Falling Up – The FULL Movie!

I feel so humbled and happy and excited about this movie!

I’m no actor, but I get to play myself in this short video about one small time in my life that is actually quite the huge turning point for me. It is when I came home from the hospital and was sad and depressed and didn’t know how to get my old life back now that I was in my new paralyzed body.

What I discovered was a not-so-secret trick that has helped (and continues to help…) me find purpose, reason, and love for my current circumstances – whatever they are!

Here are some behind-the-scenes shots of the filming of this video:

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Filming the school shots with a fun bunch of ladies!

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Makeup and hair by Ed. He does the makeup for many big screen movies and he also is over the makeup for all the General Authorities for General Conference! He kept touching up my makeup in between shots. He had to do some pale makeup to make me look tired…but I’m sure he didn’t have to do too much. And he was so fast with everything! Everyone needs an Ed.

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They filmed this shot SO MANY TIMES but then used the angle that gives me an elephant chin. Grr. Oh well. I guess that’s a lot how it was for me back at this time of my life – unflattering! Brian is filming, Tyler is in the plaid, and Gerald has the sound backpack on, this is a rare time when Gerald wasn’t wearing headphones to listen to the audio. I know my voice is so light and maybe even sounds a little (okay, a LOT) forced, but that was really how I spoke back then! I really didn’t have the lung capacity to say things with a strong voice. I’d just gotten out of spending 3 straight months in the respiratory ICU and couldn’t speak loud (or even normal) without passing out.

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My “mom,” Kristy, waiting in the wings to come help me eat eggs. A super fun side note is that the director, Scott Wilhite, chose what I should eat in this scene – eggs and orange juice – and that is EXACTLY what I ate for my very first food. I couldn’t eat for 3+ months while intubated in the respiratory ICU and then I couldn’t eat for a while in rehab either. But once I could, I got to choose anything I wanted and I chose eggs and orange juice.

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This is Scott and Brian filming the eating scene. we had to do things so many times! and I forgot to take off my wedding ring before we filmed! I wasn’t married when this took place 🙂

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The school scene again. You can see Scott referencing the script and Tyler clapping the clapper. Another fun coincidence is that when I volunteered at the school, I was with the students from Mrs. Smith’s second grade class. And I had to smile when the director, Scott, showed me the room where they were going to film me reading with the kids – it was (another) Mrs. Smith’s room!

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I liked to film the ending scene where I was supposed to be giving a speech because that’s exactly what I got to do. Filming takes SO LONG and the director and sound guys and lighting guys all need to chat and film stuff from many different angles and it is quiet and boring for the people being filmed. So I just spoke as if I was giving a fun speech and kept the pretend audience entertained by turning them into a real audience!

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Hi-Fives on the way out when we were done with this scene – I loved my wonderful pretend/real audience!

The filming took all day, literally from sun-up to sun-down and beyond. The people were so wonderful and I am so happy to have been a part of this so we can share it with the YouTube world…not so that this chapter of “my” story can be told, but so everyone else whose stories are turning the page into a new chapter of their own can know the secret that I’ve learned about life and changes and how, no matter what one is experiencing in life that makes it too hard for them to “stand,” they, too, can keep on rollin’!

 ((See the KSL article about this fun film here!))

9 comments

  1. Gaby

    Hello Sister Johnson, I loved the video, today was a difficult day for me, because of the difficulties we have in our lives, but you inspired me, I cried, and I felt the spirit, and I know the Lord will guide me. Thank you for your testimony of faith, because it has filled my soul and I felt peace in my affliction and my prayer was answered. I’m from Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

  2. Marcia Mackay

    Meg has touched so many for good. She is a gift from God. I’m grateful to know her story and to have met her. All she now gives and shares with us is priceless. Thanks to Meg and her hubby and family.

  3. Rebecca

    Wow what an inspirational story!!
    Thanks so much for sharing! Thanks for your example!!
    Fun fact…..
    Christy Bond, your “mom” is my brother in law’s sister in law!! Sweet lady! Glad you got to work with her! She holds a special place in my heart!

    Looking forward to seeing more of you!!
    Thanks again!!
    Xoxoxoox

  4. Whitney O.

    I am using Falling Up as the kick start of my birthday project. I found it after I had started planning all the random acts of kindness I could do throughout my birthday coming up, and I just loved how this message of finding purpose and joy in life comes through kindness and serving others. I have posted it to my Facebook and asked that instead of the typical birthday wishes that people join me in a day of service and share this video and comment on how they gave service or did an act of kindness. I hope that lots of people will share the love and be inspired by your story too.

  5. Nancy Brown

    So good to see this movie and your smiling face. I shared it with my Dad, Elwood McFarland, who was your neighbor on 34th Street in Ogden, before you moved. He was so happy to see you again and hear about the baby and the good things you are doing. Love to you Meg!

  6. Kiel

    We found out about Meg from a flyer hanging at church inviting the women of the church to hear her story. I wish I could go. I love reading and hearing inspirational stories. I love spreading these stories.

  7. cherise

    I was in need of this video today. I have been struggling and needed some answers. Thank you. I am going to focus more on how I can serve others. I was disappointed to not find the app mentioned at the end of the video. Can you help me with this?

  8. Getta

    I remember the first time I heard Meg speak at a fashion show where she introduced Miss Wheelchair Utah, I believe. I was so touched. She didn’t relate her story but I knew there was more to her.
    Later that year I was privileged to heR her speak to the young women at our stake camp. I watched in awe as two men carried her wheelchair and placed it on top of a picnic table so she could see everyone and the opposite. She commanded everyone’s attention with her charisma and spirit. She was enthrall inch, captivating, and inspiring. She gives me goosebumps every time. I am so grateful for her service both to me and to all others. I watched with humility as my two daughters ate up her every word. I will never forget the impossible felling of charity she exudes. Thank you Meg for finding your calling and sharing it with all of us. You are incredibly beautiful inside and out.

  9. Angela

    What a great video. Thanks for sharing your story and being such an inspiration for us all. I love reading your blog and following in the adventures of your amazing life.

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