Storytelling is a subjective art.  We look for stories that can both entertain and present a thoughtful point.  Each of our projects has been selected for this very reason.  For those who are curious, here’s why we chose these stories.  And if you look closely, you’ll see a few common threads connecting each of the stories we tell.

Advocacy and concern for others are what brought Steve James to tell the story of Stevie Fielding, whose life was anything but normal – normal, that is, to those who come from a loving family.  If it takes a village to raise a child, this village surely failed Stevie.  His story speaks to the larger question of how we treat our kids – especially those who need a little more love and attention.  And who among us are willing to reach out to help those who are emotionally starved?  How much of our time are we willing to sacrifice for the sake of others, some of whom seem hopeless?

A timeless story of what we think to be true and the eventual knowledge of the real truth.  They say all is fair in love and war, and that wisdom typically comes with age.  The judgement of fairness is often left to the eye of the beholder.  In this story, the latter point of wisdom is conceivably best made when Robert McNamara reflects back on his time as defense secretary and makes a startling comment: “We were wrong.”  If only his wisdom were front and center in the summer of his life – how would the world be different today?  A cautionary tale?  Perhaps not.

Prejudice, empathy and the need for love.  We’ve all seen, experienced, witnessed, or participated in the prejudiced treatment of others.  How about loneliness or loss?  Surely, we’ve all experienced that.  But Finbar McBride (Peter Dinklage), who just wants to be left alone – or so he thinks – brings out the best in those he encounters and reminds us that we all need someone in our life who cares.  And it’s in those moments of connection that the best in him is brought out too.  Finbar’s unintended inspiration brings about an ensemble of lifelong friendships.

Love and loss – the two most compelling emotions most of us will ever experience.  Life can change in an instant.  When it does, how do we evolve?  Do we stay the same, shrink, or do we change?  Can we be happy again?  Do our friendships matter, or can we go it alone?  Many say you can’t relive the past, but honoring the past – that’s something else.  Great memories are often created in the blink of an eye, and one thing is for sure – nothing stays the same.  Replaying those memories can keep us happier and emboldened to create more; that’s when we’re living life to the fullest.

War, peace, and the philosophical discussions they raise are among the loftiest of subjects to debate.  The Fog of War illustrates how important it is to know the truth about your enemy and the threat they pose; the Iraq war is yet another example.  And when we run low on our fighting forces who are trained to kill, we pull regular citizens from their families and their jobs as postal workers, carpenters, and assembly line workers, and place them in the middle of a war.  One year later, we return them to their job and families, and nothing will ever be the same again.

A culmination of themes from our other stories.  Advocacy and concern for others.  A story of what we think to be true and the eventual knowledge of the real truth.  Add “Zero Tolerance” for those who fail to meet society’s divine order and break the law.  As “adults” we know right from wrong.  When a kid violates a rule, or “breaks the law,” society claims that the kid knew right from wrong.  But that’s not the whole truth; despite the legal age of adulthood, a kid’s brain is still developing well into their twenties.  Add corruption, and you have a perfect storm for all involved.

 Why do we seek something that’s not really ours?  It’s a question that many ask of treasure hunters.  Are they really seeking treasure?  Or is it the adventure, the wonderment of what could be just beyond their reach?  What human condition motivates us to want more than we have, no matter how much we have?  When we grow older, we tend to measure life in shorter snapshots.  What have we accomplished?  What’s left to accomplish?  Lust for Gold: A Race Against Time is about the lust for life and the journey to feel accomplished.  But time runs out for all of us.