Shane and Lydia’s Thoughts:
We feel compassion is something that is quickly overlooked in our fast-paced lives. Technology has brought many more issues and causes to the forefront, but many of us do not slow down long enough to listen or take the time to truly make difference by giving of ourselves and our unique talents. Lydia and I were both raised with charitable giving as part of our family culture; whether it was cooking for a sick neighbor, visiting older people who were lonely, or volunteering for a cause at church, we were taught that our time contribution was not only valuable but expected.
Since 2009, Hurlbut Visuals has made giving a priority and part of our company culture. Children remain at the center of the causes we support, to help give them a voice and the ability to dream. We began this year by telling the compelling, emotional story of child sexual exploitation. This is a growing issue globally and one we are very passionate about.
Our friend of over twelve years, the talented director Po Chan, had been corresponding with Casa Milagro about making a PSA to bring awareness to their mission of ending child sexual exploitation. Po came to us asking for assistance with the production of this PSA. As parents, this touched our hearts. When we learned about the severity of this problem, we agreed immediately because we want to help children around the world who have been victims to become empowered and have the ability to achieve their dreams.
From concept to completion, this took less than four weeks. With the passion and compassion of director Po Chan, the strong will of a company, a team of generous, passionate filmmakers, and a talented cast, we brought Po’s story and Casa Milagro’s mission to life.
I wanted to share Po’s director statement with you. She is a creative powerhouse and has such a caring heart and soul.
Po Chan: Director’s Statement
Since I was five years old, my childhood dream was to become a great filmmaker. I remember everyone around me thinking that was nonsense because of my impoverished family standard. However, I ignored all the discouragement and kept on dreaming the same dream and moving towards it until today. This is one of the reasons why I approached Casa Milagro Foundation and volunteered to make a PSA for them.
When I first contacted Scott Pralinsky (Founder and Executive Director of Casa Milagro Foundation), I learned about the child victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation in Costa Rica. A deep visceral emotion came to my heart. I said to myself, “I have to help, in any way, shape, or form. I have to help; I must do something for these children.” So this is how “DREAM” came to exist.
Pursue This Dream with Us
I always admired the wild and imaginative dreams children have. No matter how comical their dreams are, they have the right to dream them. To me, to dream is the most basic human right, and every person is equal in dignity and has equal access to this right. But in Costa Rica, these children are not only victimized by sexual exploitation, they are also routinely denied their universal human rights. They are living in the dark shadow of suffering and injustice. Children are the most vulnerable, and I hope this PSA will inspire others to feel, notice, challenge, and take action.
My lifelong childhood dream may still be hard to reach. But no matter how foolish it may seem to others, I have the right to continue to pursue this DREAM. Please help to give the children in Costa Rica this equal right.
A Special Thanks
I am deeply grateful to all the talented people that helped me in making this PSA.
Scott Pralinsky and Mo Vear, thank you for the opportunity to let me direct this PSA for you. Thank you for your compassion and the will to make this world a better place.
My best friend, Shane Hurlbut, thank you for the amazing cinematography. I don’t think there is anything you can’t do. And Beautiful Lydia Hurlbut, without your grace and assistance, this project would not exist.
My dear friend, Dan Liu, your masterful editing brought out the soul of these children. Thank you so much for being as amazing as you are.
Derek Edwards, Chris Herr, Derek Johnson, and Cooper James, the most handsome and talented camera team, I am so grateful for all of your help.
Thanks, Musicbed and One Hundred Years for the stunning music “Serenity.”
David Weldon, Megan Pham, Larry Pinto, Gopal Bidari, Maria Hartis, Gema Gonzaiez, and Monica Lee, thank you all for your valuable time and talent.
Of course, our most precious children, Vicente, Axel, Emily, Gannier, Desiree, and Natalie, thank you for your trust and faith in me. Thank you for giving a voice to the children in Costa Rica. You guys are the most beautiful angels.
Please give the children in Costa Rica a chance to dream. Please visit www.casamilagro.org
Thank you and may God bless you all!
Both Lydia and I wanted to thank our incredible blog sponsors and specific vendors that helped make this shoot possible.
To Evan Green and Tony Blue, you are our shining stars over at Hurlbut Visuals. Thank you for all that you do to help educate filmmakers as well as educate us about powerful causes. You illuminate our creations.
Please make a difference, show compassion, and believe that you have this power.
In addition, thank you for the support of trusted partners Tiffen, Canon, Freefly Systems, Revolution Cinema Rentals, G-Technology, Blackmagic Design, Matthews Studio Equipment, and HP.