Veritaz Productions

Veritaz Productions is composed of a group of people dedicated to making quality short films, music videos, and documentaries. Our focus is truth and our passion, art. Started by Chelsea Babbish and Mathew Hawkins in Savannah, Georgia, we are dedicated to bringing a positive message and artistic look at the cinematic experience.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Relocation.

It's been a few months since our last update. Alot has been changing on this side of things. Rally Across America was a blast to help out on and in the upcoming months we should start to see "Pedaling For Change" come together. The title of the blog is because of two things. We are hosting our blog off of our own server at Veritaz Productions Blog. This just makes things easier on our side of things. The second thing is that Veritaz has relocated from Savannah, Georgia to Salt Lake City, Utah. Chelsea has finished her degree at Savannah College of Art & Design and felt like this is the place to really have Veritaz take off.

So from now on, you can keep up to date with Veritaz on their website, and blog

We also have an updated teaser and trailer on the Pedaling For Change Website website.

Thanks everyone for your support.
-Nick Anderson

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Atlanta v.2 09/14/06

(x-posted in the Veritaz Productions Blog )

I am sitting in Dominic's dorm room at SCADATL listening to the bell
tower across the street playing America the Beautiful. I can hear the
bells ever so faintly from across the street above the sounds of
traffic and people walking and talking around the dorm building. How
pleasent it is to be able to open the door and just keep it open to
the warm September air. Not bad. Best of all, Nick is sitting right
infront of me capturing countless hours of video (61 hours and
counting to be exact) into our portable editing system. The footage
looks amazing and I seriously couldn't be more excited to tear into
it.

Yesterday, Nick and I got a call from Robin, Alexa's mom, at around
9am. When we listened to the message we found out that she thought it would be best if we just did all of our filming of Alexa in one giant swoop. This meant that we would have to be over at her house (about 40 minutes from where we were staying) by 4pm to be able to be there when her mom picks her up from girl scouts. We'd then stay over that night and sleep at their house in order to be able to capture one of Alexa's morning routines on film. We did all of this and got some very good coverage of the every-day life of Alexa. In doing so, we discovered how much some of these children really must go through as an after effect of their experimental cancer treatments.

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Alexa and her sister Jenna helping cook dinner while we shoot video

In short, Alexa, because of the cancer treatments that saved her life, has lung disease and other lung issues that only allow for 11% lung capacity. She has to be hooked up to oxygen tubes ALL OF THE TIME, go through 2 treatments a day where she has to wear this vest that pumps a frequency of 12hz onto her chest, thumping her whole body in order to break up some of the build up in her lungs. She also has to take a plethra of pills and medicines as well as additional breathing treatments that shoot vapor into her lungs. When she sleeps at night she has to wear this tube that is a little larger than a roll of quarters underneath her nose that has openings that she pushes into her nostrles. It is triggered by her breathing and it pushes a little more air than she would normally be able to take in naturally into her lungs to allow more carbon dioxide to be pushed outward. This helps with the fact that the carbon monoxide that we so easially exhale gets stuck in her weak lungs. Without this all night mask-like oxygen tube the build up of carbon monoxide could be fatal. On top of all of this, she has terrible back problems where her back is curving two different and incorrect ways. This is causing her sternum to press against her already bad lungs leaving them with only about an inch to work.

To correct these issues and give Alexa a better chance in fighting it all, she needs to be put in a halo to help straighten her back, then, if it helps, she will undergo back surgery to correct the curvature. If the halo doesn't help, she may need a double lung transplant instead of the corrective back surgery. The lifespan of someone who gets a double lung transplant is only about 5 years of life after the surgery. SHe has alreay been evaluated for the lung transplant and is on the list incase her doctors feel there is no other way....

The stuff this child has to go through is huge. The fact that she is such a joyful and excited little girl is just so humbling. It was a great experience spending time with her and her family. Nick and I even got to work out at the local Y with her mom, Robin, after filming this morning. We woke up at 5:55am, filmed, took Alexa to school, worked out for an hour, packed, interviewed Robin, and headed back to SCAD Atlanta.

From there we captured some footage before connecting with Dominic again. He took us to the Varisty where we ate cold bad food (haha) and then we went and walked around Little Five Points. All is well. Atlanta has been quite interesting. I hear that WWE wrestling will be at the Masquerade tonight.

Too bad nobody else thinks that's cool...

