A fantastic example, of how Social Media, is helping the world join up, and enabling us to do things that would have seemed impossible, just a few years ago. I wanted to share Jeffrey's story with you all. A young guy, who understands the value of doing things while you can. Carol, his grandmother has terminal lung cancer. He wants to use his skills to preserve some memories for the future, and share his values with the world. Those of us affected by cancer will understand exactly what he is talking about.
This piece is longer than usual, but it deserves your time! I have viewed the video on countless occasions,(link at the bottom of the piece) and it never fails to move me. Here is Jeffrey's story in his own words.
My name is Jeffrey Brant. I am a 25 year old, aspiring filmmaker from
Nashville, Tennessee. I’ve been focusing on freelance video the past
two years, and have been making great strides toward a career in film.
I started JBrantFilms, a freelance company of my own, to get my work
out to the public eye. Our support has been great since I started, but
now my producer and I are starting to focus on topics that we feel
deserve our attention. This is why I’m reaching out to you today.
On January 9th 2013, my grandmother was diagnosed with stage four-lung
cancer with doctors only giving her a few months to live. Now my
biggest regret in dealing with the death of family and friends in the
past, is not being able to understand WHY I didn’t do more to preserve
their memory. Why didn’t I take the time to ask the questions that
really mattered? And above all, with having a passion for a camera,
why didn’t I ever use this media to record moments and preserve
memories I had with my loved ones?
My father passed away going into my senior year of high school in
2005. My best friend and I found him on the front lawn, dead from what
they said was a massive heart attack. It took a couple of years to
finally understand why the tragedy had such a prolonged effect on me.
It was not until I came into my own as an independent person and an
independent thinker that I realized I had never truly known the man
who raised me. I never knew what made him tick. I never knew what his
deepest regrets or his childhood dreams were. I never got to know the
person who always picked me up from basketball practices and gave me
money whenever I needed it. I was too busy with routines that I firmly
believed were the most important things in my life at that time.
However, that was not true.
After watching one of those “heart felt story” kinds of movies at four
in the morning, days after her diagnosis, I was inspired to tell my
grandmother’s story in dealing with this cancer. A documentary I’ve
named, “Head Up..Heart Full,” is a story with hopes of teaching a
lesson about life and how precious it really is. I want to portray how
the most important gifts we have, especially each other, are often
taken for granted.
On February 6th 2013, I launched an online crowd funding platform
through a website called IndieGoGo.com. We set our goal of $20,000 to
help raise money for cost of equipment, pay for the travel and lodging
expenses for a small crew, including myself, as well as promotion and
distribution for the feature film when it is complete. We want to push
this message to as many film festivals as possible, worldwide. The
fundraiser is set to last 32 days, ending on March 10th 2013.
As stated above, the funding we raise will cover the costs of
traveling and lodging. This is because the story takes place on a
Native American reservation in Canada where I was born. I’m a
full-blooded Native American Ojibwa from the Mississaugas of the New
Credit First Nation reserve in Ontario, Canada. Through this firsthand
look at cancer, I also want to cover the culture of a society that not
many people know much about these days. We want the message of life to
be first and foremost, but we want to do it in a style that’s visually
compelling, true to the native theme, and most importantly relatable
to an audience of all races affected by this disease.
All I ask is that you take five minutes today to watch the video on
the link below. Click the "contribute" button and help donate to our
cause. Help spread the word and let’s make this film a reality. Every
little bit counts, I promise you that. Every little bit makes a
difference. This story isn’t just for my family, but for everyone who
has seen their lives and the lives of those close to them torn to the
ground by this awful disease. The message is not about death, but the
importance of life and all of its wonderful attributes that go
unnoticed. I still believe compassion in our society has a long ways
to go. This is just our contribution at making it believable once
With all my best wishes,
Jeffrey Brant "