Remains of Colorado Filmmaker David Hames Recovered in Haiti
February 12, 2010
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., (christiansunite.com) -- The United States State Department announced this past Tuesday morning that the body remains of filmmaker David Hames, President of Red Balloon Entertainment and Producer of "Cranium's Ark" have been positively identified.
David Hames was working on assignment with Compassion International when the earthquake hit Port-au-Prince, Haiti on January 12, 2010. David had just returned to the Hotel Montana from a video shoot when the 7.0 magnitude quake hit the entire region causing the six-story structure to collapse underneath him. David Hames was one of about 100 people, including 15 Americans that are believed to have been buried by the collapse of the hotel. He was on assignment with Dan Woolley filming sequences for Compassion International's Child Sponsorship Program.
Wess Stafford, President of Compassion Intl., said, "After holding out hope for a miracle, our hearts are broken by the news that David's remains have been identified. David was a gifted videographer who traveled to multiple countries over the past 8 years with Compassion, capturing both the heartache of poverty and the hope of Christ in children's lives. I had the privilege of accompanying David to Peru and know beyond a doubt that his work has had an eternal impact. David's most recent assignment was to capture the stories of Haitian families whose infants have been enrolled in Compassion's Child Survival Program. This tragedy has taken a wonderful man from us. Our love and prayers continue for those now left behind, especially his wife and children."
Family spokesperson, Melanie Dobson, said Tuesday, "David's wife, Renee, and her boys are grieving the loss of their husband and father. Our faith in God is not shaken by this terrible tragedy, but we still mourn the loss of this adoring husband, amazing daddy, and faithful friend. We all know David loved Jesus, and we know that he is safe today, at home with our Heavenly Father. Now we will band together to care for his sweet wife and their two adopted children."
Melanie Dobson will be making an announcement within the next few days regarding the memorial service for David, which will be in Colorado Springs, CO.
David Hames was with Dan Woolley who was rescued on Friday, January 15th. Dan said, "I was grateful for the opportunity to meet and spend a couple of days with David. His professionalism, love of family and love of God showed in his work. So many people throughout Compassion, the Colorado Springs area and even in the slums of some of the world's most impoverished countries were blessed to know him better than I, and are celebrating his selfless life and legacy."
Ric Sieben, close friend of David and Compassion videographer said, "David was loved by many people. Over 1200 of them were following his story on a special Facebook page set up by one of his friends. People from all around the world, many who had never met David, contacted me and told me they were praying for him and his family. He loved his wife and his sons, Aidan and Zander, as much as anyone can love. He loved life and was living his dream producing a children's DVD series called Cranium's Ark. David was a superbly talented man and had a fantastic sense of humor. I know David loved Jesus and was living his life to serve Him. That means that Renee, David's sons and all of his friends and I will get to see him again someday, too.
David Hame's company, Red Balloon Entertainment, the production company behind the award- winning "Cranium's Ark" children's TV program, had recently released the first in a series of high-quality educational shows featuring intellectually-stimulating, faith-based concepts. David's mission was to produce an outrageously creative and fun children's video series that's "Monkey Bars for the Brain, Juice Box for the Soul." "Cranium's Ark" is designed to help parents prepare their toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners with the skills needed to succeed and to instill in preschoolers the Christian principles that parents strive to teach their children everyday.
Dedric Terry, President of Forte Poste, arranged and orchestrated the music for "Cranium's Ark". Dedric said, "David's creativity, dedication, compassion, friendship, love for his family, and faith in God, will allways be an inspiration to me. I am honored to have had the chance to not only work with him, but to count him as a great friend that I will miss dearly."
Integrity Media VP of Church Resources, Craig Dunnagan, said, "Everyone at Integrity Media was saddened to hear of David's passing. Our intercessory prayer group was praying for a miracle. We know the greatest miracle is a life transformed and lived in the presence of Jesus; David is now experiencing that life first hand. We believed so much in David's heart and creativity and were in discussions with him and his representatives regarding his wonderful product line, Cranium's Ark. David's reputation as a committed family man, man of God, man of mission and ministry was known by many."
"Cranium's Ark" was recently awarded the "Best Children's Film" award at the 2009 Christian Film Festival in Irvine, California. David was the creator, writer, director, producer and host and was quoted as saying, "Too many shows for kids are just 'empty calories' -- they teach very little, or if they do cover academics, they ignore a child's soul. I wanted an academic show for my kids with the same kind of fabric as our lives, where faith is simply a part of it. If you were to take what Christian parents hope to accomplish with their young children on any given day and turn that into a video series, the result would be Cranium's Ark."
Mike Westphal, President of Passage Media, close friend and David's product agent said, "I consider it a privilege to have known David Hames in many different ways; as a client, vendor, creative collaborator, and best of all, as a friend. He was amazingly gifted -- as a screenwriter, filmmaker, singer, storyteller, ukulele player. His talents never seemed to end."
Mike continued, "I had the honor of taking David on his first overseas filming trip. We went to Peru and filmed Wess Stafford of Compassion International in a little harbor town about a days bus ride north of Lima. It was a whirlwind trip filled with sights, sounds, and smells (It was a fishing town, after all). After that, David became a regular contract videographer for us. I was honored when David asked me to help him promote Cranium's Ark. When he was allowed to demonstrate his passion and his infectious personality firsthand, no one could resist. By all accounts, David was on a rocket ship to the moon, with a major label and distributor waiting for his return from Haiti to begin their work with Cranium's Ark. David was a guy that was 'all in' all of the time. He inspired a lot of people, because being 'all in' takes courage and commitment everyday you wake up. David was one-of-a-kind and I will miss him greatly." David had been producing films for over 20 years and has won dozens of Telly and Addy awards. He won the Colorado Springs Shorts Festival with his film "Ring Away". He was a finalist at the Austin Screenplay Competition for his screenplay "The Boy Hero," beating out several thousand entries. His script "The Faith Equation" also won recognition at the Santa Fe Screenwriting Conference. His first professional job was working in the video department at a cable company in Dalton, Georgia. He also worked in news for a local TV station. He worked for other production companies, and was creative director for an ad agency for a time. In May of 1998, David started Red Balloon Entertainment Company where he produced countless video projects for a diverse group of clients ranging from General Motors and Hewlett-Packard to Compassion International and Junior Achievement. He has also worked in front of the camera hosting a couple of series--one for the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado and another called "Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution."
Many questions still remain about the full significance of this event. Friends, relatives and colleagues are committed to discerning the path David's legacy will take in the days ahead, in honor of his unrelenting passion to benefit children through literacy and knowledge of the Bible.
Vanguard Church, where David Hames and wife Renee are members, has set up a fund to assist his family. Friends, fans and colleagues are encouraged to visit this site at: vanguardchurch.org/html/FriendsofDavidHames.html.