As I said in my last post, I’ve decided I’m going to make an indie film this summer! I took my new camera out last week and already started shooting some footage, and I’m really excited with what I’ve captured already. So, you’re probably wondering what the story is all about. Well, when I went to create a new folder on my computer for all this video footage, it suddenly hit me that I had no clue what to call it! I couldn’t think of even a temporary name or a “working title”. I was so stumped that I literally ended up naming the new folder “Documentary Project”
So I have no clue what the film will be called, but let me share with you a bit about where this idea came from and what “the story” is going to be about, knowing that it will no doubt evolve and unfold as I discover new elements and themes to focus on.
Several months ago, an amazing woman in our community, Mary Kinsella, told me that I should bring my camera down to the Majestic Theatre some time for their monthly “jam session” where she and a bunch of other seniors meet and spend the afternoon playing old time folk songs and dancing. The Majestic Theatre is a 100 year old building with an incredible history and story of its own, so I could just imagine how much fun it would be to go see these old folks get together and dance in this old theatre building on a Sunday afternoon. I had intended for months to go to one of these jam sessions and see what they were all about, but it wasn’t until I got the itch to dive into a film project that I connected the dots and started thinking “hey, Mary’s group of seniors getting together to dance every month might make a great story!”.
So last weekend I took my new camera and spent Sunday afternoon filming one of these jam sessions. I didn’t really know what to expect, but let me to you, it was incredible. The music was amazing. And the energy that these seniors had was unreal. Some of them, including Mary’s brother Ed, barely ever sat down! Ed is in his 80’s and his health has been a bit up and down, so when I heard from Mary how much Ed loves the dances I started getting really interested in capturing his personal story.
Ed is an incredibly talented artist who worked as a sign painter for many years, and has also painted murals on several buildings in Bashaw, along with Mary who is also a gifted artist. Ed told me he doesn’t really paint anymore, because he is almost totally blind. His hearing is also starting to fade. But he can still dance. And even if it takes going to the hospital to get a blood transfusion, he makes sure he doesn’t miss a jam if he can help it.
Last week when I met up with Ed at the Parlour, to film him getting his hair cut by Justine, he was going on and on about the upcoming jam. When Sunday came around I arrived at the Majestic and when I worked my way through the packed room of seniors to say hi to Ed I found out that he’d spent a few days in the hospital, after the day of his hair cut. But they gave him a couple transfusions and he was on his way again. I watched as Ed danced with one woman after another, and by the end of the jam I’d say he pretty near danced with every woman who was there. Another gentleman tapped me on the shoulder at one point, and said “wouldn’t you love to be able to pick up chicks like Ed?”
So as it stands right now, I’m really interested in exploring Ed’s story and bringing people into the world of Ed’s life. Why does he love dancing so much, and why is it so important to him at this stage of his life? What was his life like, dancing to these same old songs 60 years ago, maybe even in the same exact building on main street Bashaw. I don’t know what I’ll uncover and what the story will evolve into, but right now the film is set to be a documentary style exploration of the impact that music and dancing is having on this particular group of seniors, especially Ed and Mary and any other local seniors who are willing to let me and my camera into their lives. I hope you’ll enjoy coming along for the ride as I blog about what I discover, throughout the course of the next several months.
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