I love it when the creative process flows naturally out of human experience and community with others. Three years ago I shot a short film about a sailing trip I went on.
I had no plan right from the start, no agenda, simply living adventure and going from there.
The trip was this crazy opportunity to sail for 5 days with some of my closest friends aboard the Pacific Grace, a 138’ gaff rigged schooner run by a sail training organization called SALTS. My inspiration to capture our experience first came from walking down the dock towards the boat, I was walking with my buddy at the time and I knew this was one of those trips that I should start filming. I stopped on the dock while pulling out my camera and just started filming what was happening. “Where are we and what are we doing?” I asked my friend with excitement. Everything just unfolded from there.
I Fell in Love With Sailing
I love this film. Not because it is perfect, not because the story is fantastic, but purely because of the memories that go alone with the adventure. I am so thankful to have moments of it captured and now I can experience it again and again. In this post I wanted to share a bit of the story behind the piece and maybe shed a little more light on the project.
Working Within Limitations
I initially thought I had a lot of limitations with this project. It was challenging get any angles showing the larger perspective of the boat as it sailed through the water. Yet even though there were challenges, like breaking one of my main lenses on the trip, I have learned to love limitations because it forces you to adapt and overcome—initially what is seemingly a disadvantage, under the right light can work out to be your greatest advantage.
As our trip progressed I loved the movement of everyone working as a team to operate this whole boat. Every person on board working in unison under the guidance of the skipper to raise and handle sails. The collision of human hands working the skillfully crafted rigging of the ship was fascinating. Every nook of the boat, every rope, every sail, every time we hauled and lowered, all a fascinating movement of hands and boat.
You Grow By Doing
This is another one of my films that once I was done, I wished there was many things I had done better. This can be frustrating at times, you create something you care about, only to wish the results could have been better. However I never would have found out those things I wish I had done better if I had not attempted to make something at all. If I want to keep improving I am going to have to keep making things and that is that.
My level of production is reaching a point that I am becoming satisfied with, but I know I have a long way to go with storytelling. I want to make videos that captivate people, and I know I have a lot yet to learn.
Something Much More Beautiful Than a Boat
At the beginning what I had thought most fascinating was the boat we were sailing on, yet when it came time for our trip to disembark I knew something much greater had been happening through the community aboard. The beautiful unison and harmony of a team of people working together, working for a common goal on this journey together.
Shared experience are a powerful thing and there is something priceless about memories you shared with others that you will take with you for a life time.
Should I be filming or living in the moment?
One of the challenges I faced was the balance between capturing and just living in the moment. Should I capture this or just experience it. There were many moments that we experienced together when no camera was rolling, and no pictures were taken. The moment came and went, and is now just for us to experience in our memories.
The Beauty When Something Connects
When I was finished the project I wasn’t even sure what I was going to do with it. I ended up releasing it online and sharing with some who i knew loved sailing. So many others who had fallen in love with sailing were moved by the piece and messages of poured in. Sharing of the times they went sailing, and the many days they had spent at sea with friends.
A story about a bunch of friends going sailing brought some to tears.
How is a response like this possible I wondered? I didn’t do a very good job telling an inspiring story, yet somehow it connected with people. The response to the film moved me greatly as an aspiring filmmaker. As a teenager I realized maybe there is value in sharing my voice. Drawing others into the world in the way that I see it, sharing stories that I love and desire to capture. This film and especially the response to it, has impacted the rest of my life as a creative, as someone who makes things.
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