Self Care

By Janna Moll, MSN, CMT, HTCP/I teaching levels 1-4, 6 and Mentor Training

Early last year Healing Touch Program initiated the creation of a home study course titled Healing Touch for Self Care. Several writers and editors contributed to the creation of the course material over as many months. Rounds of editing followed as well as several meetings, many emails and phone calls. Finally late last year Margaret Nies and I spent three days at Sounds True to record all the ‘voiceovers’ for the HT Self Care Home Study Course.  Margaret is the project manager for this creation and I am the ‘face and voice’, or as those comedians at Sounds True say, “the talent”.

The home study course includes a workbook, a DVD, an audio recording and daily cards. Because it doesn’t sound professional to have someone talking while demonstrating techniques, all of the voice recordings are done ahead of time and then when the filming occurs, the techniques are demonstrated while the recording is played on the set. In February of this year Margaret and I returned to Sounds True in Louisville, CO for the actual filming.

On a Tuesday evening we arrived at Sounds True to view the set (under construction in an open area) and had a meeting with the Production Manager to review the project and timeline. It was also the time when what I would wear was decided upon for the filming.  I came packing a small wardrobe of pants, tops, shoes, stockings, jewelry and scarves. First items were chosen by color based upon the set. Then they were whittled down by fit and ‘outfit’.  We were warned that everything takes a LONG time when filming and we were asked to arrive at 8am the following day for makeup and hair.

At 8am we viewed the completed set. They had accomplished a lot between 7pm and 8am! A full ‘living room’ was built and decorated in the area of Sounds True they refer to as ‘Oz’. I went off for makeup and hair (which meant layers of goop on my face and starch in my hair) that took an hour!  Of course I wore my skull shoes as much as I could when not on film!

Filming began with lots of sitting under extremely bright lights while cameras (at least two-one on a track that arched around my chair) were adjusted repeatedly and things modified. At one point my chair was changed out and at another, time was taken out for rebuilding a section of the set! Finally the filming started.

That morning all of the technique demonstrations were filmed with a camera that was slowly pushed and pulled along the track by a ‘cart boy’.  The digital cameras, interestingly, have about a fourteen-minute limit before they need to be shut down to cool off. Also, they have batteries that need to be switched out pretty regularly. All of this equates to down time. They do say, “cut!” each time the filming is stopped. When they start filming again they have a little clapboard filmed first with the scene identified. You have seen this in movies – “Scene 7, take 3”! There is a specific person for this job, too! At 2pm we stopped for lunch having completed one run through of the DVD. Lunch was a catered affair, though I was not allowed to drink without a straw or eat without a bib.

We started the second run through of filming at about 3pm. Everything had to be filmed twice with different cameras and perspectives. This allows Sounds True to cut to different angles and views in order to keep very slow activities (like demonstrating a technique) interesting to the viewer. They did away with the track and had a camera that panned up and down and in and out while the second one was stationary on a tripod. I did all the techniques again. This was made very slow by the fact that they would have to go into another room and find and view the digital recording of what had been filmed in the morning to make sure I was sitting the right way and using the right hand motions as everything was being repeated. Really!  Did I scan my left knee or my right? Was I sitting at the edge of my chair, or sitting back? Did I have my eyes open there, or closed?

We finished the second run through at 10:30pm. Everyone was exhausted, especially the crew who had been up the night before until 1am building the set!  (They each do many things at Sounds True.)  Of course while I was sitting in the chair doing energy work on myself all day, Margaret was following the script and identifying mistakes in the recording or where things (like tracks) needed to be rearranged. We were all pretty excited to have a ‘wrap’ and had ‘high fives’ all around. 

Margaret and I got back to the hotel and the first thing I wanted was a shower. No sooner were we in bed than the phone rang.  (Not a good sign!) It was Randy, the Project Manager, and he said that upon review, the stationary camera was not in focus for one of the techniques and instead of returning at 11am (giving the film and set building crew, and us, some down time), we needed to be back at 9am for hair and makeup again – and I had to wear the same clothes!

At 9am on day three I was again in the hair and makeup chair. I had to actually repeat the Self Opening Spiral technique – the longest one, but it went pretty smoothly. As soon as that was finished it was lunchtime and I changed into my ‘close up’ clothes. This took several changes as well – even jewelry! 

The new ‘set’ was the sound booth with a black background and white chair. This is a fairly small room (about the size of a large bathroom) and there were two cameramen with cameras, a teleprompter, the technician, the hair/make up person, Margaret, the film manager, sometimes his manager, and the production manager. Through the glass in the sound technician’s room were two guys running the taping/sound, and of course me. Wow!

I had never used a teleprompter before, and the technician was a staff person at Sounds True who had never used one either – so it took a few ‘run throughs’ to get the timing right. Because I was nervous (shy, perfectionist) I finally needed to ask that Margaret leave the room, because she was the only one I felt I could ask to leave! The film manager got it and cleared the room of non-essential personnel. Whew. I could finally relax! About a quarter of the way through the script they decided that the white chair I was sitting on was not right and so they swapped that out and we started over with it all again. Taping was finally finished (after repeating the promotional shots as well) at about 4pm.

We had a little fun (note the BAT RING in the picture), but worked very hard as well on this worthy project! In addition to the DVD/Workbook Self Care home study course, there will be a one hour ‘stand alone’ DVD, the title of which is still being determined.  This DVD is slated to be available in Whole Foods and other similar stores! I believe these Healing Touch items will be something to be very proud of! They will be great tools for practitioners working with clients on their plans, as well as for use with mentees and as an introduction to Healing Touch for self care! There is still work to do, but at this point most of it is happening on Sounds True’s end. The final product is due to ship in March of 2013!