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The Academy Awards reminds us that it takes a crew to create a masterpiece.

“Everyone sees the glory moments, but they don’t see what happens behind the scenes.” -Allyson Felix

When a movie concluded as a child, I would remain seated and watch all the credits until the very end. Part of it was about soaking up the movie theater experience and finishing my popcorn.  Part of it was listening to the music and being reminded through it what I had just watched. And, if I am being honest, part of it was looking for people with the last name O’Leary to see if we had any distant family involved in the film. (I usually left disappointed by that last one.)

When the last credits rolled up the screen and the lights eased back on in the theater, I always asked the same two questions: Who were all those people just listed? And what could all of them possibly have done for the film?

I mean, really, haven’t you wondered the same thing?

As the On Fire movie team rolls into its third month of the painstaking post-production work, I am gradually beginning to recognize the remarkable complexity of creating a film. These months of post-production work follow weeks of an intense shooting schedule. And that follows years of planning.

My friends, in the next year we’ll have an opportunity to go to theaters and watch as our wonderful actors bring to life brilliantly the story of On Fire. They’ll have us laughing and crying and applauding and utterly convicted that we can make a mighty difference through our lives for others.

And yet, in thinking about the actors on screen, my mind races to the tireless work of those behind the scenes.

I think of Jordan Block, Christopher Brown, Sarah Coughlin, Madeline DeClue, Rachel Deschaine, Hadley Houch, Vincent Italiano, and Colleen LaRochelle. This is a partial list of our Production Assistants who were on set before anybody else, worked tirelessly through long days, and were still on set when we left each night.

There were dozens of truck drivers, boom operators, lighting technicians and camera operators. There were teams of security officers to keep us safe, medics to heal our wounds, and kitchen vendors to feed our bodies. There were key grips, swing gangs, set creators, prop makers, sound mixers and dolly grippers.

On Fire required 47 investors, eight executive producers, a talented writer, a skilled director, 200 crew members, more than 50 principal actors and more than 1,000 background actors and extras.

Literally thousands of tasks were executed each day by an army of individual contributors to capture this movie. And then the heavy lifting of editing hundreds of hours of film into a single, feature movie began. Each contribution, each person, each task critical to the success of the overall effort.

Such is the complexity with every film.  Which brings us to last night’s 96th Academy Awards ceremony.

As actors and directors accepted their awards and thanked a few people, the reality is there’s simply not enough time to acknowledge everyone. For that list, we’d have to actually sit down in a theater, watch until the very, very, VERY end, and realize that without the participation of a multitude of behind-the-scenes professionals, there would be no movie. There would be no star. And there would be no Oscar.

And it’s not just in movies where this is true.

We all are recipients of profound love and amazing grace. None of us have accomplished great things by ourselves. None of us achieved success or overcame adversity all by ourselves.

Today, let’s accomplish what last night’s winners attempted. Let’s recognize the people who helped us get where we are. Let’s use this moment to reach out and thank them for all they did to propel our lives forward. And let’s not just stop with a few co-stars, producers or big names.  Instead, let’s honor the multitude of individuals who have helped shape the masterpieces that are our lives.

Now, our stories may never be recognized with an Oscar.

But here the thing: awards rust, fame wanes and lights fade. But our lives remain stunning gifts, they are worthy of celebrating, we most certainly didn’t create them all by ourselves, and our best is yet to come.

This is your day. Live Inspired.

7 replies on “And the Oscar Goes To….”

#teamdiven loves you and all that you do!
You have again inspired us…..
Little do you know that Ms. Joy knows Madeline DeClue and her mother ( our elementary school secretary) . Madeline told Joy what a wonderful and kind person you were to everyone on the set. Joy was able to ask Madeline questions and Madeline to Joy she was lucky that John ( you) was her friend.

Gratitude in all of its forms is always good. Thank you for the reminder to be appreciative of those who have lifted me up in my life, including the most important one of all – God. Bless you John!

I appreciate the fact that you see the details, whether that be in a person’s work or in a part of the day. As someone who has been in the service industry (healthcare) for over 40 years, I have learned over the years to encourage those who are behind the scenes, who work diligently every day to care for others. We need more encouragers and definitely more people who recognize the every day work of others who make our jobs easier. Thank you for all you do.

John, YES, we need to thank the people in our “life/film” and I cannot say it enough, that YOU continue to inspire me. YOU always put various life happenings in perspective so that we look at things differently and with extreme gratitude!! What a GIFT YOU ARE!! I appreciate YOU. I love YOU!! YOU make life more fun/exhilerating/purposeful!!! Thanks my friend. KC Chuck

I could not agree more with Chuck!
John, you inspire people that hear you speak or that have read your book and you do make a difference in their lives and that’s just not in St. Louis it’s all over the world. The movie no doubt will inspire even more.
I have a small ceramic sign hanging in my bathroom. To remind me to choose kindness. Which reads “To the world you may be one, but to one you may be the world”
John, I think You are that ONE to a lot of people! Thank you John for inspiring people everyday with your words of how to live each day fuller, different and with more meaning. Enjoy your day John!

This is so true with every accomplishment, business, industry. It takes many to put it all together. And each of us are important.

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