Ashes to Rubies

The Challenge

How do you tell a transformational faith story in a way that transcends the norms of faith storytelling?

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Our Solution

Approach the project as artists, not videographers.

We used the incredible, inspiring story of one man’s journey of redemption through the hells of addiction and substance abuse as a blueprint to craft an emotive film with integrity, artistry, and impact.

We created a moving and compelling short film to tell Jon Ruby’s incredible story of addiction, redemption, and hope in the face of overwhelming adversity.

Deliverables

Production Strategy
Name
Video

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A story too inspiring not to tell.

After hearing about Jon’s life of drugs, lies, crime, and salvation, we knew this story needed to be told. Two years later, it was finally time. Jon didn’t have a corporate budget, so we created the film pro bono.

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Rock bottom inspiration.

Rock bottom is where Jon’s journey towards redemption began, so that is the focus of the film and further emphasized by shooting most scenes in a far from luxurious hotel room. Instead of a professional actor, we cast someone who could relate to Jon’s story to play him in the film. Josh Taylor was the perfect candidate – he captured the essence of Jon’s story despite his lack of acting experience. His performance was so powerful that it has sparked a promising career in acting.

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The feeling of redemption.

We created the most stunning film possible to truly capture Jon’s extraordinary journey. We intentionally used time mapping to authentically recreate Jon’s experiences with drug abuse. The feverish pacing and use of darkness emulate Jon’s drug-fueled consciousness and confusion leading to the moment of clarity that would transform his life. We brought Jon and his family into our studio and had them sit on our famous black and gold French provincial to ensure that even the interviews were beautiful.

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What the naked truth sounds like.

We sacrificed audio quality for story integrity. The intimacy of a phone call brings a compelling dimension to the film. Jon’s voiceover in the film is from our very first call – we intentionally didn’t tell him we were recording. It would have been easy to bring him into the studio, but we wanted the audio to be real and raw, just like Jon’s story.

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John’s Got Soul

Jon Ruby is a former addict who escaped the cycle of abuse and is now living to help others who are struggling. He’s heavily involved in his church, a rehab centre he helped start, and social enterprise. He spends his time using the darkness of his past to light the path forward for others.

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Conclusion

We told Jon’s story to inspire others. Since its release, Jon has been contacted by dozens of organizations and individuals to tell him how incredibly powerful his story and film are. It’s created actual impact in the community – that’s what we always strive for. This film will always be one of our favourite projects for one of our favourite people: Jon Ruby.