Telling the un-expected story – SC Mission 2012

Are we open to tell the stories that un-expectantly¬†emerge? So many times we have a pre-conceived notion of a storyline, especially at the beginning of a project. We picture it in our head. We imagine how it will come together. We plan each shot, each interview, the music, the graphics…we have all the answers before the camera is pulled out.

It happens to all of us…we want to control and shape the message from the very beginning. But we better be careful, you never know what might be lurking around the corner and we might just miss it.

This happened to me  last month in Columbia at SC Mission 2012. (Video Above)

“The SC Mission 2012 clinic was held at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds where volunteers provided free medical, dental and vision services. SC Mission 2012’s goal was to provide services and match patients to a medical home where they can continue to receive the care they need. More than 2000 patients were seen and a total of 2100 volunteers including physicians, nurses, dentists, optometrists, pharmacy, nursing and medical students and lay persons helped make the clinic possible. More than 2000 patients were seen in all three services areas during the two-day event.”

I go into these productions always wanting to advocate for the patient. I want to find the patient story that inspires us to challenge and reform the way we deliver care. I wanted to shape the final piece around the patient’s faces, voices, and experiences.

The patient story was only a small portion of this year’s message and I almost dismissed the obvious…the stories of the volunteers. These individuals that gave their time, energy, and compassion during this two day event. These are the people that move South Carolina forward.

I spent the whole time during the shoot trying to find that un-believable patient story. I was struggling to find that one interview that moved the needle forward. Yes…there were a lot of great interviews, but I was comparing this event to the patient stories we found in 2010. CLICK HERE to watch SC Mission 2010’s video.

But after spending a whole day with Shalama Jackson ( capturing patient stories, volunteer stories, and the sights and sounds of the day…I went back to review. Patti Smoake (of and I found something even more special, I had captured some tremendous interviews from the volunteers. I did not realize it at the time, but the volunteers shared something special, their passion. It was Patti that helped me look through a different lens as we crafted this piece together.

We always advocate for the patient and YES, we wanted that one patient story that would move the audience. But it was the volunteer’s voice in this story, the voice that not only advocated for the patient but the movement to provide better access to care.