Sculpture can be either an additive or subtractive process.
A sculptor might build his work from scratch, or else chip away at a block of stone to discover his creation within.
For the past six months, I have dedicated myself to the post-production of our feature-length documentary, Sisters For Sale.
It has been both an additive and subtractive process.
There have been months spent chipping away at colossal heaps of transcriptions, translations and raw footage, cutting them back to the bare essentials.
There have been other times spent with only an empty space before me, as I build the story up from its simplest elements.
A working draft of the script was completed earlier this year, at a time when the Project and I were being attacked on social media.
My role as a Western male in Asia was being criticised by outsiders who were ignorant of my sacrifices and achievements within the Project.
I was reluctant to tell the story fully. The resulting script was all that it should have been – but not all it could be.
At a time when my finances were depleted, the attacks left me exhausted, and I was ready to finish the film as quickly as possible.
This week, however, the situation has changed.
In consultation with many of the Project’s core supporters, I’ve found the necessary encouragement to pour a new wave of energy into my work.
This story has a great deal of power and meaning for people from all over the world, and it deserves to be told properly.
In our crowdfunding campaign launched 18 months ago, many of you contributed to receive access to the completed documentary.
This September was the estimated date of delivery for the film.
On the campaign page I noted that post-production would take a minimum of 12 months, and that if my investigations were unexpectedly successful, I would “remain in the region to follow the story to its completion, delaying the post-production of the film”.
Despite my incredible success in locating both M and P in China, and having spent another 8 unbudgeted months encouraging their return home, I was still hoping to complete the film without the need for any further time or funding.
I was asking too much of myself.
The film will not be delivered this September; it will, however, be worth the wait.
I’ve begun the process of rescripting – adding, subtracting, moulding the clay and finding new forms within the stone. I feel already a new strength within the narrative, and have begun looking at further funding options so I can enlist the necessary talent and do justice to this story.
I’d like to thank those of you who gave me the push I needed this week – your support is valued and appreciated, and your comments will be the basis for numerous changes within the Project over the coming months.