I remember sitting at a stoplight when Tim Ballard called me. He was so excited about a plan that he had been working on for rescuing children from the sex industry. Chet, Tim and I had been getting together for lunches and casual meetings about the film, Tim’s plan and how we were going to pull this off. The path forward was still very uncertain and filled with potential failure.
Tim had scheduled a meeting with the talk radio host, Glenn Beck, at a nearby hotel where he was planning on presenting the concept. “I want you to be there,” Tim said. I didn’t know what I could offer Tim in his presentation. I was a little surprised that he would want us there. If there’s one thing I can say about Tim it would be that he is a very spiritual person who really does act when he feels that spirit. He responded, “I just feel like you guys need to be there… I don’t know why.” Who am I to question someone else’s intuition? I called Chet and told him to get on a plane and get himself to the meeting tomorrow morning.
It’s important to note that Jerry, Chet and I had met Glenn almost a year prior to this meeting concerning an educational program we have called, Sneak On The Lot. We had previously been on his show so this was not about us wanting to meet Glenn or talk to him about our educational filmmaking software…. this was all about Tim and his plan for rescuing children.
This was going to be an easy meeting for us. As I understood, we were just wall flowers and would be there merely as moral support for Tim… what could go wrong?
We helped Tim get his computer and presentation set up and ready to go and then took up residence in the back of the conference room, way to the back of the table. This was Tim’s presentation and we didn’t want to look like we were inserting ourselves into his vision.
Glenn entered the room sick… his voice was raspy and it was obvious that this meeting wasn’t going to be a long one. After hugs and welcomes, Tim got into his groove and began his presentation. We knew his presentation was nearly 50 minutes long so we eased into our seats and watched Glenn close to see what his reactions would be.
We have seen many miracles in the making of this project… but this was one of the most memorable.
Nearly eight minutes into Tim’s presentation, Glenn was physically moved to anger. He pounded his fist on the table and said, “I know what I want!” The room was silent, waiting for him to continue. “I want a television series…” Tim, Chet and I all exchanged glances. Then Glenn pointed down the length of the table at Chet and I and continued, “and I want you two to produce it!”. To say that we were shocked was an understatement. We had been planing on producing a narrative feature film but the concept of a TV series had never entered the picture until that moment.
We began kicking around ideas about how we might finance it but ultimately it came down to Chet, Tim and I to find the money to make at least the first three episodes. None of us knew where that would come from but we had been operating on faith thus far… no reason to stop now.
As the meeting continued and the discussions developed, Glenn pulled out a small piece of paper and began scribbling a note to Tim. He took the note and quietly put it in his pocket.
It was at that moment that the idea of a feature narrative style film about Tim’s government work became a TV series about the execution of Tim’s vision to save children from sex trafficking… and changed our worlds in a way I cannot begin to convey to the reader.
After everyone had left the room, the three of us were left there alone. Tim pulled out that note and read it to us.
“There is nothing more important in the world at this time than this work.”
– Glenn Beck
Like Glenn or not, he has done more for this cause than anyone else on television. He breathed inspiration into the project when it was in embryo and turned our film from being a story about Tim during his days in the government, into a docudrama about rescuing children.
Now it’s everyone else’s turn to throw down and get mad about this abuse against our most helpless. Get angry and join us! Do something… anything but don’t remain silent.
We couldn’t have agreed more with Glenn. Our sights were set… Our courage locked… But where would we ever get the money to do this?