Behind the Story: Janice Moody

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“I would tell someone that is thinking about sharing their story to be patient. There is so much emotion involved in sharing your story on film, I think our natural tendency is to hurry the process.”

Janice Moody is the subject of our latest film, If Not for You. In the film she shares her story of placing a child for adoption when she was 20. Last week before the release of the film, she was kind enough to answer some questions about her experience.

Story Team: When you first moved forward with sharing your story, did you have any thoughts of fear or anxiety?

Janice Moody: Yes, I was fearful when we first started moving forward with sharing my story on film. Not knowing what God is going to do through it brought some element of fear.

ST: What prompted you to approach Story Team with your story?

JM: Story Team set up shop at [The Austin Stone] West Campus for several weeks. When three of their films were shown to the campus, God began to move in my heart to share my story. A couple of weeks later, I shared my story with [Steven] Bush.

ST: After you talked with Bush, what was something that God used to excite you about this opportunity?

JM: Mark and I met Bush and Tim [Chew] for lunch before anything began on the film. Bush had a pastoral way about him that made Mark and I feel very comfortable with the process beginning. Bush and I connected because his experience with adoption was similar to the kind of adoption I experienced. I think the idea of being able to give adoptive parents a picture of what their adoption could look like in 20 years is exciting.

ST: This story, like many the Story Team does, was a multi-shoot story taking place over the course of months. What was your experience having extra people and equipment joining your family’s life?

JM: In the beginning it was awkward having extra people and equipment joining in the normal rhythms of our life. My children were extremely uncomfortable with it the first time, but after time went on and we did it several times, it was more comfortable.

ST: What was a surprise (good or bad) to you about being a part of this production?

JM: The biggest surprise for me was how long it takes to produce a story on film. And how long the actual process of each shooting would take. This was not bad, just surprising.

ST: Do you have any thoughts for someone thinking about sharing their story? Anything they should think through in advance?

JM: I would tell someone that is thinking about sharing their story to be patient. There is so much emotion involved in sharing your story on film, I think our natural tendency is to hurry the process and get done, so you can see it.

ST: Were there any doubts or panic moments as filming started?

Yes, we doubted a lot. Mark and I had some issues from my past come up during the process. God used the process to cause us to talk about things that were under the surface, that were important things to talk about for our marriage. 

ST: This project took about a year and a half from idea to completion. Were you discouraged or impatient at any point due to timeline?

JM: Definitely, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t. I had family members and friends asking when it would be done. Not knowing was hard.

ST: What was your initial reaction when you first saw a rough cut of the story? Was it a proud moment or a moment of panic?

JM: The first time I saw the rough cut of the story I felt proud. The Story Team did an incredible job capturing so many aspects of the story. I felt honored that God allowed the story that He wrote to be captured on film so creatively.

ST: What was the most rewarding experience for you in this production?

JM: This most rewarding experience of me in this production is that I have been given the opportunity to capture my story (God’s story) on film and see what God is going to do with it. To be able to have my meeting with Grant as an adult captured on film is very rewarding.

Story Team

The Austin Stone Story Team is a community of artists who tell stories of gospel transformation. We are photographers, writers, editors, filmmakers, and musicians on a common mission to use our gifts for His glory.

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