Private Project

A Pebble in the Pond

A “feel good” documentary film that spotlights a non profit, founded by an innovative woman, that has been helping children and changing lives for over 125 years.

  • Paul Howard
    Everything Twas, Emotivention
  • Ann Benson
    Key Cast
    Betty White's Off Their Rockers, CSI, Scorpion
  • Karis Campbell
    Key Cast
    "Narrator (VO)"
    West Wing, The Foster's, Rizzoli & Isles
  • Gareth Fient
    Scarred, Clingy, 3000 Miles
  • Erick Schroder
    Dreams I Never Had, Christmas Visitations, Juke Box Hero, Pirate Fairy
  • Paul Howard
    Christmas Visitations, Sauce, 7, Everything Twas
  • Marc Wiercioch
    Director of Photography
    Splinter, Sparks, 30 Days of Night
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 43 minutes 54 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 21, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Paul Howard

Paul Howard has always been interested in entertaining people and in telling stories. His professional career started as an actor when he went to the audition based two year theatre training program at San Joaquin Delta College. Later he transferred to UC Irvine where he received a BA in Drama. Paul’s interests in the theatre and in film started much earlier though.
Throughout High School, and before that, Paul was constantly writing stories, making films, choreographing routines (some where he danced like Michael Jackson), directing plays, and taking vocal and dance classes.

Paul has always been interested in more than just the one character he was cast to play.

The other characters and their motivations, the piece’s themes and message, and the audience’s experience watching have always, and naturally been a part of Paul’s thought-process and consideration. This skill has, in recent years, organically lead Paul to continue to act but to also write and direct more and more projects (which are often self produced).
Just in the last few years he has directed and written numerous short films, music videos, promotional videos/commercials, and political projects.
Paul believes that content, truly is king, but only with high quality and a fully committed heart.

Paul strives to every day be a better man and in turn, a better artist.

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Director Statement

In 2016, frustrated by our political system and the seeming lack of positivity or good news in media and entertainment, I set out to spread a bit of my optimism in the best way I know how—through film!
My docu-series, Ann Asks, was born from this intention.  Ann Benson (the star of Ann Asks and my partner in spreading good) and I quickly discovered phenomenal good being done all around us!  Very quickly we created four episodes featuring various groups and organizations that were doing good—often thankless—work in Los Angeles.
In November of 2017, Ann and I were introduced to “Operation School Bell” (OSB), the signature program of the Assistance League, a national nonprofit. We were invited to observe an OSB event, this one just outside the gates of Universal Studios, and I can say that by the time I left the event that day, I had already begun imagining a longer format project featuring this amazing program!  In fact, this event would directly lead to A Pebble in the Pond, my very first feature documentary film, being created!
What I witnessed at this OSB event, and what audiences will experience through A Pebble in the Pond, is children, many of whom are homeless or within the foster system, receiving brand new school clothes, backpacks, books, and shoes.  
With tears in my eyes I watched children with worn out shoes, some with actual holes in them, be given brand new shoes that they picked out.  I watched them select a book, for most the very first they’d ever owned, and try on jackets that fit them properly and would keep them warm.  
The experience was profound for me:  seeing so many children who live where I live and who lack so many basic necessities transformed by this act of generosity, and then seeing the smiles on their faces and sparkle in their eyes.  
I couldn’t believe that I had never heard of the Assistance League and thus began discovery after discovery of what this amazing organization is doing today, but also its unbelievable origins and inspirational journey through earthquakes, Red Cross connections, two World Wars, and the Golden Age of Hollywood!
The hours I spent searching the internet, old newspapers, and eventually the downtown Los Angeles library would become the script for the animated sequences of the film, which recount the history of Anne Banning the Assistance League’s founding over 125 years ago.  It’s with great pride that I tell this American pioneer’s story and illuminate her work and life.  I’m also proud to highlight individuals who are, today, changing lives and making the world a better place.
Long before this project, I believed in the idea that one pebble, even a small pebble, can create huge and far reaching ripples.  
A Pebble in the Pond is the physical representation of this belief. I hope that with this film, we’ll help to inspire more and more ripples of change.