We could be closer than you know,
Chelse

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Atlanta, Ga v.1.0

(x-posted in the Veritaz Productions blog)

Atlanta, we are back again! If you can remember... way back in June Veritaz Productions sent out a team to travel with Rally Across America as both filmmakers composing a documentary about the endeavor but also as the support crew for the cyclists on the ride. Over three months later, the team has returned to Atlanta, Georgia to finish up where we started.

Officially, Rally Across America ended in Nashville, TN but we moved, after a few days in Nashville, to Atlanta, Georgia in order to attend a party that the Olsen's threw for Austin and Tom as a finishing event and to return the support car.

So we drove back to Atlanta on Sunday the 9th of September. That night we attended a huge party with about 100 people in attendance at the Olsen's house in Cobb County. Will Olsen had cancer when he was younger (he is 19 now) and Rally Foundation was started by a woman, Dean, who attended a weekly prayer circle that was focused on "praying Will out of cancer". When Dean asked Mrs. Olsen what else she could do, Mrs. Olsen told Dean that the best thing to do would be to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer research and the fact that it is under funded by 30 million dollars every year. Dean promptly started Rally Foundation in order to fulfill this need.

Anyway so we partied hearty with them and had a good time. We ate more BBQ than we thought we could fit! Nick spent some of his time off taking pictures of some of the locals:


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Nick and my plans to go back to Savannah have been slightly postponed until we can finish the last bits of filming here. All we have left is to film a little bit about Alexa and how she goes about her daily life. We were blessed to be able to go with her to a visit to one of her doctors and hear about her future medical plans. Everyone was happy to have us there with the video camera and we got a lot of important footage for the film. Alexa has a lot ahead of her and we want to tell her story along side Austin and Tom's. We know that each story is important individually, but, TOGETHER they will really create a huge impact on people.

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Alexa awaiting her doctor at a hospital in Atlanta

Nick and I left Tom and Austin yesterday in Roswell, Georgia at Roswell Bicycles (one of the RAA sponsors). We then walked all over Atlanta with the help of MARTA. On our way back to the Olsen's house (the place we have stayed for the last few days) we discovered that MARTA (the public transportation system here in Atlanta) didn't come anywhere near their house. It started to rain and, right as we realized that we were going to have to walk, a man offered to give us his umbrella. Arm and arm we ducked under the umbrella and walked for about 35 minutes in the rain. Eventually, we found out that we were walking in the WRONG direction and, as we were turning around, we got a call from the Olsen’s and they offered to come out and pick us up. We waited for them at a nearby church, the Dunberry Baptist Church. An awesome woman there let us inside out of the rain and even gave us carrot cake! After a while the Olsen’s came and took us out to eat. What a great ending to such an interesting day!

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nick and me walking home in the rain!
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MARTA rides
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Later that Night, Dominic, a friend from Savannah who is now going to SCAD Atlanta or... SCADATL (pronounced skedaddle), came all of the way to the Olsen's house and picked us up. Our plans were to stay with him until we got all of the filming that we need to film of Alexa done. We crashed on the floor of his dorm last night and had a great time with him and his room mate Norm.

Ahh... sleeping in dorms again... no joke, at 2:30am the fire alarm went off, piercing our ears, for about 10 minutes. Jeez-louise.... college college:) Regardless, we had a great time. Many Jelly Bellies, some smuggled cafeteria food, and a few hours of sleep later we were off to Alexas house to spend the next day and night filming. We'll probably return to Dominic's dorm to sleep over until we figure out how to get back to Savannah.

We could be closer than you know,
Chelsea

Friday, September 08, 2006

Nashville, TN, v2.0

So Nick and I have been hanging out at the Bongo Java Coffee House in Nashville every day for the last few days. We've been using their internet, drinking their cherry green tea, talking about distribution and how we are going to post produce the film, and pondering what happened to the Nun Bun.

A few nights ago we met up with our friends Sarah and MaryAlice to have a great chili dinner at their house and we hope to get out to play frisbee with them today! We're also anticipating the arrival of Austin's parents and of Dean, the founder of Rally Foundation. We will probably all go out to eat together tonight along with Clair who arrived yesterday. Afterwards, Nick and I plan on going to see a band that my friend Shannon suggested to us called Sophia. I'm so excited about that! I don't think that Nick has been to a concert in a long time.

Well so far Nashville has been fun. I"m going to miss the locals at Bongo Java when we have to leave. hahaha... its so funny, we have been here every single day and I have seen some of the same people every single day... Oh the coffee house life. According to Shannon, who lives here in Nashville (I went to Cornerstone with her and her brother and friends), Ben Folds frequents this coffee house. Wouldn't that be interesting? I mean, you never know what could happen. Meeting Mr. Ben Folds over a cup of cherry green tea? What would I say... Probably something that starts like this:

"Hi! My name is Chelsea Babbish and I'm making this film.. blablabla,... (skip to) are you interested in donating?"
hahahha

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The view as Nick and I walk miles around and inside of downtown Nashville....

