You know, there are so many people in this world who help people who need help, like disabled, old, sick and poor people just to mention a few. Often these selfless people’s voices don’t get heard. Or worse they often are taken for granted by us and by society. OHEL is a huge provider of services for people in need. And I’m so proud that we came up together with Derek Saker, the amazing marketing director at OHEL, with the concept to pay tribute to the work of the OHEL staff members.

After I searched the web and had a brief discussion with my good friend Asher Crispe (check out his fascinating blog www.interinclusion.com) we came up with the idea of showing a day in the life of an OHEL staff member. They sometimes have to get up at 1 in the morning to pick up a foster child. They are the ones who take care of the elderly and the disabled.

We wanted to make this video have high impact by making it as emotional and as personal as possible. That’s why we chose to produce the film from the POV perspective.

When I wrote the storyboard it first seemed so easy to get all these scenes. They are short and to the point. But after further research and planning I was quickly aware that this was much more challenging to film than I had anticipated. There were lots of challenges along the way. Like, what kind of camera would we use to get the POV effect? First I thought the brand new GoPro Hero 3 camera that just was released would be the go-to camera. It has the amazing feature that you can preview the image wirelessly through your iPhone. I ordered it, and after I played around with it, the big disappointment hit me hard. When you stream the image to your iPhone through a wireless network there is a delay of at least 5 seconds between the image and what the iPhone would display. That meant we wouldn’t be able to preview our image in real time because of this delay. Believe me, 5 seconds is a long time to monitor a moving image.

So, I came back to my beloved Canon 5D Mark iii. I was first worried that, even though it’s not the biggest camera, it was still too clunky. But after a few tests it turned out to be the right camera. I shot most of it with the Canon 16-35mm 2.8 lens.

After I decided which camera gear I wanted to use, the next challenge was to find and organize the many people that we needed for the different scenes. I wanted each scene to have a different look and feel from the next.  That meant that we needed a lot of different actors and staff members.  This would help us convey the message that OHEL is a tremendous effort of many individuals working together to improve the lives of others.

Luckily my production coordinator Tara was up to the challenge and organized all our actors and locations beautifully. We planned everything down to the minute with an amazing program for the iPad called “Shotlister”. (Shotlister came in handy when organizing our 16-person crew during long days shooting for The A.R.K. Report.)  Check Shotlister out here. You put in every scene, apply the amount of time each scene takes, and Shotlister does its magic in calculating how long your day will be, how many scenes you can cram into a day.  Then, on location, you check off each scene that you finish, and it calculates in real-time if you are on time or overtime. Really super helpful.

Finally, in post production I edited it all in Final Cut Pro X. Once the footage was captured it was easy to put together because we had storyboarded everything beforehand. You can have a look here at my SCRIPTSTORYBOARD.

I think overall this is one of my top five projects. Because it is visually and from a storytelling perspective really engaging, but it’s also a very emotional concept. I want to thank everyone who worked so hard on it to make it possible. Derek Saker from OHEL, Tara Banninger for putting the production together, Brian McCann, my great PA trooper and Asher Crispe for always having a great tip for me.

What do you think about making such a film from a POV perspective? Was it effective?



  1. esty says:

    would love to see this but cant view you-tube videos due to my filter. do you have another version available?

  2. Anne says:

    Very moving. Would like to see your SCRIPTSTORYBOARD.

  3. Alissa says:

    That… was incredible. Powerful and so effective. From the heartbreaking – the children and woman at the door – to the uplifting – the hug from the young man at the end – you covered every emotion, and conveyed so much of what organizations like this are about. Kol hakavod.

    One small note: in this sentence, “Check Shotlister out here” there is no link to Shotlister.

  4. Hi Shmuel thank you for sharing this film with me. I think that the P.O.V. approach works really well, you can almost put yourself in the shoes of the workers. I loved that the footage covered many different areas of support so people viewing could relate to the areas close to their hearts. I was drawn to the dating program myself:) Great footage showing the love that was returned to those OHEL staff:) Well done guys.

  5. I enjoyed your video exposing the many underserved in our nation and the many who are truly servants who have a heart to servant and love. God bless.

  6. Simcha says:

    Shmuel, what a phenomenal video for Ohel you made! This really took me through an experience and was very powerful. Keep up the great work you do -I’m blown away!

  7. Milos says:

    Powerful, Pure.
    Good work.

  8. judy says:

    good job but a bit too choppy to watch

  9. Shmuel Hoffman says:

    Thank you everybody for the amazing feedback.

  10. Ra'anan says:

    So full of pain, so full of love, padded by a soft, slowly building, heart-tugging melody. The tears finally hit w/the “dating” hug at the door & then again when that same young man was so joyful in bed. POV was the way to go, way to go Shemuel!!!

  11. Shmuel Hoffman says:

    Just added the links to the post for the storyboard and the shotlister link

  12. Bart Polin says:

    Indie-Producer w/upcoming big-budget sci-fi, shooting in Toronto before 9/13. May just need your services and/or posts read

  13. Chanie says:

    Very moving. Definitely inspires viewers to get involved.

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