Visual Storytelling

Making movies is telling a story through pictures, performances, words, and sounds. I began this journey into movie-making through visuals first when my father taught me how to develop photographs when I was in 1st grade. No, before that, I started ballet like many pre-schoolers and started learning about physical movement and performance timed to sound. Eventually, I began writing and falling in love with the written word. I would rewrite and rewrite letters to pen-pals until they were perfectly worded and that the words fell on the page in a visually interesting/impactful way. I began taking piano lessons.

But learning all these techniques does not give you story. For story you have to live. You have to understand, or at least seek understanding. You have to engage in relationships and the world around you, expand what you know and try to look through another’s eyes…It’s a never-ending quest to find story, to write story, to tell story because you are constantly learning and experiencing and framing…

Add to all that the variables of performance, location, crew, equipment, luck, and making movies becomes a miraculous feat when one is completed. A study in controlled chaos. You have to tell a story using the visuals you capture, supported by the sounds you captured and/or design.

So here is a story of how I started discovering my eye.

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MM: The Business of Filmmaking

movie_mondaysSince March/April of this year, I’ve been putting together the program for the 9th Annual Business of Film Conference presented by Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP) and Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts (TALA).  As the Program Coordinator for SWAMP, I organize this event (contact speakers, create panel lineups, coordinate travel…etc), with the advisement of a small committee and the help of my Executive Director, Mary Lampe.  This past Friday and Saturday, all this hard work was realized.

There were about 75 attendees, 33 speakers, and 10 volunteers/staff.   And while Houston isn’t known for its filmmaking, there IS a lot of filmmaking going on and I know a ton of people who make films but were not at the Business of Film Conference.  I would love to know WHY.  I know that life can sometimes get in the way and people have other obligations.  But there just seems to be a disproportionate number of people who don’t come for other reasons.  So instead of hammering into people why they should come, I’ll explain what I get out of this particular Conference, and why it’s important for me to attend.

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