We do a bit of pro bono work each year for causes that we care about. This year, instead of shooting for a good cause, we lent out a load of gear to a group of young filmmakers in Oregon who are making a feature documentary on the topic of human trafficking. They spent five weeks in Mexico shooting footage and interviews on the topic. I met one of the main shooters, Josh, on an internet forum for RED camera users, and when he said he needed cameras for this project, I didn’t hesitate. I sent him two boxes of cameras, mics, and support equipment. It was an act of faith – I didn’t even know the filmmakers involved in the production. I just knew that I needed to offer them a hand. This is important work, on an important topic, with some obvious risks involved in shooting under tough conditions.
I have spent a lot of time in Mexico, and my daughter was born in Tijuana. In the months that I lived there, the footprint of human trafficking was all around us. There were young kids in the streets, begging and soliciting, the obvious victims of exploitation. It was heart-breaking to witness. It’s a huge problem around the world.
We can’t begin to solve it. But we can try to shed a little light on a serious issue. The group has returned from Mexico, my equipment should be finding its way home soon, and their group has begun post-production. I’ll be very interested in seeing how their work turns out. They have a blog about their experiences at http://justiceinitiatives.blogspot.com/