There’s a surprise twist to “Reflections,” a film created by residents and associates at Brookdale Greenville, which delighted audiences during screenings leading up to the Second Annual Celebrate Aging Film Festival. The piece showcases different life stages through the eyes of a man who’s moving into a new stage of life. Devin Krawec, the skilled nursing life enrichment coordinator, led the team there in producing the film. The Brookdale Greenville team received a nomination in last year’s film festival. “Reflections” is nominated for best writing, tech design and best picture. Krawec shared some thoughts about the film and what it means to his community as well as viewers across the country.
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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?
Krawec: We were trying to break the stereotype of losing a loved one and dispel the myth that the end of life means losing so much – a loved one, your home, your health… We wanted our message to be that you can start an adventure at any point in your life. The next chapter can start at any time. The end isn’t always a negative. The end of one chapter can mean the beginning of a new one.
Why was that topic important to you?
Krawec: Our specific community is a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), so that means we have multiple levels of care. We have residents who come in long term and this is a new chapter in their life, and we want them to know that this isn’t the end of their life, it’s a new beginning. We want to promote that thought for our long term residents. For our short term residents who may be in skilled nursing, we want them to know that we are here to help them and this is one obstacle in their life that we can help them overcome. We can help them get back to whatever their home is.
How many people participated in making this film?
Krawec: About a dozen of us worked together on this.
How many hours did you spend on the film, including writing, shooting and editing?
Krawec: Actual shooting took about four hours, creation and ideas took place over a couple of weeks. That shows other communities it’s not as daunting as it seems. We have a great team here.
What was the most challenging part of the film making process?
Krawec: We really had a great team so the most difficult part was simply finding a company to donate the RV! Adventure Motor Homes was very supportive and very interested in helping us with this and we are grateful to them.
How did this project help connect residents and associates at Brookdale?
Krawec: Everyone is very relaxed and open. Just being at the meetings to discuss the film and the actual filming process seemed to open everyone up. John and Monica, our residents who acted in it, started to talk about their lives. Comments like, “I remember when I left my home; we had an RV like this”
Afterwards John told me, “This didn’t feel like acting to me. It really help bring back some great memories.” He got to bring his past into his performance, and it shows.
What did you like best about creating a film?
Krawec: I’m a big fan of film and cinematography. Actually being behind a camera and figuring out how I wanted to shoot and then sharing with the team and getting feedback and working it together… Seeing it go from in my eyes to the film and editing it was fun for me.
Is there anything else you want to tell us about your film or your crew?
Krawec: Just that every name in those credits really contributed and I am very lucky to have a wonderful group of people here; it’s like a family here with the associates and the residents. It was pretty easy to get everyone on board and the proof is in the movie. Everyone enjoyed making it. We were nominated last year (with a different film) and it was fun, but this year I want to win. Bring on the prizes!