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This past week, we had the privilege of watching films made by our super awesome and talented film instructor and mentor, Kristle and Elizabeth. In watching these films we were able to catch a glimpse of different approaches, techniques, and processes, as well as continue learning about film and each other through commentary and felt, creative exchange. Both films, while different in quite a few ways, still touch on topics that most of us viewing could relate to. Whether it’s a setting, a conversation, or a feeling, everyone can get something out of what’s being shown on the screen.

I think what watching these films did for me is provide me with another reminder of why being involved in these programs is honestly so awe-inspiring every time. I’m not kidding either. I am a Libra sun as well as an Aries rising so I mean it when I write ‘awe-inspiring.’ And I use that term specifically today because I am thinking about just how like, actually magical it is to be a filmmaker. Now I can only imagine what it’s like to be in the driver’s seat as one since I’m not a filmmaker myself. But I have been involved with this org for a few years now and every single time we watch films made by participants, mentors, and instructors alike, I sit there and am blown away. From the biggest, most intricate plots down to the smallest, simplest shorts, I think how otherworldly it is to be able to do this. How amazing, brave, and bold one is who decides to take a camera and make their mind into a moving thing we can all watch.

As a poet, I can write you a story. I have the ability to take a feeling and with all the words in the world, try my best to get you as close to that feeling as I can. With only words and maybe some inflection, cadence, rhythm when I perform. The performance just helps it though, it’s still up to the audience to imagine it. This isn’t a downfall of poetry and it’s not to say that what I do is a lesser medium. What I am saying is that what I do has a limit. Now clearly everything has limits and we can only do so much like quite literally; how many times I’ve heard from my carpenter father the explanations he has to give architects who want to build impossible structures that literal physics will not allow certain shapes and bends to transpire.

With filmmaking, though, is where I’ve been lucky enough to see the limits continually be pushed. Not just the limits of what can be done physically like with location and all that but also with commentary. Critique, politics, language, what it’s like to have a vision in your head and try to transfer it as best as you can to someone else’s eyes. Filmmaking really says go for it in such a unique, incredibly expansive way. In a way that these instructors and mentors are so well-versed in, take seriously, and create pure beauty with whenever they film. In a way these participants are learning how to be, are practicing and cultivating into their own style, and are showing us repeatedly that the future of filmmaking is in good hands.

Y’all inspire me so much. Thank you for letting me be around to celebrate your brilliance.


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