Resistance in Re-Entry: The Final Stretch
I am in a production course called NW Stories, in which we produce short documentaries on people and things that embody the Pacific Northwest culture. My team and I are focusing on the story of a Native American woman named Jackie, who found her spiritual and healing through Red Lodge Transitional Services while serving in prison. Below is a reflection of our shooting today. You can view the original post here. You can read more and track the progress of this story here.
What a productive day it has been. It is a quarter past 10 and we just got back to Eugene. The Dynamic Quads left here around 8:30 a.m., and we have been shooting all day.
Our story idea has been solid from the second week of class, but developing a shot list of reasonable b-roll has been quite the struggle for us. Working around the limitations of trying to film at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (and the prison system in general) and Native American spiritual ceremonies did not play out in our favor. However, we worked our way around it!
Our first stop was the home of Jackie, our main subject. We filmed around the apartment capturing the little details of her life – photos from the past and present. Then we followed her as she grocery shopped to get that “day-in-the-life” feel to show her adjustment to a normal lifestyle contrasted from her troubled past.
On our way to the grocery store, she received a call from her friend – a mentee of hers who was released from Coffee Creek last week. After grocery shopping, we paid her a visit at the Volunteers of America – a drug-free housing organization that hosts at-risk youth to victims of domestic abuse to recovering addicts and more. This is where her friend was temporarily living and where she briefly lived after her release. The energy between the two was incredible – there was a drive and sense of inspiration having been released from prison that reminded me of a child getting ready for Disneyland.
Following the visit, we accompanied Jackie and her daughter to visit her sick father at a hospice near Dawson Park. This gave us an opportunity to gain more insight and hear about the past that Jackie so eagerly puts behind her from new perspectives – her mother and father. Despite the trouble that the family went through, there was a sense of care and compassion that held them together. We saw this through a moment that Jackie shared with her father as she expressed how thankful she is for him.
We left Jackie with her father and continued onto Trish’s home to gather b-roll of the Red Lodge office – which isn’t much of an office. The office is essentially Trish’s home, and the fact that it is reflects how much of a community Red Lodge is rather than an organization.
Trish provided us the opportunity to film the act of smudging – in which you purify yourself, someone else, an object or a room with the smoke of sacred herbs. She spoke a prayer and taught us more about the culture. Trish’s home is a filled with Native American memorabilia which provided us with b-roll that we didn’t think we had enough of.
After an hour or so spent at Trish’s we made our way down south for a home cooked meal at Judy’s family’s home. And before making our way back to Eugene, we stopped by Coffee Creek to film detail shots of the prison fence. A day well-spent!