My Life
The Making of "Our Little Paradise"

In the spring of 2003, I enrolled in a documentary production seminar class at the University of North Texas. In this class we were assigned the task of making a short documentary film in a small collaborative group of two graduate students. I paired with a graduate student named Tina, who had an idea to do a documentary about a World War II prisoner of war camp in Mexia, Texas. We eventually named the film "Our Little Paradise".

Making this short fifteen minute documentary took its toll on Tina and myself. Filming almost every weekend, editing and re-editing in the dark for hours and hours, providing rough cut after rough cut for the professor and other classmates to view, took a lot out of us, and me especially. Sometimes we would feel good after finishing a section, while other times we would be frustrated at the film, and even at each other. Collaborating with someone else can be frustrating sometimes, as I had a vision of what I wanted the end product of the film to look like, and I'm pretty sure Tina did also. But we had to continually put our minds together and try to come up with the best possible film that was informative, entertaining, and somewhat pleasing to both of us.

However all the headaches and muscle aches, strain and pain, frustrations and disagreements, were all worth it when we premiered the film at the University of North Texas in May 2003. The audience loved the film, and afterwards everyone commended us on a job well done, and raved about how much they enjoyed the film. To have a project that you slaved over and logged a combined filming and editing total of well over 150 hours go well and get rave reviews, was definitely worth the trials and tribulations to get to that point. Tina was an extraordinary person and I enjoyed collaborating with her on this project. Although I during the process I might have complained a little and at some points regretted this long and tedious project, I loved every minute of it, and would absolutely love to do something of this magnitude over again, and again, and again. But, in the end, after all was said and done, Our Little Paradise turned out to be our little paradise.