IN 2012, I DIDN’T THINK ABOUT IT.

“There was mercy yet to give.”

See how helping one family ultimately became about uniting a community around this thing we love: filmmaking.

IN 2012, I DIDN’T THINK ABOUT IT.

“There was mercy yet to give”

See how helping one family ultimately became about uniting a community around this thing we love: filmmaking.

“In September of 2012, Jon Huntley, with his wife Rebecca by his side, learned that his recent stumbles and trouble gripping objects was the beginning of a devastating neurodegenerative disease: ALS. At 44 years of age, Jon was suddenly facing a world he never anticipated. Within a month he was unable to work and the disease was progressing rapidly. Jon, Rebecca, and their young daughters Olivia and Rachel, would need the strength of an army to combat the care ALS demanded.

WE TAKE CARE OF OUR OWN

Before Rebecca reached out to MPTF, they had received 20 rejections from care facilities that saw Jon’s care as too daunting to take on. The family struggled to care for his increasingly complex needs at home while Rebecca’s employment at Dreamworks Animation became more necessary than ever. That’s when MPTF knew they had to step up—a challenge that gave MPTF a lightning rod of purpose. A purpose, an entire village of individuals would come to share. As Bob Beitcher, President and CEO, recalled, “this was an industry family in their darkest hour. If we didn’t step up, how could we say we had fulfilled our commitment of taking care of our own?”

Please support members of our entertainment community in times of trouble.

MARY PICKFORD HOUSE

When Jon moved in to room 160 in the Mary Pickford House for long-term care, his life was in a downward spiral. Unable to speak, his body no longer in his control, Jon found himself in a devastating hole both physically and emotionally. But in time, and with a staff of highly skilled and compassionate professionals, Jon not only received the 24-hour care and support he required—he found his purpose.

MPTF STUDIOS

Jon held a Master’s in Film and Production from USC. Eager to give back to MPTF, he sought out editing assignments from Channel 22, MPTF’s in-house campus production studio. Jon learned how to edit with eye-tracking software and was instrumental in finishing pieces for other residents on campus. With control over his computer, Jon honed his editing skills and had the creative freedom he craved to fulfill his soul. He got his voice back. Then, Jen Clymer, Executive Producer at MPTF Studios, posed the question that would change everything: “why don’t you make your own film?”

Please play your part to help our
brothers and sisters in the industry
at whatever level you are able.

Please play your part to help our
brothers and sisters in the industry
at whatever level you are able.

MATT & MAYA

With the help of over 100 volunteers, ages 9 to 107, including 24 musicians recording a live score, Jon’s dream to make a movie was given wings to fly. He wrote and edited the beautiful story of Matt & Maya about a friendship that develops when a resident friend’s husband passes away. “He melted all of our hearts,” said composer Shie Rozow. On the day they recorded the score, Jon joined by phone and with the help of a computer-generated voice told Shie and the whole team, “I love you.” The “emotions went through the roof. We all knew we were doing something special.”

The film was screened on the MPTF campus in the Susan and Gary Martin Screening Room. Jon sat in the front row for two back-to-back screenings, filled to capacity with love and admiration for the strength of the human spirit and an incredible sense of purpose. Rebecca said it best: “When you love somebody, and you see them happy, it gives you joy as well. It’s what you want for your loved one. To see their dreams come true. And with all that Jon had been going through to actually have this moment of happiness and joy… it was wonderful for us to see him so supported… There’s so much heart in this film.”

Understand MPTF’s mission by
hearing the stories. Caring is infinite.

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