What began four years ago as a hankering to capture my family’s annual reunion/athletic competition in the form of a short documentary has evolved into an amalgam of passions coupled with an emerging skill set.
In early 2010, I set out to tell the story of my grandparents’ origins and how our now 38 year tradition came to be. Having a penchant for long drawn out projects (after all my day job is architecture) I began to piece together a framework for the family reunion documentary. Along the way I picked up a consumer grade video camera and began to interview family members who had a hand in building the five generational tradition. As I scrubbed hours upon hours of footage, sifting through stacks and stacks of old photographs, and the reoccurring feeling of ‘will I ever be able to finish this film?’… something happened. A process which was to serve as a means to an end had become the reward.
Now I’d like to think that the thirtysome minute piece will serve as a family artifact years from now, re watched by second and third cousins with nostalgia, but I take stock in knowing it was enjoyed by the family present at the screening on that Thanksgiving Day and a few who lived through the adversity revisited in the doc found solace in remembrance. Connecting with those individual family members through the making of the doc was the real reward. Perhaps a quality of the documentarian’s journey is this experiential byproduct, if you will becomes more personally transcendent than the end product itself. And for me, it’s been just that…. transcendent.
What was a single endeavor in 2010 has unfolded into a multimedia approach to storytelling and we’ve been blessed to connect with an array of individuals and organizations along the way.