My internationally award-winning short film, But I Do, portrays the true story of an insecure girl longing for romance who learns that she cannot be loved until she loves herself.
The storyline arose out of a letter I received from a young woman traveling in Europe. My book changed her life. She overcame insecurities by learning from the romantic stories I related of other traveling women. Those insecurities are shared by many single ladies today. As I travel around doing book events they confide that they feel like they must look and act a certain way to attract the men they desire. I find this troubling and explain that every girl has appealing qualities. What matters most is that she realizes them and goes forward with self-confidence.
Several women asked me to convey this message in one of my Meeting European Men videos. Several others asked me to dance in a video, since they had learned that I was a pre-professional ballet dancer. I combined both requests in creating But I Do.
I was also the creator, producer, director, choreographer, and film editor. I got all these positions because I had one stellar qualification—I was free! Just about everything on this production had to be donated. A talented composer created music especially for it and I helped. Some girlfriends who dance played my supporting actors. Male members of Pacific Northwest Ballet were their partners. Salsa dancers and more friends joined in. All total, 92 people generously donated their time, talents and venues to make this film because they loved the message.
Filming had to be done when businesses were closed. Shooting had to go forward as scheduled regardless of roadblocks. There were many. For the ballroom finale, the fiancé of one dancer had just been killed, a supporting dancer had a fever of 102, and I had a torn muscle. Still, we all worked until the sun came up. When we were done, no one wanted to leave. The dancer who grieving said there was nowhere else he would have rather been.
When I finished editing But I Do, I put it on my YouTube channel and everyone agreed that if it only got two views that did not matter. What did was the great time we shared making it. We were surprised when it won the Royal Reel Award for Film Excellence at the Canada International Film Festival.
Then I was honored at the Los Angeles Movie awards for Best Director, joining a group that has included such luminaries as Ron Howard, Samuel Jackson, and Hayden Christensen. After that, But I Do was chosen for opening weekend at the Toronto Independent Film Festival…”a headline event for micro and no-budget films” running alongside TIFF, a star-studded extravaganza. But I Do won Best Music Video. Here is a video I made capturing the adventures I had while attending both festivals.
Then But I Do won several other international awards. Here is a behind-the-scenes video of the making of this short film.
I cannot thank my cast and crew enough. I love you all!