Giving Opportunity: Travel Costs

Several years ago, I flew to Lesvos to film refugees arriving and put together a short promotional video for the work GEM was doing there. That trip changed my life in a lot of ways. You can read a little bit about it here.

For the last several years, the vast majority of my work has revolved around refugees, both producing materials for them, and sharing their stories with others who want to understand a bit more about what they’re experiencing.

I need to make a trip to Lesvos early in 2018 in preparation for a the big film project I’m working on.  I’ve trimmed my expenses on that trip down to the bare minimum, but I still need some help to make it happen. If you’d like to give toward that, click the image above, of follow this link.

To Boost or Not to Boost…

Yesterday, my lovely and supportive wife went to share my latest vlog on

An example of a Facebook boost offer on our page.

Facebook and instead of clicking share, she accidentally clicked boost. It’s an easy mistake to make, since if you manage a page, Facebook is constantly offering you previews of your  sponsored content.

What follows is far from scientific, but I do think it’s interesting.

According to Facebook, they’ve offered my video to 1,737 people, 23 of whom clicked the video.

I didn’t actually post the previous video to Facebook at all, but I can compare the view counts:

Vlog 2 has had a bit more time to gain views, but in truth most of the views seem to occur when I first post the videos. So… I’m inclined to declare Facebook promotions to be a waste of money, at least for this usage scenario.

What do you think? Have you tried paid promotion on social media? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments.

VLOG 03: Who is Ted Cox

I mentioned in my last vlog that I’ve really been struggling with the format. As a perfectionist, the high speed nature of the format is obviously challenging for me, but it occurred to me that another piece of my trouble is that I’m talking to people who don’t know me. Hence this episode:

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

We’ll Always Have Paris

So Casablanca just turned 75. She wears it well.

I always feel a bit cliche telling people that Casablanca is my all time favorite movie. It seems almost like a cop out. Who wouldn’t love Casablanca? But no other film has captured me as this one does. It doesn’t matter the circumstances, I find it mesmerizing. I can’t look away. If you ever need to distract me for an hour and forty minutes, turn on Casablanca, say “hey look!” And I’ll still be glued to the screen right up to the end.

I get caught up in the story, of course, but each viewing is a new opportunity to mine for gems I’ve missed in previous viewings. Clever bits of dialog, implications and double meanings I didn’t catch before, subtle bits of characterization by the actors. Like studying Shakespeare, Casablanca always has something new for me.

Years ago, I worked at a large church. The senior pastor’s father had actually done film lighting for one of the studios during the black and white era, and he used to say that we’ve lost the art of lighting films. There are a number of black and whites where the truth of this is really striking. It Happened One Night comes immediately to mind. This is another area where Casablanca excels. A couple of Christmases back, Brandy bought me a new copy on bluray, and I was stunned. It was like seeing a whole new movie…

I could ramble on for hours, telling you about the snappy dialog, the incredible performances from Humphrey Bogart, of course, and Claude Rains, or bury you in little bits of interesting trivia (like Ingrid Bergman not getting to see how the story ended until they shot the final scene: Rick or Lazlo, even she didn’t know!). But that would all be a waste of your time. Just go watch the movie. It’s so well worth it.

Happy Thanksgiving (Part II)

I set out today, to write a post philosophizing about the nature of good and evil. I’ll probably clean it up and get it posted another day when I’m too lazy to write something new. 🙂 My plans to wrap it up, though, were subverted by an incredible article that popped up in my twitter feed today.

Coming from a family with a proud military tradition, I was immediately moved by David French’s description of his arrival in Iraq. But for those of you who aren’t moved by incredible acts of heroism, there’s also a beautiful adoption story. It’s far more significant a story than anything I could write today. Check it out:

Ten Years Ago Today – by David French

For those of you who missed it, the title references my post about our Expat Thanksgiving last weekend.