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My Video scholarship 2010 entry

USA | Thursday, 20 May 2010 | Views [455] | Scholarship Entry

I am submitting this video at some risk of failing the challenge.  There are no people in it to evince our human/animal experience.  Still, at the time when I shot it, our human community was gripped with one of those occasional reminders of nature’s power, when a volcano in Iceland crippled our ability to travel.  And we saw plentiful footage of the volcano spewing steam and lava, yet all of it seemed distant like the spectacle of a castle.

When I traveled to Guatemala during this eruption in Iceland, I had the rare opportunity to inch as close as possible to Volcán Pacaya’s lava flows, just outside the colonial city of Antigua.  In this truest example of technology’s graces, I left behind my camcorder and brought a portable camera that performed just as well.  I planned for the footage to be as stable and lush as possible, minding contrast against tourism videos.  Stabilizing the camera was a challenge, since the heat would always overwhelm after just a few seconds; rather than masking those reactions in editing, I decided to keep them as stylized transitions.  (It made international news, only a few weeks after my visit, when the volcano erupted causing loss of life and major disruption.)

My ambition as a documentary filmmaker is to expand the heritage of narrative storytelling through artistic, stylized means using an environmental visual language; the examples of Terrence Malick and Godfrey Reggio come to mind.  Travel Video Scholarship 2010 would pull me deeper into the human experience so that I might better integrate this ambition with close-up anthropology and global understanding.

I am an enthusiastic, adventurous traveler who would treasure this incredible opportunity to be mentored and exposed, as I would blog my way through the journey with daily insights (I love to write, too).  I am new to this field and I have much to learn!

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