Category Archives: History

History – Part 2: The Computer

2006 was a busy (and fun) year. A Caribbean cruise the end of January, wedding planning, house projects, house for sale, house hunting, house purchase, wedding in front yard… whew! And, the book that Christmas time that got the ball rolling.

Filmmaking had been put on hold, but I was beginning to accept the dream. I placed it in the back of my mind, but not so deep as to forget it. There was the newness of marriage, a new house and the sad fact that The UPS Store (which I co-owned) hadn’t sold after years of trying and there was no promise, no real hope it would sell… now or in the future. How could I move forward in this new direction? The reality was, a door hadn’t opened yet… only a small window… and it was awfully high above my head.

Fast forward to late Spring 2008. The UPS Store had sold (a not-so-minor-miracle in it’s self). My business partner and I were moving to a new office to focus full time on our graphic design business (the thing that brought us together back in 2000). After a couple of months of taking it easy on the work front, work life was once again fun. We decided to make some capital improvements in the business and while at lunch one day, we decided to head to the computer store. Having been PC guys (mostly because of budget) and now having a few (yes, just a few) bucks in the bank, we began to take a serious look at Macs. Truth be told, I was thinking about the filmmaking dream. I spent some time surfing the internet and came to the conclusion that a Mac Pro, Cinema Display, Adobe software package and Final Cut Pro (non-linear editing software) were now on the wish list. In early July we had two new systems sitting on our desks. Who in their right mind spends thousands of dollars on a video editing system without a camera, a plan, a clue?! Me.

I began to let the creative juices flow. The dream moved from pipe to something slightly harder than sand (not dirt or concrete yet). A month or so later I began to think more about the dream… and began praying in earnest about God’s will and leading regarding filmmaking. Shortly thereafter, the August issue of the Gleaner (the NPUC Adventist monthly magazine) came in the mail. As I took the copy out of the mailbox, my eyes almost popped out of my head. A shot of adrenaline, blissful shock and excitement. Who was on the cover, but an old college classmate, now a successful, awarding winning filmmaker. I hurried inside the house and plopped down, frantically turning the pages to find the article, reading ferociously… with a smile and peace. The article noted an email address and the next day I shot off what must have read like a blubbering note. A response came quickly and it was full of questions and advise. Over the course of a few days, I learned some basics about format, cameras, and the business that only caused that smile to widen. I did not believe it was coincidence. Certainly this issue was in the works before I even began to pray!

While traveling through Portland, Oregon in early September 2008, I did something totally out of character. I stopped at an electronics store and purchased a small consumer video camera — no research, no plan. I knew in my heart it wasn’t the camera I’d use long term, but it was motivation and another key to unlock the dream. I got back to Medford and began pouring over articles and reviews online. I shot off emails and asked questions. Within a few weeks I had returned the camera I purchased in Portland and began praying that the Lord would lead me to the RIGHT camera. That if He really wanted be to move forward, He would open doors and make it obvious what camera I should buy.

While the lines were fuzzy, the picture, the dream was moving forward. I praised Him and thanked Him…

“I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!”

~ Isaiah 65:24, NLT


History – Part 1: The Book

What possessed an almost-40-something graphic designer to jump into the film industry? Two words… Holy Spirit.

No, I’m not trying to be funny. It’s the truth. Sounds crazy? It is.

It all began, with a simple chain of events (in Heavenly terms, not human). Here’s Part 1 of the story:

Back in mid December 2005, a friend, David Catalano, took Michelle and me out snowmobiling at Crater Lake after church one Sabbath afternoon. Driving through the majestic snow-covered pines and furs, we touched on various topics ranging from the state of our denomination to personal and spiritual growth. David asked if either of us had read, The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson. I had read the Prayer of Jabez, another book written by Wilkinson, but not The Dream Giver. David explained the basic premise of the book (I’ll get to that later, for those who haven’t read it yet… hint, hint.) I thought it sounded interesting and felt it would be a good read, but soon was distracted by the snow and the sledding (after all, the Canadian blood does flow through this So Cal boy’s veins.)

Michelle surprised me with a copy for Christmas a few weeks later, thinking it would be a fun read on an upcoming vacation. As with so many of my books, it sat on a shelf collecting dust (and waiting for the Holy Spirit to prompt me to read it — His timing is perfect and this is something that seems to happen with me and books often.)

A whole year passed. It was Christmas time 2006 and I found myself a bit bored one quiet Sabbath afternoon. I grabbed the book and settled into my favorite chair. A couple of hours later, with tear-stained cheeks, I closed the book and sent up a prayer. For you see, the story found in the pages hit home. The Dream Giver is a simple yet beautiful allegory beckoning the reader to heed our Creator’s calling and boldly follow our dreams… the dreams He’s placed in our hearts. Wilkinson points out the various roles of those around the “dreamer”. I identified with the role of encourager. I was acting as a mentor to a young businessman, seeing a lot of myself in him, and I felt affirmed that I was fulfilling one of God’s calls as I read. It was several minutes after putting down the book that my heart skipped a beat as I mentally gasped, “What’s my dream?!”

I struggled with the thought for a few seconds before placating myself with the pat answer, “Well… a graphic designer, of course.” Besides, hadn’t I been designing logos since I was a wee lad? (Most notably, the logo for Loma Linda’s first professional hockey team, the Loma Linda Firebacks, emblazoned on an old white t-shirt with red, orange and yellow puff paint.) I spent the next few days struggling to go no further than this “easy answer”. It was days later, again with a tear-filled nudging from the Holy Spirit that I found myself willing to face what was buried deep within my soul. “Don’t think about it. You don’t know anything about it! It’s CRAZY!” I was in a battle — a classic good angel/bad angel-on-the-shoulders argument. That night, I sat with Michelle and looked her in the eyes. “I feel called to make Christian films,” I blurted out. I was shocked by the lack of shock on her face! She smiled. Supportive as always and in a affirming tone, Michelle reminded me of words I’d spoken, yet forgotten. She shared the times after watching a movie with spiritual significance, that I’d shared my interest in filmmaking and how fun it would be make films that were uplifting and would draw eyes heavenward. I was shocked. She knew (or maybe remembered) me better than myself. A flood of memories then began to flow. I had said that, I had dreamed about it! In that moment I felt as if all I had ever done, all I had ever experienced, my talents, my training, my personality, my upbringing were dots now connected, revealing an image. Though the picture was at best a line art drawing, I felt heavenly and personally assured that it would one day have detail and color…


“For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.”

~ Habakkuk 1:5, NLT

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