On June 29th, 2010, Sophie Rose Barton was hiking at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Heber Valley Camp when she felt dizzy and eventually collapsed, said Bishop Scott Wilmarth. Emergency crews responded to the camp and took Barton by ambulance to Heber Valley Medical Center around 4 p.m. When Sophie left the camp, she was conscious, but at the hospital she stopped breathing and was pronounced dead about 7 p.m.
Sophie was described as a gifted songwriter and a “best friend to everyone” who was well-loved among her friends, family and LDS Ward members. “Sophie was a light in our ward,” Bishop Wilmar said. “She didn’t seek out the limelight but the light always found her. This is somebody who served well, led a good life.”
The reason I’m writing about Sophie today is her legacy lives on through music, charity and giving. In 1993, former professional football player, Steve Young established the Forever Young Foundation to support community projects and non-profit organizations effectively serving the therapeutic and academic needs of seriously ill and underprivileged children. The organization is proud to introduce a new project called Sophie’s Place. Sophie’s Place, named in memory of our friend Sophie Barton, will fund music therapy rooms in hospitals to create awareness of the power of music to aid healing. Steve Young grew up in Connecticut with Barton’s mother, Anne-Marie. The idea to honor Sophie, who lived in Holladay and attended Olympus High School, and promote music therapy came from Young’s wife, Barb. The concept is an extension of the Forever Young Zones created in three hospitals, including PCMC, that provide recreational and social opportunities, outside of the patients’ rooms. You can watch the YouTube video of the grand opening that occurred in 2013 at the Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City. To raise funds for Sophie’s Place, on June 27th & 28th, Steve will be joining some of his friends from the NFL, NBA, PGA and Major League Baseball to host the 2016 Steve Young Mountain Classic at Red Ledges Golf Club in Heber City, Utah.
Music is such an amazing gift. I can definitely attest to the power of music and how it can change people’s lives. Though I’m not a songwriter or musician, I’ve seen first hand how music compliments film and video during editing and how emotions flourish because of it’s power. Sophie is said to have performed 100 hours in hospitals because she understood the power of music and it’s ability to heal. Her talent brought healing to young people suffering from pain, chronic illness, and serious injury. During the 2012 Mountain Classic, Anne-Marie Barton greeted participants, giving them a personal sense of the charitable effort, and joined the Young’s in an interview. “Music changes everything,” she said.
In addition to fundraising for Sophie’s Place at the 2016 Mountain Classic, funds will also help in supporting three “Forever Young Zones”. Hospital Forever Young Zones are recreational therapy rooms created to provide tools for exercising the imagination of seriously ill children who face emotional and physical challenges. Forever Young Media Zones provide a state-of-the-art radio, TV, film and design studio, as well as a professional-quality recording studio with an isolated vocal booth and digital audio mixing. The goal of these zones is to put technological tools into the hands of creative young people, allowing them to explore and prepare for careers in media and design while developing practical production and copy through their own artistic expression. The 8 to 80 Zones are a collaboration between Steve Young and Jerry Rice, which provide youth living in under served communities the skills to pursue careers in technology and media. Steve and Jerry’s partnership with The 49ers Academy continues to offer creative, exciting experiences to youth that attend the school.
Current Forever Young Zones locations:
Primary Children’s Hospital: Salt Lake City, UT, Cardon Children’s Medical Center: Mesa, AZ, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital: Palo Alto, CA, Treehouse Children’s Museum: Ogden, UT, Wasatch Adaptive Sports: Snowbird, UT, Wooster School: Danbury, CT, Plummer Home For Boys: Salem, MA
MetamoraTV will be covering this charity event
I’m proud to be a supporter of the Steve Young Foundation and Sophie’s Place. As the host of MetamoraTV, I’ll be covering this event on June 27th in Heber City, Utah. The event fits our mission perfectly: “transformative, thought-provoking journalism.” Please join us in supporting the 2016 Steve Young Mountain Classic. Donations are being accepted through the Steve Young Foundation website. Thank you.
– Matt Duhamel, Filmmaker/Host
A friend of mine who lives in low income housing recently mentioned to me an exhibit at The Leonardo Museum in downtown Salt Lake City. I had never been there but I’ve driven past the museum probably a hundred times. The exhibit that he wanted me to check out is titled, No Fixed Address, which invites you to look at the faces of individuals and families who live on the streets or shelters. It sheds light on the myths and realities of homelessness and reminds us of our shared humanity. Photographed by Lynn Blodgett, the exhibit is an eye opening experience.
Earlier in the month, I tried to make it to the exhibit a couple of times but uncontrollable situations prohibited me to keep my appointment with Jann Haworth who’s in charge of the exhibit. I was determined to make it today in order to film the exhibit for my upcoming documentary, NOT FOR RENT!, a film about ex-felons attempting to find housing. Though the exhibit is not necessarily about homeless ex-felons or ex-inmates, people with felony convictions do make up a percentage of our homeless population due to a variety of reasons including, mental illness, addiction, and/or lack of housing options (many landlords will not rent to an ex-felon). In addition, according to the National Reentry Resource Center, “Released prisoners with a history of shelter use were almost five times as likely to have a post-release shelter stay.” With 13,621 people in Utah alone who don’t have a place to call home, (1 in every 213 people) I felt that film footage of the exhibit was extremely important in order to bring attention to the epidemic.
