storytelling has become quite the buzz word of late within our industry. thrown around with terms like cinematic, film like, or hand made. of all of them, storytelling is the one i really feel the need to defend and would like to give our take on. to me a story isn’t showing up and covering what happens, it isn’t just an emotional film (though that certainly can happen when it is done effectively), and it certainly isn’t a handful of cliche moments paired with a top 40 soundtrack and shots that are all too familiar. to us, and to me personally, storytelling is about something much deeper, and much more thought out (and i should say this is only one of many many opinions on this). it involves approaching your shoot with a fresh set of eyes. it involves not just capturing things as they happen but also finding a way to weave them together in a way that really reflects the essence of the people, the message, or the story you are trying to convey. it means being selective, it means being subjective, and it means interpretation. for us, it also means learning more about our couples and finding unique ways to interpret who they are and what they are about.
for mel and joel, that came through in many ways.
their are straightforward yet hidden things like the meaning behind her drinking tim horton’s in the morning, or the symbolism behind the specific composition of mel and her mom back to back as they are getting their makeup done.
then their is the deeper story. a while ago, mel lost her brother justin. pretty much since then she has been wearing a necklace in memory of him and it never leaves her neck. on her wedding day she wanted to wear pearls, but that meant she had to take this necklace off. it was a very emotional moment for her, her mother, and everybody else there. as she took it off they also decided to pin it inside her dress so it would still be with her.
you’ll notice that one of the first shots of mel, which was shot and chosen for this reason, shows this necklace. throughout the film their are other references to this and to justin and you can see it becomes a central part of their story.
mel is a teacher, so she is all about giving and sharing, and she is an english major, so she is very articulate and has a poem by EE cummings that her and joel tell each other as a representation of what they mean to each other. you will see that the big things we picked up on and covered throughout the day are related to these big things (and other things) about mel and joel, or they are building up the story for one of the next things coming. but, most importantly, they aren’t random, they aren’t standard, and they are in there just because they happened.
enjoy their piece. i hope that enlightens you somewhat about what goes on in our mind in the 3ish hours we have to put this same day edit together. this one is colored in FCP using entirely native filters.
music used with permission from kim taylor, and the song is ‘i am you’. you can find more of her music and her site here: http://kimtaylor.com/
we will be in san fran next week for the last stop of the cinema caravan. if you want to hear more about storytelling and hang out with us for a couple days of EOS training, their are still a couple spots left and you can check it out here.