So, last night we finally made it. We attended the Seattle Art Museum’s Andrew Wyeth Film Sprint Screening!
This was the experience I wanted for me, as a creator, and for the kids…
I wanted to show them that they can participate in the arts, and it isn’t scary, and it isn’t impossible, and there are other people around us who are doing the same thing. I wanted to show them that art is accessible. It is made by real people, and you don’t have to have some magic gene to be an artist. We were all artists last night, and that is massive.
What they got to see last night was different filmmakers trying different mediums, with different narratives, different camera work, different lighting, different storylines and different people using their imaginations.
And we are a part of this imagination collective.
I wanted them to really see the long creative process of creating something. It is more than just putting something on a camera, or canvas, or paper and calling it good. We brainstormed ideas, drew out storylines, created storyboards and brought the cards with us for continuity…
We did shoots, then reshoots, then more reshoots…because the lighting was different, or the movement wasn’t what we wanted, or we decided to go in a different direction…
There were entire scenes we cut because we realized they weren’t what we wanted in the story at all, and that is editing…and editing takes a lot of chutzpah to get it right!
In the end, we created something that was simple, elegant and told a story of love…and we got our art out into the world. This has been an experience that will plant many seeds.
This is Philip Nadasdy who is the Manager of Public Programs at SAM, and he did a phenomenal job organizing this outreach. The rules and requirements were clear and easy to follow, the submission process was simple, and the community reward of being able to attend a screening with all of the filmmakers was incredible.
We got to sit in the reserved section for filmmakers, which was so exciting!!
As you can see, we were #22 out of 25 filmmakers. If you figure that every film is 5 minutes long, and there are 25 films…we were there for quite a while! But it was amazing watching every film with a completely different take on interpreting the art, and we loved the whole thing.
Selfies are mandatory.
I don’t know why The Rockwood Smile is so serious, but it is. We just have to accept that.
Then, we watched our film…
I recorded our film for 2 reasons:
- I want the kids to remember seeing their finished work on the screen.
- I want them to remember the applause. Applause might be the most rewarding aspect of creating, because you and your work is being acknowledged and appreciated by your peers. No one stands alone in art, and as a human being we all need to feel like we are being seen by someone else, and that our work is valuable and worthwhile. These are very basic human needs that often go underappreciated, in themselves, and I wanted to make sure the element of appreciation was captured.
Afterward we had champagne in the foyer! This was a very classy move by SAM and I loved this part.
Of course I loved this part. Champagne++
We didn’t win any awards, and I told the kids we probably wouldn’t. There were some seriously phenomenal films made with honest-to-goodness filmmakers, and they didn’t win either. I was very happy to see the kids’ reactions as happy for the winners, and grateful for being able to participate. No one was angry or disappointed, and it was a really solid great experience all the way through. I am extremely proud of the kids for this, alone.
I gave the kids the camera to take pictures while we were waiting for the awards to be given out…
Glenn decided to blind people with the flash, though.
I’m happy to say we have pretty darn normal kids.
In the end, we had a great time…wonderful experiences…and I am so grateful to be able to create art with amazing people.
The importance of thankfulness and gratitude has unfortunately been diluted over time.
Between motivational posters and catchy images on Facebook we see in the morning, it can be hard to focus, or even refocus, on what really matters when we think about what we are thankful for.
Tony Robbins is firm in his assertion that gratitude is the key to a happy life. But you have to be realistic and honest with yourself…”I am thankful for life,” or “I am grateful for the sun” don’t touch into who we are or what we are striving for in our lives.
Thankfulness comes from being grateful for the mundane, such as the wind on your face. It also comes from the corporeal aspects of being grateful for business success you have had. It also is rooted in emotional and spiritual growth, such as overcoming impatience during the week, or meditating in the morning, or reading more in the evening.
Practicing gratitude is very similar to any exercise: it improves over time. And, just like working out, it is easier to do when things are going good. But what happens if you twist your ankle while you’re jogging? You stop running, and get out of the routine. This happens to all of us in our walk with gratitude.
This month is a perfect opportunity to open up a new routine during the day to reflect on gratitude, thankfulness and ourselves.