As I walked into the exhibit, the large room was comfortable, peaceful and quite, for the exception of soft, beautiful piano music playing over head from a local musician. The lights dimmed about ten minutes after I arrived highlighting the sad, worn, and even beautiful, smiling faces of the homeless. There were faces of individuals, woman, children, families, and everyday people you would never think wouldn’t have a place to call home. As I walked in further, I noticed a sign that explained Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: “Shelter is one of life’s basic elements, like food, air and water. It is based on the theory that one must satisfy a lower level of the hierarchy before elevating to the next. Issues related to homelessness reinforce his work.” I pondered Maslow’s theory for a few moments as my camera was capturing an attractive, freckled faced woman’s portrait which hung as part of the exhibit. “She’s homeless?“, I thought to myself.
Jann motioned to me that the exhibit continued past the portraits and perhaps I was interested in filming the I-View Project. During the summer of 2014, The Leonardo distributed disposable cameras throughout Salt Lake City’s local support agencies and shelters. They asked clients to photograph the city as they experienced it; interesting sights and events, familiar places and people, and treasured items, and even food. This is the first time these photos have been shared with the public. I was taken back by these random, raw images. I took my camera and filmed the large wall that displayed photos of diverse people laughing, sharing, working, eating and just trying to make it on the streets of Salt Lake City with no fixed address.
Towards the end of my visit, I discovered a small craft book sitting on a table. I began to sift through it and soon realized the notes and illustrations where from children. Messages such as, “Don’t stop believing“, and “You are worth, you are wanted, you are loved” were sketched into the book. On the next page was a simple drawing of a home with the message, “Home for me is somewhere your loved and somewhere you can live your life.” A more negative message almost took up the entire following page: “Homeless sucks. You have no money. Sucks. No house (sad face)”
I came away from the No Fixed Address exhibit feeling lucky for what I do have. As I produce my next documentary film, NOT FOR RENT!, I have a feeling that the interviews that I do, the footage that I shoot and the research that I’ll present, will help me “Instill compassion, encourage action“, just like the No Fixed Address brochure reads. I hope it does for you as well.
For more information on the No Fixed Address exhibit, please visit The Leonardo Museum.
In Utero is a cinematic rumination about life in the womb and its lasting impact on human development, human behavior, and the state of the world. The film brings together for the first time convincing data that explains why some of us face challenges from the start while others thrive.
As a filmmaker attending the 2016 LDS Film Festival in Orem, Utah (Life Under The Horseshoe, Official Selection), I’m excited about this documentary written and directed by Kathleen Man Gyllenhaal. As the film’s website suggests, “Experts in the fast-growing field of epigenetics explain that we are not only our genes but a product of our environment as well, a proven fact that changes our perception of stress and exposures to the environment during pregnancy. The film looks at how these environmental effects are passed down through the generations through our genes, making it scientifically plausible that a traumatic event that affected your grandma could leave a mark on your genes.”
In Utero looks like a powerful film with new, amazing evidence from, “experts in the fast-growing field of epigenetics that explain we are not only our genes but a product of our environment as well, a proven fact that changes our perception of stress and exposures to the environment during pregnancy.” I’m a HUGE fan of thought-provoking films and it looks like from the film’s trailer, reviews and synopsis, In Utero will fall into the “transformative” film category. Similar to the powerful and thought-provoking films that I covered the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, I’m excited to see what other filmmakers are producing and creating. Most of the time I don’t get the chance to ‘mingle’ with other filmmakers and to really understand why they produce the films they do. The LDS Film Festival gives the public the chance to view amazing films along with it’s filmmakers the opportunity to share thoughts, ideas and to network with similar creative professionals. Their website reads, “The LDS Film Festival has grown tremendously over the last few years. What began as a short film festival, is now a major event that showcases an impressive array of feature films, special screenings and short films. Over the last ten years, attendance has been constantly increasing, now averaging 5000-7000 visitors. Since its inception, the LDS Film Festival has premiered dozens of theatrical releases and screened hundreds of films. Regional, national, and international media have all reported from and about the festival, including The Associated Press, The Washington Post, and Premiere Magazine.”
In Utero will screen on March 3rd, at 5:15pm at the LDS Film Festival. If you are unable to attend the festival at the SCERA Center in Orem, Utah, In Utero has additional screenings in 2016. Metamora Films will be there earlier in the day on March 3rd at 12:15pm as the festival screens our film, Life Under The Horseshoe. We are excited to be apart of this amazing film festival!
Producers Matt Duhamel and Heather Duhamel were excited to hear that their latest documentary film, Life Under The Horseshoe, is now an Official Selection at the 15th Annual LDS Film Festival. The film festival is being held at the Scera Center for the Arts in Orem, Utah on March 2nd through the 5th. The film will be shown on Thursday, March 3rd at 12:15pm
The LDS Film Festival also offers a unique atmosphere with dozens of filmmakers attending the festival and mingling with each other and the audience. Experienced filmmakers share their knowledge with younger filmmakers in informative presentations, and almost every screening at the festival is followed by a Q&A session with the filmmakers. Additionally, the festival draws industry professionals, distributors, and broadcast media looking for content.
Come and check out all the great films being presented along with Metamora Films’ latest, Life Under The Horseshoe, an entertaining and historical look at Spring City, Utah’s only live FM stage radio show. The film teaches us a little about history while taking us back to the golden age of radio. Produced over 5 months during the summer of 2015 by Metamora Films, the documentary interviews Mark and Vicki Allen, the show hosts while learning more about their interesting, but opposite family history. The film also highlights the historical Victory Hall, a one-hundred-year-old restored vaudeville theater on Main Street, and “Spit & Whittle” Avenue, where Charlie (1885-1936), son of Simon Beck, had a bench the women of the town called the “Bummer’s Bench.”
Contact Metamora Films for more information on this exciting event.