A few years ago (2012), he would have been 5, my son, Summit was asking about movie-making, how movies are dreamed up, how they are created, how they come to be. I thought I’d take him through the process and explain the beginning stages and work through the concepts with him. I explained that movies are first originated in someone’s mind before then being written down on paper. He wasn’t all that interested in the writing part of it but then we started talking about storyboarding and how movies were sketched out scene-by-scene.
Summit had an idea in mind so what we did was I had him tell me what his idea was and then I’d help sketch it out on paper. Of course my drawings were quickly sketched and overall pretty crappy as I’ve never really been a *realistic* drawer.
What resulted was a rudimentary short film by a five-year-old. Interestingly, as we drew it out on paper I could see that it was a journey and followed a basic story-arc of conflict, leaving, going through a series of events and finding resolutions while finally returning home. Overall, I think it’s a happy story – and definitely enhanced by the child-like drawings.
Filmmaking has been a passion of mine equal-to-or-greater-than climbing. I prefer to shoot Super 8 film over digital for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is a “home” connection I feel to the medium. Harkens back to childhood and those things I remember about the film camera my Dad had. The projection screen, the projector, and the shows I used to put on using the film projector and the slide projector. Later I would play around with multiple VCRs chained together, figuring out how to mash-edit generation over generation on tape, the quality of each new dubbed over version a little bit grainier and fuzzy than the one before. Video cassette recorders took hold and consumer video cameras (VHS-C, 8mm, and beta!) became more affordable. Even editing became more-and-more achievable – with a little bit of inventiveness. But the roots of film never vanished for me. And when I rediscovered the JC Penny Sanyo Super 8 camera from my childhood days, and found some un-shot black and white super 8 film, and shot a test roll of some trains in Tulsa sometime in 2001, I was reconnected. I recall the train footage not turning out that great but it didn’t matter.
I say all of this to make a point about coming full-circle back to what you “know” and back to what you have connections to. Regardless of money, and time, and really even regardless of reason, there are those passions inherent to us that we shouldn’t let go of – and in essence – can’t let go of. But these are the things that makes our selves our self.
So I say, keep shooting film. Keep climbing. Keep writing. Keep doing art. Keep pursuing your goals, who you are and whatever it is that you contribute. Go for it.