We could be closer than you know,
Chelsea

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Nashville, TN, v.1.0

We've made it to Nashville!!

RALLY ACROSS AMERICA IS COMPLETED (the bicycle riding part anyway). Tom, Austin, Nick, and myself pulled into Nashville after a beautiful 80 mile bike ride in Tennessee country at around 12noon on Tuesday the 5th. It's strange, I feel like I'm going to miss being on the road and like I'm super excited to be grounded for a bit as well. No joke though, the road was definatly interesting. Meeting and staying with new people every day, seeing places in the US that we might never have stumbled upon, having the strangest and  most beautiful interactions and things happen. Lets not forget the tons of gas stations that we visited. Through all of the good and all of the bad, we still made a pretty good road team. 

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When we got into Nashville, we had a chance to hang out with the Vinyard Vines folks at a trunk show they were having at Vanderbilt. We also got a chance to meet a few of Tom and Austin's friends that we have heard about. They were in the middle of their kick-off week so there was plenty of festivities and free food for the students and faculty (and the veritaz team.. heh heh) While Austin and Tom were schmoozing, Nick and I took their bikes for a spin. We rode all around the Vanderbilt campus and I've decided that I dig Nashville, or what I've seen of it so far.

WHAT I DON"T DIG, HOWEVER, IS WHEN PEOPLE TAKE ONE LOOK AT YOU AND BASICALLY REFUSE TO INVITE YOU INTO THEIR HOUSE.

Wait, what? What happened? 
I guess all we can say is THANK GOD FOR MARY BETH (one of the girls that helped with Rally... she wrote all of our press releases) was in town and had two couches that Nick and I could sleep on. The problem was, though, that we didn't have a car to get to go get food the next day because Austin and Tom had it at the place that turned us away and nick is VERY VERY ahlergic to cats and there is a cat that lives in the house with Mary Beth. It was just a mess and we felt so uncomfortable about it... not about Mary Beth's place but about the situation. We felt so unwelcome! ugh. lame.

THANK YOU MARY BETH for taking us under your wing and letting us sleep in your living room.

Oh well. I guess we can't expect to have everyone treat us with hospitality.

Trying not to let it get us down... it's just giving us an opportunity to be graceful and get over it and move on. It's hard to love your neighbor somtimes....
Other than that, though, Nashville has been fun. More to come later.

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Vegabonds


We could be closer than you know,
Chelsea

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Millington, TN (not quite Memphis)

Well, we never ACTUALLY went into Memphis, TN... I kind-of wish we would have been able to because neither Nick nor I have ever been there!

Just outside Memphis, however, we stayed with a wonderful family of 5 that has JUST started a non-profit called Habitat for Hope. If you check out their website by clicking the above link you can find out what they are all about.

It was wonderful talking to them, hearing about their vision and how it is all falling together for them. How encouraging as a small company to hear about other people who are starting small and getting so much support. Hopefully some day we will have the same type of support that they have. They seemed excited about the film and their young daughter, Bella, gave us a wonderful interview about her experience with cancer. She offered some insight that will be a great help to the film.

While we were there, they let Nick and I take a tour of the property via 4 wheeler. Good thing I have some experience mud boggin in Georgia and I know how to drive one. hahaha. It was beautiful and a fun break from driving an explorer!
I have pictures of us 4wheelin around but I took them with my phone and my phone is acting up so when I can con it into working then I'll post them right where this sentance is. haha

When it was about time to leave Bella accompanied us out to the road on her super awesome pink princess bike that didn't even have any training wheels. She came as far as the apple trees and then waved us on.

We could be closer than you know,
Chelsea

Sunday, September 03, 2006

PHOTOGRAPHY CREDITS

Attention everyone: if you have been going into our server and taking photographs to use in blogs, newspapers, or any other publication... PLEASE remember to credit the photographers. On the server the very top document is the credit guidlines. Please be responsible and credit the photos:)

Thanks,
Chelsea
Owner, Veritaz Productions

On the Road to Memphis, TN

Today, on the way to Memphis, the Veritaz Team had a long day riding with Austin and Tom. Nick took on the whole day, driving for about 15 hours. They had a 200 mile day planned and we got onto the road by 6:30am. The boys had put in about 80 miles by noon. How excited were all of us when we got to TENNESSEE? Pretty excited. It marked the last leg of the trip. Holy moly!

