Honorable Mention – Tampa Bays Dancing With the Stars (USA)

Title: Tampa Bays Dancing With the Stars
Runtime: 29 min
Country: USA
Director: ‘H’ John Mejia 
Placement: Honorable Mention
Competition: September, 2020

Synopsis: Annual Charity Event in Tampa that raises over $300,000. I produced/ directed and hosted a 1/2 hour TV special that aired here in the Tampa Bay area on WMOR TV ( Hearst Corporation).

FILMMAKER Q&A – ‘H’ John Mejia – TV Host and Director 

GS: What was the inspiration for your film?

HJM: It’s all about ‘giving back’ to the Tampa Bay community. This annual charity event benefits ‘Julie Weintraub’s Hands Across the Bay’ charity, a local organization that uplifts the community by helping domestic survivors and those that that need a helping hand up from unforeseen circumstances. 

GS: When did you conceive the idea for your film and how long did it take before it was realized?

HJM: I have been covering their events for over 10 years and decided a few years ago to expand the highlight event video into a  full 1/2 hour TV special.

GS: What was the most challenging aspect of working in a short film format?

HJM: As a small production company with low budgets, it was integrating in the expansive coverage of the event.

GS: What was the most challenging aspect of your production?

HJM: Small crew covering a live event needs precession planning. 

GS: Do you have any advice for first-time filmmakers?

HJM: Have clarity of your vision. Map out everything.Triple check lighting and audio. Stay true to your passion to fight through obstacles that will come up. Most importantly, finish the project and then learn from the process you experienced.