October 21, 2014 | Fly By Light | Newport News, VA
Shortly after I arrived on the Christopher Newport University campus in Newport News, I was welcomed into the university film club. Listening to each student’s intentions for coming that day was a refreshing reminder of all the different ways that film brings people into a room, from the craft of cinematography and editing to a passion for story analysis, to wanting to have an impact on people’s lives, or simply a chance to meet a filmmaker. Its not everyday you have the opportunity to screen your work to a group of student film enthusiasts, with primed analytical brain muscles. I jumped at the opportunity to have them offer a critical analysis of the opening of Fly By Light – a sequence which we deliberated over for months. After being fully impressed with the detail of their reflections, we shifted out of our heads and into a practical experiment. I explained that the intention for this distribution phase of the filmmaking process is to be as interactive as possible, to be part of building a movement for social and emotional learning through the arts, for creating spaces that honor each person’s inherent value. I invited the students to share on camera “My light is….” and “I fly because…” and I was blown away by the honesty and beauty of their responses. Throughout this tour I’ll be collecting these personal offerings, and will compile them into a group poem. Although the film screening and dynamic discussion that followed that evening was rich with deep insight, diverse perspectives and enthusiasm, I am so grateful that this tour makes space for opportunities to connect and engage with smaller groups as well. The combination is pretty dreamy.
Post by OSIP touring filmmaker, Ellie Walton.
To listen to a podcast interview with the filmmaker, click here.