Archive for June, 2011

  • Documentary Blog #19 – Every Documentary Needs “Hope”

    If you truly know me, the real Seth Hancock, (and I’m not referring to some of my friends on Facebook who think I am the same person they knew from high school or have an idealized perspective of me from my days as a television personality), then you know I am a complete optimist.  My wife even says that I trust people too much and always look for the good in people.  Some may think it’s a weakness but I think it’s a strength to have this quality.  I am always looking for the good in people.  Unfortunately, this outlook leaves me fairly disappointed with people and businesses at times. That said, I am compelled to provide hope in this documentary because I truly do believe this Senior Hunger issue is one we can remedy or at least move in the proper direction to remedy.  As I have stated before, the United States is the wealthiest and 9th fattest country in the world so money and food are NOT an issue in America.  So, why can’t we feed our fellow citizens?  As I traveled to Orlando, FL and spent time with Seniors First I started to get really excited that there is hope for our seniors.  While Seniors First tries to take care of all the seniors in the Orlando area we all know they can’t take care of everyone.  However, they have a great business model in place to successfully work hand-in-hand with the city, county and community leaders to get funding and services needed to provide seniors with the resources to maintain a dignified and product life.  WOW!  Did I just sound like their spokesperson or what?!?!?  That was a little frightening. I have chosen to make Seniors First my “HOPE” element for this documentary because of what they provide and how they do it.  I think all documentaries need a solution or at least an idea of a solution.  Sure their model may not work in Des Moines but I bet the people of Des Moines can learn a thing or two from Seniors First considering the state of Florida has, as we all know, the largest senior population in America.  By the way, I have no idea why I singled out the state of Iowa it's just a simple, random location I pulled out of the air.  Since I am not a “doom and gloom” type of person I really want to show that we CAN take care of our seniors by providing some of the simplest of services and by just giving our seniors some attention. Tomorrow starts my life-changing trip into Booneville, KY.  I am writing this blog as a recollection of my journey while making a documentary.  Therefore, I have already experienced everything I am stating here so I hope to can successfully recall and re-tell everything I experienced in Booneville and I hope my writing will do this part of the journey justice because it truly is a life-changing period for me and I hope it can be for you as well. See you tomorrow, Seth

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  • Documentary Blog #18 – Checking Out Seniors First in Orlando, FL

    First off, I want to apologize for taking a break for the last week.  I have been really focused on getting additional funding, sending information off to major groups and emphatically promoting my page.  Plus, I needed a week off from writing and being tied to my computer to start capturing the footage from what has been shot so far.  The faster I get organized the more efficient I can be at editing.  That said, back to the story… Hanging out in LA was getting pretty boring to me.  I was so pumped to get out on the road and start getting more footage for the documentary.  After meeting Carla Laemmle and being in Marin County, I had started to become more and more interested in this story.  It was all coming together and I couldn’t wait to get out and see more, hear more stories and meet some great people.  The next group on the list is “Seniors First” in Orlando.  I had spent a lot of time on the phone with this group as well as sending several emails to the organization.  I really had work on this organization to establish trust but that didn’t bother me.  This organization has been around for 45 years and takes their commitment and responsibility to seniors very seriously.  I don’t have a problem with that at all.  I actually admire the fact that they are guarded and protective of their seniors.

    Seniors First in Orlando, Florida

    I found them to be interested and receptive to what I am creating and that they are going to be the “shining star” of the documentary.  However, before I could anoint them as the “shining star” of the documentary I had to check them out and make certain the story I was going to tell about their organization was true.  Basically, I had to make certain that everything they told me and what I read on their site was actually happening.  We all know people can make themselves look incredible on an internet page.  It’s like dating or finding someone on  You can read their profile, look at their picture and converse over the phone or email but until you actually meet that person there is some uncertainty.  If you cannot tell, before meeting my wife, I have had my share of meeting some women on who had not lived up to their profiles or pictures (and, I am sure the same could be said about me).  We all love to make ourselves out to be great when trying to “sell” ourselves to someone else.  I digress… I finally made my way to Orlando and had my first meeting with the good people at Seniors First.  My contact, Jan Ingrando, was waiting for me and wanted to take me out to some of the community lunch programs.  I have to stop here and tell you all why I wanted to feature Seniors First.  While researching them I noticed they offer and provide home delivered meals (meals on wheels) but since I was already covering that with Carla in LA and Victor in Marin County, I wanted to find a different angle from Seniors First that would allow me to tell a different story and one that shows how seniors can be helped in a variety of ways.  That’s when I noticed their Community Lunch Program.  This is where seniors can meet at county or city community centers and interact with other seniors, get lunch, play games, workout, swim and just feel like a social human being.  Seniors First also provides transportation for those seniors needing it.  They seem to be a well-oiled machine.

    Helping to pass out lunch at one of the community centers for seniors

    So, I get there and meet up with Jan.  She, along with Lisa McCrystal, took me around to several community centers/gathering places.  During this process, I watched the way people interacted with Jan and Lisa.  You can tell a lot about organizations and their involvement with the people who benefit from their services just by sitting back and watching the interaction.  I thought, if I see the seniors benefiting from the services not knowing who these women were or the leaders at the community centers had no idea who these people were then it would be abundantly clear they had little to no involvement in the lives of these seniors and they were just, well, posers.  However, to my relief, Jan and Lisa were well respected, accepted and welcomed into each community.  The reason I say “relief” is solely selfish.  I wanted Seniors First to be a great organization and I didn’t want to have to go back to the drawing board and find another shining star of the documentary.

    Standing outside the Community Center in Christmas, Florida

    I will talk a little more about Seniors First tomorrow and will explain what I mean by  “Shining Star.”  See ya then. Seth

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