Dig Baton Rouge


By Randee Iles

In July 2012, Bonnie Kate Pourciau Zoghbi faced death in a movie theater; less than two years later, in another movie theater, she celebrated the start of a new life.

Max Zoghbi, founder and creative director at local film production company Loupe Theory Studios, used his creative expertise to put a happy twist on a dark situation.

In July 2012, Bonnie Kate and a friend were on a road trip and, on a whim, stopped in Aurora, Colorado, for the midnight premier of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Minutes after the film began, James Holmes left his seat, went to his car, and returned with a semi-automatic rifle. He began firing, killing 12 and wounding 70 others, including Bonnie Kate, who was shot in the leg.

Thanks to Max, however, this would not be Bonnie Kate’s only memorable trip to the movies. On January 10, 2014 – after months of agonizing therapy and rehab for Bonnie Kate – Max proposed to his then-girlfriend through an intricate and thoughtful series of events, the first starting in – where else? – a movie theatre. Max used his expertise in film to create a fake movie trailer that played before a real movie at Cinemark Perkins Rowe, a fitting beginning to an epic proposal.

Months later, Loupe Theory Studios has released Max’s 20-minute film, “Wildflower,” which not only captures the proposal, but also details Max and Bonnie Kate’s profound love story. Since the film’s release last month, it has gone viral, appearing on NBC’s TODAY and The Huffington Post.  Like any other viral inspirational video, the film shows how a good thing can come from a bad situation.

After the proposal in January, Max had a lot of raw footage that he wanted to create the film with, but he decided there was one key shot that he needed to get before the film was complete.

“The very last shot is of me right before I go in to get married, and that’s as raw as it gets,” Max said. “That’s the moment that I was waiting for through everything, through being her friend for four or five years. Whatever it took, I was going to wait.”

While Max planned to have the film out shortly after their honeymoon this summer, fate had other plans. With a multitude of set backs, Max said he thought there was a reason behind the delay.

“Looking back, it was God humbling me,” Max said, “because I think had it come out sooner than now, I would have probably come to be more arrogant than I already am if it gets a lot of attention.”

Unlike Max’s most popular video, the LSU Harlem Shake, “Wildflower” required a lot of time and attention because of its length.  Max said he is very humbled by and thankful for each and every view that his film gets (27,500 and counting on YouTube).

Throughout the publicity, Max has tried to stay humble. While his company has gotten some attention after the film, Max said that was not his intention, but instead as his way of making sense of all that has happened.

Ultimately, Max said he hopes people are inspired by and able to connect to their story.

“Pain is that human thing that kind of joins us all,” he said. “Everyone suffers and everyone is going to suffer. This is a broken world so it doesn’t matter what your story is,” Max said. “There’s not a single person you’re going to meet who’s like, ‘Yeah, life’s great, everything is perfect,’ so that’s what can unify us.”


To see Max and Bonnie Kate’s incredible story go to YouTube.com/LoupeTheoryStudios


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