Gail Mooney — The Power of One in Making a Difference


I met Tom Kelly and Gail Mooney (aka Kelly Mooney) for the first time about 25 years ago when I was CD at The Creative Black Book. Tom and Gail were amongst my first clients when I left the Black Book and started Ian Summers’ Creativity Workshops. That was 23 years ago. I remember that Gail was pregnant with their daughter Erin whom I see is 23 years old and embarking on a great adventure with her Mom. Gail and Erin are sharing their dream of making a difference. Check this out!


Mother/Daughter Team Circle the Globe Creating Documentary Spotlighting The Power of One in Making a Difference

April 29, 2010

Brookside, NJ…Photographer/filmmaker Gail Mooney, and her 23-year-old daughter, Erin Kelly, will be departing New York City May 25, 2010 to produce and film a documentary, Opening Our Eyes, about ordinary people who are making a positive difference globally, on a grass roots level.  Mooney and Kelly will return on September 2, 2010, after circling the globe filming people on 6 continents. Their first stop is Entebbe, Uganda; from there they will travel to Turkey, Poland, Russia, India, Nepal, Thailand, Australia, Peru and Argentina.

Mooney who has been shooting for over 30 years, has been published by National Geographic and Smithsonian and has produced and filmed three documentaries. Kelly graduated from Northwestern University in June 2009 majoring in anthropology and international studies.

According to Mooney, “I’ve spent a career and a lifetime telling stories with my camera. It’s what I do and who I am. I am now coming full circle to my beginnings, and am embarking on another world journey – but this time with my daughter Erin, who is bound to discover her own path.” Mother and daughter are setting out – around the world – to make a documentary that features people who are truly “making a difference”; ordinary people who have followed their dreams, passions and ambitions, and are doing extraordinary things. Their hope is that through their eyes and the film created, they will open others’ eyes about what they can do to effect a positive change in our world. The goal is to show the power of one – the power of the individual.

The story of the journey has already started and can be followed by logging on to the project’s website and blog. The blog will journal the trip and documentary by sharing Mooney and Kelly’s personal experiences, their subjects, and the making of the documentary itself from a professional’s point of view.

Mooney has spent a career and lifetime traveling the world on assignment for major magazines and institutions. Growing up, Erin frequently joined her mother on her assignments that took her all over the world, but this is the first time they will be working together. It will be the opportunity of a lifetime and a life changing experience.”

Part of the story of this “passion project” is how it is self-funded, using airline miles, hotel rewards and American Express points, along with a little help from their friends. Some gear has been donated in-kind. All donations of gear or accommodations are considered and appreciated.

See trailers for other documentaries that Gail has produced at Freedom’s Ride and The Delta Bluesmen.

Please follow their journey and make others aware at Opening Our Eyes

For an interview with Gail Mooney click here


4 Comments on Gail Mooney — The Power of One in Making a Difference

  1. Ian, thanks for sharing this incredible project. I took an ASMP seminar on video with Gail a few months ago and was first introduced to her work. She had an incredible wealth of information to share and I’m excited to see how this project with her daughter unfolds.

  2. What a great project! I also enjoyed her prior post, on packing for the trip, here: (And I think my bag is heavy!)

  3. What a great project! Since I work a lot with my own children I can’t wait to see how this develops.

  4. Ian – thanks for spreading the word.

    Hopefully Erin and I can shine a little light on all the individuals we will encounter on our journey who are making a positive difference in the world.


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