Lesson One: Introduction

So you want to learn how to make films. But why video? Chances are you first loved photographs. Quite simply, video breathes life into a photo. It preserves voices, gestures, sounds, movement, and raw emotion of a moment, and allows us to travel back in time to relive them over and over. Just think about that. Films made today become a legacy to be passed from one generation to the next. They connect us over time to our loved ones, to what brings us joy, pain, humor, and other conditions of life’s journey. A film can be a simple expression of beauty, open to interpretation and without explanation. Sometimes they are an important story longing to be told. Making films can be a natural extension of an artist, a way to express yourself creatively while earning income and giving others the precious gift of a beautiful film. 

In case you’re wondering how I became a filmmaker, it happened as my third child approached her first birthday, when I realized that while I had photos to help trigger my memories of her babyhood, I also longed to hear her tiny sounds again and actually see the dynamic of our family together the way it was back then. So documenting the present as an emotional record of ‘the way it was back then’ became my greatest goal as I journeyed into video storytelling. Video seemed to be a way to transport me back to the past, and the more meaningful video I shot and edited, the more I craved it. 

I first practiced making simple fusion videos on my own in 2014, and then signed up for a beginner’s workshop in 2015 but I quickly got swallowed up in fall client sessions, and I did not get through the workshop materials in time before it ended and the materials were pulled. With just the very basics under my belt, I set forth to learn and practice as much as I could on my own, creating dozens of films for my own family and others in the years that followed. Soon after that I found my calling through birth cinematography and that is currently where I feel most creatively fulfilled as a professional storyteller, though I continue to make family films and explore other types of videography. And as often as I can I carve out time to make personal films just for us, as these bring me tremendous fulfillment and remain my most prized possessions in this life.

Shared below is the first full film I ever created. I've come a long way and learned so much since then, technically and creatively, but this film is still a treasure for our family even with all its imperfections. I believe this is because it was filmed from my heart, and the connections and moments I chose to document are meaningful to me. This is what it's all about.   

Whatever your reason for being here, you are right where you are meant to be, embarking on an amazing creative adventure. You will be moved and challenged, inspired and proud. I am so excited for you to begin your filmmaking journey, and I want to thank you for opening your heart so that I can share with you this whole new world of stories in motion!