‎13 Moons‎

THUMBNAIL
The T-Shirt Logo

The Power is Ours! At a theatre near you…‎

Mazal Tov, it’s celebration time!‎

Could it be that every death is followed by another birth? Shortly after my father passed away, I ‎began my “book of letters” project. All of the letters (remember those days?) that my father and I ‎wrote to one another were collected and words of tribute, poems and other sentimental writings ‎were added to the collection. I photocopied the works on lavender colored pages and bound a ‎limited number of copies. It may have been a simple memento, but to this day it remains dear to ‎me.‎

I am a woman of action and this endeavor had my devoted attentions. Within the creative process ‎I found both comfort and strength. While gathering and binding the pages, I read, reread and ‎sorted the letters and other materials. Throughout the process I felt my father’s steady presence. ‎Even today, anytime I feel his memory slipping away from me, it is enough to open the memento ‎and leaf through the pages. It is but minutes before I can hear his voice. For a moment of grace I ‎am with him again. ‎

Dancing With the Little Devil Inside

Shortly after my mother passed away, once again I donned a creative cloak of magic…‎

devil

I was overpowered by a tremendous sense of loss. For the better part of the last three decades ‎she wallowed in a cauldron of calamities as her health deteriorated bit by bit, over and over again. ‎She was shuffled from doctor to doctor in an endless pursuit for answers which were more often ‎than not intolerable: insufficient and indefinite.‎

We met up in Vancouver at the Rabbi’s study. My brothers and I, our spouses and Dave, my ‎mother’s chosen one, sat together and tried to paint an image of the woman that was. We found ‎ourselves reminiscing. Bittersweet memories and warm laughter came to life as we remembered.‎

On the eve before the funeral, I found myself writing a eulogy for Mom. Although I had excelled at ‎creative writing as a child, with the exception of short text messages, I had not been writing much ‎of anything lately.‎

My sense of loss was compounded by the stark difference between the once upon a time promise ‎and the tragic ever after. Earlier she battled to replace poverty, ugliness and ignorance with ‎comfort, beauty and education, latter the battlefield came closer, uncomfortably so, to home. ‎Once were she to question, “Mirror mirror on the wall who is the happiest of them all”, she would ‎not have been disappointed by the answer in the looking glass.‎

Her story illuminated a cruel twist of fate as her vibrancy and passion faded in the shadow of ‎disease.‎

fordad
Notice the T-Shirt – Our son was named after my father

My father was but 54 when he passed away from severe heart disease. My mother was afflicted ‎with Parkinson’s and any number of disorders. Both of my parents parted from this world in an ‎abundance of sickness, pain and heartache. Their hard fall from grace has, without a doubt, ‎influenced my wake in this world.‎

I am passionate about kindling change. It is about time that we awaken from our slumber. We have ‎the powers to part from this world on better terms. We need only choose to use them… ‎

I began to ponder exactly how I could, on the one hand shake things up, while on the other hand, ‎create a memento in memory of my parents. I wanted nothing short than for people to ‎understand the powers of their day to day choices in molding their future destiny.‎

A Story is Born

Shortly after my mother’s passing, I found myself writing a story about a magic mirror and a ‎kaleidoscope, enchanting devices used to paint the connection between our choices and our ‎future. The story created a buzz of friendly traffic as I shared it on social media.‎‏ ‏

At precisely the same time, I was privileged to view a magical short animated film, the collaborative ‎effort of two Ringling Brothers School of Art graduates. “Jinxy Jenkins, Lucky Lou” is an upbeat, ‎moving, colorful and poignant piece of art. I was deeply motivated to share and share away…‎

JINXY JENKINS & LUCY LOU | One Unlucky guy finds a Lucky Gal – Cute Animation by Ringling

When the chaotically misfortunate Jenkins and the monotonously lucky Lou run into each other one morning, they find a thrilling and fulfilling change of pace as they hurtle down the hills of San Francisco in an ice cream cart.

