After our film shoot in Africa, Cyndi approached me about creating a production company that could be mutually beneficial to each other. I told her no. She said, “ok.” And then we started working on editing the African feature, “Bad Timing.” During that process, to break up the editing stress, we wrote a screenplay called Coyote. Then we taught some classes. I kept working on a documentary that I had begun years ago and in the process discovered Anne and Mary. I called her up and started telling her about these amazing women. She started doing research and brought in these books about the Puritans. We began writing another screenplay ANNE AND MARY, THEIR LASTING VOICES.
In discussion she told me she would be willing to help with THE LAND OF REFUGE. She told me she was sick and tired of hearing about “this Mormon doc. Let’s just get it done!” In truth I was hesitant. She is not LDS. Would she understand what I was trying to do? Could she be impartial? Could she embrace the story? More discussions. Slowly, each day we began to dedicate more time and energy into the Mormon doc. We traveled to Tucson and L.A. and Utah and Mexico. She was an amazing sport. She dedicated all of her energy to this project. It was her idea to use public domain footage. It was her perseverance that kept the project going when I became exhausted and overwhelmed. It was her understanding of the story that kept the thread line constantly laced throughout the movie. What is all the more amazing is that she dedicated 7 months of her time, energy and resources … for free.
It was one thing for me to work for free for 10 years on my passion project, but Cyndi had no emotional connection and yet she sunk her life into this project. I will be forever grateful for her generous, kind and gracious spirit. Those who have supported and value this project have expressed gratitude to us for documenting this story. We appreciate the positive reinforcement from the majority. There are not many who can really appreciate the time and effort that two 50-year-old women did to make this happen.
I have witnessed her generosity time and time again. Sometimes I become frustrated when others are so oblivious to what she does for them and others. She often told me, “all I want or hope for is for someone to say thank-you.” I now know what she means. Cyndi, in the most public way I can, I acknowledge you and thank you.
Now, stop acting like you’re sick or something and get to work!