Thursday, June 26, 2008

Behind the Scenes: The Making of Musical Chairs - Leona

Every award-winning movie has a story behind it. Musical Chairs is no exception. While it may not have won an Oscar, it did win an Honorable Mention award from Mature Media Services, and is being shown around the country in churches and universities.

The idea behind Musical Chairs was conceived in brainstorming sessions involving Richard and me. We wanted to somehow capture our deep conviction that people in the second half of life still have much to give, learn and experience. In our work with midlife and older adults we were finding that people were all too often living out a self-fulfilling prophecy--that retirement is for leisure and hiding. We believe, with all of our hearts, that this generation of midlife and older adults has so much more to give, and that with our talents, gifts and experiences we can still “change the world.”

Our idea was to have some kind of “talking head” video where we interviewed people in the second half of life who agreed with us. But it got more interesting than that!

Enter Jonathan, our son, and independent film producer. He and his friend, Bryan Gough got together and started writing a screenplay. And before you knew it, we were in our church basement turning it into the stage for the production of Musical Chairs! We hired actors off of Craig’s list, recruited every friend we could find, bought endless amounts of Krispie Kremes and pizzas, and shot the film in 3 days.

The end result is a thought-provoking 9-minute film, produced on DVD and available through ChurchHealth. It comes with a study guide that will spark a lively discussion among Boomers and beyond. After all, we need to be thinking about whether “retirement” is just for kicking back, or if it is a time to find significance and purpose through new doors of opportunity.

More doors? Well, you’ll have to watch it to find out what that’s about. Better yet, buy it.

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