Written by Vana, co-founder of loveproductions.org
Edited by Carollyn Oglesby Thalia Forest
“I had no money, and even less experience. I just had the will, the desire, and the determination, and I believed that I could do it and would stick to it until it was realized! “
It's always encouraging to listen to Stefan's filmmaking story. I want to share it here, for those who have dreams but see their dreams as too distant and maybe even impossible to realize.
What caused Stefan's movement?
In April of 2009, Stefan returned to Europe after visiting several eco-communities in New Zealand and Australia. He wanted to visit eco-communities in Europe and to search closer to home for a potential place to live with his beloved friends. At the same time, he thought he could make a documentary which would give people a nice overview of the well-established ecovillages and communities in Europe that already existed. He thought that such a film could help in the world, and perhaps even save some lives.
He had no experience with filming. What he had was the urge to bring a film like this into existence. This urge gave him the power to learn filmmaking and editing by himself, with the help of an experienced friend. He learned quickly, completing the filming and the filmmaking, with some help from his friends, in only 10 months.
It was quite astonishing to me to see how much work he did and how much he was able to learn in such a short time. He told me that through the whole process he knew there were angels helping him; otherwise he couldn't have done all of it alone. When people asked him about the most difficult thing he experienced during film making, his short answer, "sometimes the movie software crashed," made them laugh. He was grateful that things went so smoothly, as if there really were angels always nearby, supporting his vision.
“I regularly did a prayer to the “universe”, to god and the angels, that I might be used as a tool to manifest this film. All of this was too much to handle for just one person, so I asked them to give me the right impulses and I promised to follow those impulses/intuitions and to trust them. I made it clear that it should not be a film made by my small ego but that THEY should act through me, and I opened up for this and had trust ... and miracles did happen... very often ... both small ones and big ones. The biggest miracle is that this film could be realized even though I had literally no experience! “
How about the financing of the film making?
“If I believed that I couldn't make the film without the money, then nothing would have happened! “
So he started with zero money. He borrowed money from his sister for the camera. He borrowed some cash from a friend, and he borrowed money from his father to buy a laptop for cutting the film. He was willing to go into debt because he just knew he had to make this film so that the world could know about these great and inspiring eco-projects.
He had no sponsors. His goal was to make a professional film, maximizing the quality of the delivery while minimizing the equipment and money. He kept the costs down by cutting his travel expenses, often sleeping in the car that he bought for 300 euro. His simple way of living saved much money for the film.
When we are truly interested in a subject, we have unlimited potential to learn, and to realize our dreams quickly and efficiently. This sort of inspiration is in high contrast with the way we were taught in school, where the competition and the performance may have left us with hard and stressful memories. There we didn’t choose what we wanted to learn; we were mostly forced to do what others wished us to do, what others thought was best for us. Without joy, without curiosity, it takes much longer to learn a subject, and very often the information we take in is not retained.
That Stefan could learn so much in such a short time, because of his enthusiasm, is a good example of how people's learning can far outstrip what the mainstream educational system provides.
This brings me to a subject of great interest for a powerful and healthy future. Unschooling and homeschooling are becoming more popular, and for very good reasons. Many parents have realized that the conventional school education does not bring out the best in their children, in fact, in many cases it can cause children to lose their love of learning, can actually slow their learning and affect their ability to feel joy in learning. It is much more natural and fun to learn through life experience and through individual choice. If we want children to reach their highest potential, some measure of autonomy in learning is both appropriate and necessary.