A Place of Warmth

It’s crunch time! My team members and I are embarking on our final stage of the storytelling process, editing. Our story is on The Gathering Place, which over the last month I have grown to love. The Gathering Place was a house that I walked past everyday last year on my way to class, never knowing how special it was.  It is a home-like atmosphere that supports the recovery of persons with mental illness by enhancing personal development and well-being, while fostering community involvement. There is a certain warmth about it, a warmth that could only be made possible by the people that build a sense of community there. My job as a videographer and editor is to try and capture some of that warmth and make audiences feel it as well.

 As a student practicing video for many years I have been in many uncomfortable and unpleasant filming situations. The Gathering Place however, is one of the most welcoming environments that I have ever filmed in, and that’s because of the people.  Part of my job as a videographer is to form a relationship with those whose story I’m telling, and the second part is to capture that story. The hardest part for me so far has been pressing record, because instead of filming I find myself engaged in conversation and interaction with people at the house. With the fast paced and stressful college environment I find myself in, it has been very refreshing to experience the people at the gathering place who seem very genuine and who are there because they enjoy being there and enjoy each other’s company.

Sometimes we can get so caught up in our own worlds and we forget that there are places out there that are run by people who spend their days not worrying about themselves but others. It’s eye opening. I appreciate everyone working at The Gathering Place who have allowed us to come in to film and have welcomed us as friends. The unsung heroes of this country are the ones that should be acknowledged and I hope that in our documentary we can acknowledge the people who are helping make The Gathering Place possible.  

- Andrew Thomas | Content Producer

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