel.
Over the last several days I have become painfully aware of that fact, and I have to fight for every penny spent to see this project get done. Today I have had to find a way to get the $400 required in order to pay for the travel costs of a third bag on my flight. Mind you, those in the finance department are great people and happy to help when they see the need and the cost is justified. Its just the time and effort needed to convey it as a real issue is not the most pleasant experience.
Last night I was looking for a “container” that is the full size of a bag of luggage, sturdy enough to hold all my equipment, and light enough to minimize the impact on my weight limits. I found one, I bought two. During that process, however, my stress levels were high. I have found that the devil is attacking me at every point now trying to discourage me from making this film. As he has been doing more and more to get me discouraged and to put up road blocks in my path, I have found myself worrying even in my own abilities as a film maker. (Something that I usually don’t have an issue with… I usually find myself having to practice humility often) So it’s a big deal. As I felt more and more discouraged about every roadblock, however, I pray to God that somehow He will do the impossible and make a way for things to happen.
At the moment I have a large amount of equipment I have to bring. Somehow I have to divide it between 3 luggage containers and find a way to pack my clothes and other basic necessities. I also have my backpack and laptop bag which I plan to use as carry-ons as well but it is still a lot of stuff. Last night I had no idea how it would all fit in two containers and found myself struggling to stay positive. I found that I should be able to fit it all in two containers and hopefully get my clothes and such in a third. Last night I prayed for God to make a way for it all to work out. This morning, to my surprise, when I weighed the full container I had packed the night before, I found it was just 1 or 2 pounds below the weight limit. I have no idea how this is possible but it is and I praise God for it. I will be packing the rest of the equipment away today.
Then there is the issue of insurance and getting my personal equipment covered for this project. All in all I have a very decent amount of video and audio equipment I have invested in for my own projects. I am happy to use it as well as my investment has been more along the lines of creative cinematography equipment rather than big bulky heavy cameras. As such I can do many things with my gear that I could not do with the equipment that AFM has. My boss agrees. Getting it covered for the trip against theft, damage, or loss is a whole different matter. Thankfully God has made a way for that to work out as well.
It doesn’t seem as real as I write up this blog post, but please believe me when I say there have been several times in the last 24 hours that I didn’t think things would work out. In some ways I am still not 100% sure, however, God is working and encouraging me every step of the way. There are two verses that come to mind as a direct encouragement to this situation. The first is Jeremiah 29:11: “11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The second verse is actually two verses. Romans 8:28,31: “28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
These verses, while they can be very stereotypical and heard often in church, are very real promises by God. Through this experience I am learning that you cannot fully understand the power and reality of Gods promises until you test them for yourself in life. I, for one, am honored to be put through these trials in the work God is leading me to do. I know I am not perfect, I know that I am not worthy, but the amazing thing about God is He takes the unqualified and qualifies them to do His work.
My prayer for you is that you will ask God where He wants you, and that you will go wherever He leads. The road is not easy. It’s often very hard. You will struggle, you will sacrifice. But you will also be very glad that you did. I know that I could not be happier than doing the work God has called me to do. God has given me a passion to use media to reach others. God has given you a passion that you can use for Him, and He will use you if you are willing.
Please continue to pray for me that God will make way for this project to be a success. Please also pray that the flight and the equipment all arrive safely. I will post more in the coming days.
Thanks again for all of your support,
– Alexander Swensen