It's a strange thing to work on a film for years and years and then suddenly it's out there in the world. People spend 80 minutes of their lives watching something you created - they have their own opinions, reaction, thoughts and interpretations. They don't know who you are - you're the invisible hand behind the curtain - but they're connected to you. You have just given them a piece of yourselves, etched in visuals crafted with blood, tears and love.
The responses to the film have been amazing, more than what I hoped for. I knew Jimmy Santiago Baca's story has impacted tens of thousands of people, if not more, but when you start to make a movie, you don't know how it will turn out. You don't know if it will "work". Luckily, it seems like this one does. Not that it's perfect - no way, I have so much more to learn about filmmaking, editing, shooting, writing, all of it - but it touches people, it leaves a mark, and I give thanks to God for that. It certainly wasn't my doing. It was grace and creating the space for Jimmy to work his magic.
I don't know how our theatrical campaign will go - this is unknown territory and we're all learning as we go - but I give thanks for every screening that happens. Each and every one is an incredible opportunity, a blessing, and damned hard work. I'm not taking it for granted.