I’m very excited to announce that the Rock Bottom and Back™ DVD, hosted by veteran actor Danny Trejo, will be released June 28, 2016.
As we went through the interview process for Rock Bottom and Back™, we began to realize that the stories we were documenting were not only inspirational, but also very powerful. It was then that I decided to produce a companion DVD for the book so that we could reach more people with this message of hope through showing how faith can help us overcome adversity and find greater peace and happiness in our lives.
In 2015, my wife, Bodi, and I attended a Veterans Day fundraising event at the New Orleans Mission, a homeless shelter that serves the Greater New Orleans area. There, we learned that the New Orleans Mission was launching Mission Media Productions to help veterans and homeless individuals learn a profession in film, television, and video production. Immediately, we decided that we wanted to get involved, and the perfect way to do that was to team up with Mission Media Productions to create the companion film for the book.
I have always had a passion for training and helping those who are starting out and starting over, and I couldn’t envision better partners for this project than those who are on their way back up from rock bottom. David Bottner, executive director of the New Orleans Mission, who is featured in the book and DVD, introduced us to Steven Scaffidi, director of Mission Media Productions, who oversaw the project. Through working with David and Steven, we met Devin Black, Aaron Wegmann, Kirk LaGrange, and James Huse, residents of the shelter who were instrumental in the filming, film editing, art direction, and sound engineering for the DVD.
Working with the homeless to create this film was an incredible experience for all of us at BIC Media Solutions. Not only were we helping those at the shelter learn film production, but we were also creating a film that has the potential to change the lives of so many. The heartrending stories of Bottner, Stanley Roberts, Tonja Myles, Jerry and Whitney Strickland, and Billy Rivers reveal that hitting bottom is only a stepping-stone on the way to a successful life. By using their experiences to help others who were hitting rock bottom, each of these incredible people found peace and happiness in their own lives.
Rose Gladner, manager of BIC Media Solutions, and I were directly involved with the book and film production from inception to completion, and when we read the final draft of the book and saw the final cut of the film, both exceeded our expectations. The result of this project is a book and DVD that offer hope to those in desperate circumstances and show that through helping others, we can help ourselves become better people.
We also partnered with Daniel and Tracy Balsz of YASNY Entertainment, who helped coordinate Danny Trejo’s involvement in this project. We loved working with Mission Media Productions and YASNY. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished with the book and the DVD. Before either has been released, both have already served as tools to help the homeless. I urge you all to share the DVD and the book with anyone you know who may be experiencing difficulties in their lives. And remember, a kind word and a helping hand can save a life.