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It sure is funny the things you see while taking it slow along the smaller routs through the country. We've passed all types of dogs, cows, horses, people... haha. Just yesterday we drove on rout 61. As it turns out, this weekend on highway 61 there was the first annual "61 miles of garage sale on highway 61". No joke! We passed through miles and miles and miles of more and more and more garage. The 61 mile garage sale! That has to be some sort of record.
Along the rout we got some funny footage of the boys stopping and saying hello to some local horses in Old Appletown. Austin let one of the horses, BJ, lick all of the salt off of his arms and rally jersy. eew. It made for some funny filming though. hahaha. That horse just kept licking it's lips and reaching for Austin. haha.

Nick and I found this sweet carved cow skull at one of the garage sales. We wanted to get it and strap it to the front of the Rally Across America support car but it was 10 bucks and I only had a 5 in my wallet. How funny would that have been for Austin and Tom? To look back and see the Rally car with a giant old cow skull, horns and all, strapped to the grill! Too bad.

We got to our host home at a decent time. Time enough to throw something together for the weather channel (again) at the request of Rally Foundation. They wanted some footage a while ago of the boys riding and doing their thing and, although it's slightly difficult to supply it from the raod, we did our best to accomidate but it just never worked out. Hopefully this time everything will work out and they will be able to air a little something about Rally Across America. That'd be cool. All I have left to do is print the footage to tape and, well, I guess, hand it over. I'm very interested to see how if it actually works!

It's sometimes difficult to deal with news stations or television when the middle people involved don't know anything about film. Everyone always has the greatest intentions but really, how can you expect a lay person to relay the language correctly and be able to explain why something worked or didn't work, will work or won't work? Even if you can explain it to them, you can't fully expect them to be able to pass the knowledge on the way you perfectly want it. It's not fair to the middle man. I'm worried this might be one of those situations. Hopefully not.

We ended up staying at Habitat for Hope with these two AWESOME missionary and visionaries. More on them in a later post:)

woo!
Onward to Nashville! Rally Across America and the work we are doing here is coming quickly to it's completion!

St. Louis, MO, DAY OFF!

(x-posted in the Veritaz Blog)
Yay for Elizabeth. We met Elizabeth when we visited the St. Louis children's hospital. She is interning there with media and was there to help us with the image releases that we need to have signed by those that we filmed. We got a chance to catch up with her later the next day because, when we were at the hospital visiting kids, she offered to take us around St. Louis. How cool is it that she had the day off as well? We took her up on it.

She drove out to where we were staying those two nights and picked us up. We had to drop the car off with Austin at the St. Louis Bread Company so he would have a way to meet us if he wanted to later. He was using the internet there and catching up on Rally stuff while Nick, Tom, Elizabeth, and I bee-lined it to CITY MUSEUM!!! No joke, I think Nick and I had talked about city museum at least once a week during this trip. I have been waiting all summer to get a chance to go and I'm sure Tom and Austin were getting sick of hearing all about it all the time. hahaha... at one point, Austin thought we were making it up. Too bad he was still at the bread shop. Tom, however, was able to experience the true magisty of the CM. haha.

So we get there and we pay for tickets... Tom and Nick take off right away and dissapeer. Wait a second here... if you don't know what CITY MUSEUM is, PLEASE click the above link. It would take too long to explain in full. In short, however, Citi Museum is a giant wearhouse that is full of stuff found in and around St. Louis. It was started by a man who decided that, when the city was clearing out buildings in order to build the St. Louis Arch, decided it would be a waste to let all of the debree just be thrown away. He found amazing things and saved them all in 3 giant wearhouses and then started building the citi museum out of all of the nifty stuff he salvaged. The best part about it? It's about 3 stories of pure jungle gym. There are tons of rooms that are all connected by walk ways and tunnles and ladders made of every type of thing imaginable. Yes, it's true: YOU CAN CLIMB ON EVERYTHING, in everything, under everything, and usually, above everything. It can be summed up in one word: AMAZING. PLEASE click the link and see for yourself.



