Brent Weber, a graduate student and instructor at the University of Oklahoma, screened his new documentary, “Real Live Angels,” to Cypress College students and faculty members March 19.
Weber also conducted a Q&A after the film for the audience. He also used the Q&A for constructive criticism about the film.
Real Live Angels gets its title from the main focus of the film, the campers at a north Texas camp, Camp Summit. Camp Summit is a special camp for mentally and psychically handicapped children ages six and up. That’s not to say there are only children at the camp, because there are also plenty of adults who have been going since they were children and are now at retirement age. The camp has been in existence since 1947 and continues to change the lives of its campers.
The camp’s main focus is to pin-point what the campers can do as to opposed the many things they can’t do. Campers who are otherwise afraid are encouraged to participate in activities like horseback riding and zip lining. The footage reveals more smiles than anything else. Here disability is only a word and campers are able to forget their medical complexities if only for a short period of time.
Weber dedicated the film to his cousin Kay LeMay, who died at the age of 59 after living her whole life with Down’s Syndrome. The film is produced, directed, and edited by Weber. He shot the film in backpack journalism style in order to give an organic feel to the movie. Weber first started filming in 2008 after visiting his daughter, Nicole Weber, a camp instructor at Summit. His hopes are to share the life changing stories that happen at the camp as well as analyze the effects of this type of media on the audience. The film is being released in conjunction with his graduate research studies at the University of Oklahoma.