Moving picture: free documentaries

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Trudy Holmes, chief development officer of Parents Helping Parents, a California nonprofit, knew darn well that a short, powerful documentary film about the work her organization does--helping the parents of kids with life-threatening chronic illnesses--would be an invaluable fundraising tool. She knew the right video could raise the community's awareness of Parents Helping Parents (PHP) in a way almost nothing else could.


The problem was how to make it happen.


"It's something that's generally unaffordable for most nonprofits," Holmes said recently from her Santa Clara office.


She said a counterpart of hers at another nonprofit told her they were getting a great deal on a short documentary--for $27,000. Unable to afford even that amount, PHP tried working with a graduate film student at a local university, but the resulting video "didn't have the quality we could use in a public setting," Holmes said.


Now, however, Holmes is eagerly anticipating the completion of a 15-minute documentary that will tell the PHP story with all the verve and emotion of a Hollywood production. And best of all, it won't cost her a cent.


"We're very excited to have this opportunity," Holmes said.

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    Trudy Holmes, chief development officer of Parents Helping Parents, a California nonprofit, knew darn well that a short, powerful documentary film about the work her organization does--helping the parents of kids with life-threatening chronic illnesses--would be an invaluable fundraising tool. She knew the right video could raise the community's awareness of Parents Helping Parents (PHP) in a way almost nothing else could. The problem was how to make it happen. "It's something that's...

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