  

  

  

  

  


Anyway so I had been waiting all summer to get out to this super cool place and you would never believe what happened. Elizabeth and I started over by one of the giant fish tanks that they have in the middle of the building and we started climbing in the caves near it. We ended up right next to the tank near where the glass ended and one of the spotted fish was right at the top. We both were looking over at the fish and I, not thinking anything of it, reached over the tank to touch the thing, I mean, it's just a fish right? It seemed friendly enough... just peeking at me from right below the surface. I figured, with so many kids climbing around here I'm sure the fish are tame. It let me touch it's nose and we were both so amazed that it didn't swim away that Elizabeth came closer and I reached over to pet it again. Next thing I know the nice sweet not-so-little fish jumped OUT OF THE TANK AND BIT MY ENTIRE FINGER. My ENTIRE first finger was in the things mouth in a split second. The instant it happened I pulled my hand way up into the air and the thing grabbed on at my middle knuckle and came right out of the tank. Elizabeth says I pulled the thing about 2 and a half feet into the air! We were both screaming and I was shaking my hand. The fish biting my finger hurt like HECK. It wouldn't let go! I kept shaking my arm and finally it let go and fell back into the tank splashing water all over my face. Did I mention that the fish was at LEAST 14 inches long? It weighed a lot too.

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WHAT THE HECK??!!!???

So we both calm down (kinda) and I look down at my finger. It's bleeding all over the place and swelling up like a balloon. There are puncture wounds all of the way across the top of my knuckle and across the bottem. One is so deep that the torn tissue of my finger was pertruding out of it. That's right, the fish bit me SO HARD and deep that the tissue of my finger, because of the pressure of the swelling, was coming out of the puncture hole. WHY IS IT that things like this always seem to happen to ME? Seriously.


Ok so about this time we had already made our way back to the front gate to ask if there is anything we might need to know about the fish that bit me, like, for example, was it POISENOUS? I had cleaned y finger up pretty well but it just kept bleeding and bleeding. What a freak show. Next thing I know, it seemed like all of the employees were there standing around Elizabeth and me at the fish tank. I couldn't stop laughing but at the same time I felt pretty stupid. I mean come ON... I'm 21 years old and just got owned by an effing fish. haha. THey kept saying "why did you put your hand in the tank?" to which I had to keep replying: I wanted to pet the fish!

I'm an idiot. Oh my gosh. haha.
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So ok long story short it was a BULL FISH that bit me. The fish dude at the City Museum said that they are one of the most aggressive species of fish. Ok so since then I have been kinda wondering... WHY THE HECK WOULD YOU HAVE DANGEROUS AND AGRESSIVE FISH AT AN AQUARIUM WHERE THERE IS NO RAILING AND ONLY A FEW INCHES BETWEEN THE WATER AND THE END OF THE TANK WHEN LITTLE KIDS ARE ALLLLL AROUND ALLL THE TIME? WHY? Seriously. haha. Go figure. Anyway I guess everyone got a kick out of it. It got so swollen that I couldn't move my finger. I sat out for the next hour or so with Nick and iced my finger until we cought up with Elizabeth and Tom again. It felt better by then so we then all did some climbing and exploring and took some pictures. Nick and I showed them where we ducked under the floor down a tunnel that looked like it was just part of a dried up fountain.

After we left City Museum, Elizabeth took us to the St. Louis Loop and we met up with Austin. I had forgotten that Nick and I had been there a few years ago shopping with our friend Jamie during a road trip that we took together the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college. After a few steps it all came back to me. We didn't stay for long because Elizabeth had this awesome idea. She called her parents and let them know that we'd be joining them for dinner. We could not have guessed what we were about to get ourselves into.

We packed up and all drove out to the Hill, where Elizabeth is from. Turns out her family is all very very Ittalian and they all live on the same street! She lives RIGHT next to her grandma (who is probably THE coolest 85 year old I have ever encountered in my lifetime) and right infront of her aunt and uncle, etc, etc. She got changed and we headed out to Vino's, a bar and restaurant. Her family owns a bakery on the Hill and they were there with grandma and others along with some people who work at the bakery. I guess they all go out to Vino's a lot. Everyone there knew them. We sat down with everybody and ordered some dinner. Her dad said he'd treat! No joke!


When we were there we ate pizza, subs, and St. Louis toasted ravioli! We spent a long time learning how to play Bocce Ball the Italian way! We even won our FIRST game!


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After hanging out with her big family a ton we felt like genuine Italians! haha... too bad none of us are. They really made us feel at home. We kept hanging out with them into the night. Together we all left after two fun games of Bocce Ball to go to this diner across town. MORE FOOD! We ate and ate! They made Austin and Tom order these things called Slingers. A Slinger is eggs, hash browns, chilli, and more on a burger. It comes out looking like a plate of chilli hash browns with a burger patty hidden somewhere in the middle. Gross. haha. Everything was amazing that night. We had more fun than we could have expected!
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