Residents at Freedom Pointe at the Villages had definite ideas in mind when they heard about Brookdale Senior Living’s Celebrating Aging Film Festival. Rachelle King, the community’s resident programs manager, served as their facilitator but credits the residents with writing and creating the film “Old or Older?” which is nominated in the Best Acting category. We spoke with King about the making of the short film and the team that helped her create it.
Vote for your favorite!
You can watch all the nominated films and vote for the Ecolab People’s Choice Award.
What were you trying to say with this film?
King: Overall, the residents want the public to know that age is just a number. These communities aren’t just a place for them to go, or a place for a grandma that you would expect to sit around with a shawl and a cane. They are still stylish and active in physical and mental activities. They wanted the film to be something for other generations can see that they are not old, just older.
Why is that topic important to you?
King: They want to change the perception. One of the residents gave me the example of her granddaughter. She was hesitant to come and see her because she thought she didn’t do anything all day. This resident is really active and told her, “You have no idea all that I do in a day!” They want the idea of getting older to be washed away; it’s not as it used to be. They want everyone to know they are still actively participating in life, and they are experimenting and trying new things and traveling… their age has nothing to do with this point in their life. This is a chapter of something brand new.
How many people participated in the making of your film?
How many hours did you spend on the film, including writing, shooting and editing?
King: We have a monthly resident programs chat and in December last year we started a film festival committee. January through March, we met monthly for an hour to go over storyboards and scripts. In April we began meeting weekly for an hour all the way up to the film. I was facilitating the group but the residents were really the ones running the show. We did an outline, costumes, scenes… We broke everything down into pieces. Then we planned ahead for future meetings. Auditions, live reading, table readings to audition for the actors… There was a lot of work involved in this. We created the scripts and after we decided the actors, the actors ad-libbed the scripts a little and I did the editing of the film. It was a really fun process.
What was the most challenging part of the film making process?
King: At first it was getting residents involved. We had a larger group in the beginning but when it came down to it we had the five that were really committed. Toward the end it was just editing and making sure our look was down.
How did this project help connect residents and associates at Brookdale?
King: We connected because our independent living residents are the ones we used and we decided we would incorporate the other buildings as well. We incorporated residents in assisted living and memory care so that introduced our team to other residents and staff in other buildings. Our executive director was actually involved as well. It was a great team effort and everyone had a great time.
What did you like best about creating a film?
King: The actual filming was the best part. Seeing the residents through the lens was great. Jack is a very outgoing person so it was natural for him, but Pat has never done anything like this before. Seeing how they worked together as a team was a lot of fun.
Is there anything else you want to tell us about your film or your crew?
King: Our residents worked so hard in putting this film together. It started out as just a fun activity but then it turned into this group that became really close with one another and took it very seriously. I’m so proud of them, and being with them throughout the journey shows you their growth. The support of one another… they are already thinking of ideas for next year.