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When you’re a filmmaker, home movies get edited.

What’s worse then watching home movies in real-time? OK, so it’s not THAT bad, but who has time for it these days? As a filmmaker, I’d much rather see an edited version of events! The other day was the first day of Summer break, so I took the day off to go to the lake. I took my GoPro and iPhone, and the next day took a few hours to put this video together. We all had a lot of fun, and the video shows it. Well, all except for my oldest son, who got a nice nap in! I’m still sore from the kids jumping off my shoulders, but memories were created, so that’s worth it! Enjoy our little summer days video:

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Categories: personal, fun, filmmaking Tags: , , , ,

Best of Fest!

I recently had the privilege of being selected to the 19th Bare Bones International Film and Music Festival in Muskogee, OK with my documentary about the Joplin tornado and recovery. It’s touted as the friendliest film festival and in my estimation they lived up to it. From the moment I first met the founders at a VIP reception, they greeted me and my wife with a hug and a selfie and a comment about driving through Joplin and seeing some of the rebuilding.

I also got to do a radio interview at the local station.

 

But let’s skip to the awards night… I knew going in that I was one of four nominees for the Best Feature Documentary award. The DJ at the radio, who is also a storm chaser, watched my film and seemed convinced that I would win. But I wasn’t too sure and tried to not get my hopes up too much. The awards ceremony finally arrives and the wait is over.  They are announcing the Best Feature Documentary, and I’m hoping to hear “Steadfast, directed by Gregory Fish.” But instead they called another film, I think it was called “The Big Secret.” My heart sank a bit, but I resigned to the fact that I had not won. The director went up and gave his acceptance speech about how they won in France and some other country, but this means more to them for bringing it home. I was at least thankful to lose to good competition. Then the presenter introduces the final award in the documentary section, Best of Fest, whether a feature or a short or micro, the best documentary of the whole festival is, and then I heard my film’s name! A moment of discouragement quickly gave way to exhilaration as I walked up to the podium, an award-winning filmmaker. You can hear in my speech that I was emotional:

 

What an amazing experience and an even better outcome! Thanks to everyone who has encouraged me along the way.

 

 

Front Page News

I had the privilege of being featured on the front page of today’s paper in the Joplin Globe. A nice article was written up by the reporter Emily Younker. She even watched my film and pulled quotes from it! In other good news, today, Steadfast has been nominated for an award in the documentary category of the Bare Bones International Film Festival next month! Here’s the story from the paper:

Steadfast, adj.: firm in purpose, resolution, faith. Synonyms: steady, unwavering, stable, constant, immovable.

So begins Gregory Fish’s documentary “Steadfast,” aptly describing its subject — the response and outlook of the Joplin community after the May 22, 2011, tornado. The original 92-minute film, first produced in 2012, has been re-edited and trimmed to just under an hour for a run on local public television and entry in regional film festivals, having most recently been selected for the upcoming 2018 Bare Bones International Film and Music Festival in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

“This version that’s been updated for PBS and film festivals, it’s really five years in the making,” Fish said. “My whole goal in doing it was to help Joplin, and hearing from people who said, ‘This helped me emotionally,’ that’s what made it worth it for me.”

Read the rest of the digital version on the Joplin Globe’s page.

 

Categories: filmmaking, personal

One Second Every Day in 2017

I got this idea and app suggestion from a friend, and decided to make a video that has one second from every day in 2017. It’s neat to watch it and look back now. It’s been quite a year. Some days had big events. Others were very mundane. There’s a lot of my kids and a lot of food! It was fun to do. The “1Se” (1 second everyday) app makes it easy, and then I just added music and a little intro and outro.

I’m glad I did it, but I’m NOT doing it this new year! So please enjoy this little video which was a year in the making…

Worship 1/2 (revised)

September 18, 2017 Leave a comment

Years ago I made a though-provoking video to get Christians (myself included) to think more about the words we sing, and ask if it lines up with the lives we live. The resulting video was a fake infomercial for a worship CD full of satirical lyrics. Some may say it’s borderline sacrilegious, but I would disagree and say it’s purposeful to start a conversation. Recently I remade it, since the old one wasn’t even HD. Below is the result of the remake, as well as the older version. It’s also kind of fun to point out that my wife helped me with the first one (it’s not easy or even possible to film yourself!) and my son helped with the new one. Here’s to no more half-heartead devotion!

 

The older version:

Giving IS Better than Receiving

On my last trip to Mexico, there were many sweet moments, but no sweeter than this. It’s a memorable in which I was reminded that it truly IS better to give than to receive.

We visited a small church in a very poor part of town. When we ask the pastor what needs he had, he mentioned that he had no instruments to use in church, and a guitar would help tremendously. That’s when God put a thought in my spirit… A thought that I wrestled with for the next day or two.

 

I had a guitar with me. It’s a guitar with tremendous sentimental value. I had it since before my first kid was born. And now he is a teenager and a member of the team on this very Mexico trip! I’ve recorded albums with this guitar, sung thousands of songs on it, and now God is prompting me to give it away. I fought Him on this, recounting all of the reasons why this guitar (which I called by it’s nickname “Al”) should stay with me. The reasons weren’t good enough to stop a change in ownership, and I knew it. I knew I was supposed to give it away.

As long as these were my thoughts, I could change my mind in selfishness. So I knew I needed to put it out there and tell a friend, and then I couldn’t take it back. So I told my friend, Derick, who is in my life a tremendous example of selflessness. And there it was. That night, I’d play some songs and tell of my history with the guitar, and inform him that I just played my last song on it, and that it was now his to play.

I want to be clear on something. I don’t write this to brag in any way. I know Jesus says that when you give not to announce it. I can’t brag about this anyway. The way I fought God on this internally doesn’t put me in a very good light! I write this to encourage you, that if you feel the promptings of God to sacrifice and give something away to someone less fortunate, do it! Don’t fight Him. You’ll lose. Or you might miss out on the blessing of giving.

What a sweet moment is was! I get emotional just thinking about it. Seeing my brother in Christ play his first song on my old guitar. You’ll have to just watch it for yourself. My now teenage son recorded the exchange:

 

 

Bucket List Item Fulfilled

How are you doing on your bucket list? I’ve still got a bit to cross off of mine. I’ve bungee jumped, but I haven’t been skydiving yet! Next year I’m gonna get to fulfill a big item.

Many people, especially people of faith like myself dream of seeing the Holy Land. To walk where Jesus once walked is to make the Bible come to life! So, I’m going to Israel next year.

To say I’m excited is a bit of an understatement. My guide for the tour is intriguing as well! I’ve been reading the Lion of War series of novels by Cliff Graham. I’ll meet him in person this September, and next year I’ll embark on a “Good Battle” Israel Tour.

Here’s what the site has to say about Cliff:

Cliff Graham spent many years seeing men of all walks of life lack interest in the Bible and what it meant to be a man of God. He was passionate about catering to these men, and creating material that spoke to their interests.

He and some of his friends talked about developing exciting stories based on men of the Bible. They decided that the real life adventures of King David and his band of warriors known as the Mighty Men, found in 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles, were some of the most gripping. After five years of research and writing, the result was his debut novel Day of War, the first entry in a series of five called Lion of War.

He is a former Army officer and runs the Giborrim course, a training program for men wishing to get involved in fighting the sexual exploitation and trafficking of young girls and women. 

You should check out the site www.goodbattletours.com and inquire with Cliff if this type of trip is on YOUR bucket list. Tell him Greg Fish sent you!

Of course I’ll let you know how it goes, but do you want to hear more right now? Here’s a testimonies video from a trip that took place just last month:

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