Last month, something happened which reminded me that I’m not just making a film. In documentary, we’re not just dealing with footage that we shot a few months ago; we’re dealing with individuals whose lives continue evolve. This is real life, and sometimes things change for the better, sometimes for the worse. In this case, it was definitely the latter…
On November 8, 2008, my main character’s mom suddenly died. Her name was Linda Baskerville, and she was only 37 years of age. Linda was a key figure in WHATEVER IT TAKES, appearing in several of the film’s most gripping and emotional scenes. She had led a particularly difficult life, one filled with physical abuse, drug addiction, and severe depression. I guess her body just finally ran out of steam.
While Linda had good reason to be bitter about life, she actually was an incredibly resilient woman who wanted nothing but the best for her own children. She didn’t always know the best way to love her kids, but she loved them dearly. When Linda saw that we (the filmmaking crew) also wanted to see her children succeed, she welcomed us into her home with open arms, and we all became good friends over the three long years of filming the documentary.
I felt strongly that I should attend Linda’s funeral to pay my respects, and to show my support for her children. As I approached her open casket, my resolve strengthened to tell this woman’s story as honestly and sensitively as possible. I want to show that her life – as short and painful as it might have been – was not in vain. I want audiences to see that all of Linda’s dreams for her children are indeed coming to pass.
In doing so, I also hope to show that WHATEVER IT TAKES was not made in vain. That after almost four years of struggle, we’ve made a film that has lasting value, one that proves that change is possible and miracles do happen.