A MOVIE IS WORTH A MILLION WORDS
Liz Norton, executive director of Stone Soup Films, refers to her organization as “an OKCupid for nonprofits.”
Founded by Norton in 2008, Stone Soup Films is a nonprofit production company that creates promotional films for other nonprofit organizations as part of communications strategy.
“So few (organizations) had them, and the ones that did were terrible,” said Norton, of her original motivation. With a background in public policy and production, she found herself reviewing promotional films for nonprofits, and finding them lacking.
“They didn’t know how to move the needle,” she said.
Stone Soup’s first production was for Bread for the City. The first year, they produced one film. In 2014, they produced 21. There are more than 500 volunteers, and five weeks each year are dedicated solely to editing.
“I couldn’t have predicted that (Stone Soup Films) would be the octopus it is now,” Norton said.
“Liz is just a doer,” said Niki Mock, a regular volunteer (Norton calls her an honorary staff member) with Stone Soup Films, “she makes things happen.”
A former broadcast news reporter and Peace Corps veteran, Mock was looking to combine her journalism background with her liberal ideals. The first film she worked on, she said, was for SAFE, a multi-pronged resource for survivors of domestic violence.
“I couldn't imagine how it would told through the eyes of survivors,” she said, “that a woman would be willing to let us put her story on camera.”
Through the production process, she became close with the three women being profiled. One of them, a mother of six, had escaped an abusive relationship. Mock recalls seeing the children’s joy upon entering their new apartment.
“Every time I intensely get into a story, it hits home how there is no difference between all of us,” she said. “As soon as you get beneath the surface, it could be your family." (Next)