I wondered if my story could be used to create such a powerful and poignant call to action…‎

While for many years I had created many video clips, my drawing talents were next to nil…‎

I contacted one of the above mentioned graduates and asked if he would be available to ‎collaborate, alas he was unavailable. Today he works at Pixar Studios and I don’t think that I will be ‎able to use his services anytime soon.‎

I approached a professional animation team and their quotation was polished beyond my means. ‎While utilizing my budding networking capabilities, I found a recent WIZO Haifa Academy of Design ‎graduate. Both Reut and her good friend were recent graduates. In what I would call a rare pure ‎and unselfish move, Reut decided to show both her and her friend Lilach’s portfolios. I must ‎say that I experienced some discomfort when I decided to choose her friend Lilach…‎

At that time Lilach had a day job and limited time available for our project. Progress was at a snail’s ‎pace.‎

Unable to solve a script dilemma, we turned to a professional screenwriter. As he began ‎sharing scripts more suitable for the likes of Pixar budgets, we knew that this was more than ‎we had bargained for! In the end we parted ways. Lilach and I found the solution to our dilemma.‎

collage3

While Lilach drafted those first sketches, I made an invested effort to learn which script qualities ‎could be utilized to create viral content.‎

We prepared a T-shirt logo which sported a pineapple superhero complete with a red cape and ‎slogan:

The Power is Ours! The slogan was a mirrored image, a constant reminder in the looking ‎glass of our superpowers.‎

Lilach enlisted Vitaly, her classmate and collaborator at WIZO, as our animator. This was also a side ‎gig for him and we continued to make progress at a slow pace.‎

The animation progressed and I recorded a primitive narration. For a while there, I thought that we ‎might actually use my voice. It seems that my passionate narration presented an authentic voice. ‎In the end, however, we decided to bring my friend Nitzan, professional actor, English speaker and ‎health nut onboard. Together we met up at a professional recording studio in the big city. ‎

I believe in full disclosure. In the beginning I was very tense as I heard him speaking my words with ‎the wrong diction, not at all as I had intended… What chutzpa, that was my baby! Thankfully I was ‎able to coach Nitzan with ease. With much gratitude to his professionalism and that of the ‎recording team, the resulting product was spot on. I used the remaining studio time to record a ‎short message which in the end was cut from the film. We did not wish in any way to spoil the light mood of the ‎film.‎

It was my intention to create a pure message from the heart void of any marketing messages. I ‎believed that in this manor people would be more inclined to share my creation on social media. In ‎the end, however, I did use small details with regards to my parents as well as my photo. I believe ‎that these modest additions used in good taste should not diminish from my overall message.‎

I added subtitles in three languages: English, Hebrew and Arabic. In the future I hope to add more.‎

A very cool interactive timeline was created which well illustrates the stages and progress of the ‎project.

timeline

I would encourage you to check out the link below.‎

A Timeline made with Timeglider, web-based timeline software

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I cannot begin to describe the intense culmination of joy building within me. There is no greater ‎reward than bringing a new bundle of joy into this world! At various points along the way I shared ‎private screenings with friends and family along the way. It was very inspiring to see the sparkle in ‎their eyes and their joy curl into broad smiles upon their faces. I was eager to reach the finish line. ‎

No More a One Woman Show

onewoman
Mother and daughters run into Nitzan our soundman at the Jazz Festival

It was indeed a challenge for me to release my hold and allow others in to work with me. There ‎was no room for my autopilot “one woman show” mode. It was especially hard allowing others to ‎alter my vision in the slightest of ways.‎

Without a shadow of a doubt, the whole is greater than the sum of its creative parts. In economics ‎this phenomenon is known as the law of increasing returns. Indeed the result is nothing short of – ‎H U G E ! ! !‎

I would like to use this opportunity to thank all who participated both directly and indirectly in the ‎creative process, artists and cheerleaders alike. It is my hope and dream that we will embrace and ‎embody this invaluable message:‎

The power is ours!‎

It was worth the wait!‎

You Tell Your Future – The Power is Ours!

Imagine you had a looking glass where for a very short window of time you could observe, live the ‎final moment, day, year or years of your life. The picture that you see is clear. Startled, you clearly ‎do not like what you see. A wave of sadness and fright paralyzes you.


I would like to thank you for your patience in reading this post to its end.‎

If you liked what you read and you are not on my mailing list, you can sign up ‎here.‎

Finally I would like to request that you please share this post with my animated clip. 

Dreams do come true!

Thank you and have a great week!‎

power2

You tell your future! The power is ours!

הגב

4 Comments on "‎13 Moons‎"

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Paula Graham
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"Ride your dreams in joy!"

Oh, Helene, you are the most brilliant and creative coach I know 🙂 Love the Lou/Jenkins film and yours is simply delightful! I especially love the little symbols in your little animated heart space <3 Congratulations on your wonderful collaborations!

Feel free to share on my anti-aging and detox groups, if moved, or show me how and I will introduce you. Your Mom and Dad are beaming!

Hugs
Paula

maura shapiro
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Your enthusiasm is catching and illuminating. A fantastic video and wonderfully written blog!!! I was truly moved after reading all that you wrote. It's clearly authentic and beautiful.

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