Author Archives: tompkinsdaily

Week 4 — weekend shoot

Over the weekend Mary and I shot at a spiritual gathering called, “Dances of the Universal Peace.” We had our first experience getting permission from a large audience, but were successful and got a lot of great footage for b-roll. We also interviewed a middle aged man who grew up practicing Judaism but was at the dances to express his spirituality in a different kind of way. We interviewed him before the ceremony began and then were able to shoot him in the midst of his spiritual experience. We also talked with a psychologist and one of the leaders of the dances that approached us about their interest in talking to us more for the documentary. Overall the shoot was very successful.

We were planning on shooting more b-roll Sunday, but the weather did not permit. Today we have two more shoots, one, a meditation session at the Monastery downtown, and one at the Foundations of Light for “Cherokee Medicine Mondays.” Updates on those to come.


It is customary to take off your shoes at the Foundation of Light


Week 3…looking for a subject with spiritual change

Last week we interviewed the director of The Foundation of Light, Melissa Hoffman, Rabbi Scott at the local synagogue downtown and a Cornell anthropologist that specializes in Buddhism. All of the interviews went well but we are hoping to expand now from religious leaders to people who attend these spiritual gatherings. Leaders are always able to preach their beliefs, the real story is in every day people who are trying to figure out where they lay on the religious spectrum. That’s what we’re hoping will make our documentary interesting.

Today I spoke with Melissa Hoffman about attending an event at the Foundation of Light. This is ideal right now for our doc because we have a good number of interviews under our belt but not so much footage of religious events and congregations. This will also give us the opportunity to speak to someone at one of the events that is going through some sort of spiritual change. The foundation of light has many different alternate types of spiritual gatherings offered and we are hoping to find someone who is going through any kind of change in their spirituality.

Some of the events we are considering going to are Dances of the Universal Peace, Sunday morning meditations, African Drumming and Dance and Cheroke Medicine Monday.  We will decide tonight when our group meets!