It was last year when I first inspired to pair words with visuals. I started coming across some poems on Pinterest (most likely by Tyler Knott or Christopher Poindexter :) and they would just move me. I remember thinking how beautiful it is when someone can hold such intensity in such few words. So much meaning and emotion. All I wanted to do was translate those words into video - into motion.
So this Spring, I thought - why not? I partnered up with Kennedy Dawn who is a stylist for Free People and I decided to come from the perspective of creating this poem for the actual brand (Free People). Which gave me the idea to address: What does it mean to be free?
Malori of Hoot and Holler was the floral stylist - as most of you know I am drawn to fresh blooms :) Then I partnered with Dianne Tubbs who is an incredible singer/song-writer here in Phoenix.
I don't usually film without a very specific story in mind, but for this particular project I did. We were in a spot that had windows and dark spaces, so I basically just filmed her where the light looked most interesting. When I saw the window, I went to the other side and told Kennedy (who was inside) to walk towards the window longingly, as though she were yearning for something on the other side of it. I got chills because the room was so dark that it looked as though she suddenly appeared from the dark.
Once I had the footage filmed, the ONLY thing I knew is that I wanted to answer "What does it mean to be free?" and that I was drawn to the dark/light idea. Dianne came over to my studio office, and I showed her my timeline draft - full of clips that only made sense if they had a connecting story. I told her my idea about light and dark, and she asked me to keep playing the footage. She would listen to the music and just start writing down words. It was a pretty killer moment just watching it happen. We discussed the writings, and the story came alive. I was pretty emotional because these words meant so much more to us as believers. Here we were, inspired by a Free People campaign, but then the words became so much more than these 4 short lines. How many of us struggle with the comfort of the darkness?
What does it mean to be free?
To be drawn to the day.. and abandon the night.
For the dark brings me comfort,
but the sun... makes me brave.
And that's the first of my mini-narrative series. I realize that the beauty in the poems and words I've read is when the message, above all, grips me and speaks right to me. I don't know what that will continue to look like or evolve, but I'll definitely keep creating from that place. Whatever it looks like :)