I had a few hours on one of the afternoons to walk the beach by myself. I could see it was an opportunity for me to do something for myself. My first thought was to take some photos to take home with me to do a painting. Then I thought, I could make a movie. I had made a movie of the rock pools on Portreath beach last September, and also of Narrawallee beach near where my mother lives in Australia, both of which I enjoyed making. So I knew what I had to do and I knew that it would be an enjoyable experience.
Over a few hours, I took lots of photos and video clips with my phone camera and enjoyed looking for the opportunities that were all around me in the landscape and seascape. I enjoyed the physicality of scrambling over rocks and jumping the little streams running across the beach all the time on the lookout for interesting features or angles. I was immersed in my project, I had a clear sense of what I was trying to do and I imagined, in a general way, how the photos I was taking, might be combined into a short movie. By the end of the afternoon I had about 40 photos and video clips to work with and I was satisfied that I had sufficient material to work with.
I uploaded my photos and video clips to my laptop and spent several hours crafting my movie using ‘windows movie maker’. I selected and ordered the images, added music (after listening to several possible pieces). I worked out transitions, timings and animations, cut out pieces that didn’t fit, edited the sound track, and added some captions. I made several versions before I was happy with it. The whole thing was a pleasurable and generative experience and at the end I was satisfied with what I had made. I uploaded my video to my YouTube channel and shared it via ‘whats ap’ with my family and with my thank you message to the friends who had looked after us so well. I was delighted to receive from her a lovely message saying how beautiful the movie was and she in turn shared a short video she had made of the sun going down that evening. I also sent a link to my movie to my children who are on ‘whats ap’ by way of showing them where we had been.
All in all, this was a simple, self-contained project that took me perhaps 6 hours to achieve – half on the beach and half on my laptop. I found the whole thing very satisfying. I had used the opportunity I had used the opportunity I had to do something that interested me. I made something that captured some nice memories and felt artistic. I had employed my imagination, knowledge and some technical skills. I had shared my product and gained some positive feedback on it.
Then in response to my post Jenny Willis highlighted a feature I had overlooked in my own interpretation of my experience namely the role of ‘sharing’. I had to agree that she was right.
I have made similar movies before and I do share them through my blog and as soon as I thought of the idea of making a movie, the idea of sharing it was also in my mind. In particular, I wanted to use my movie as a way of saying thank you in a meaningful way, to our generous friends who looked after us for the 4 days we stayed with them. I concluded that the desire to gift the products of our attempts to be creative to particular people, or people more generally, is an opportunity, a motivation, an action and a potential source of feedback that sustains our interest and commitment to trying to do something creative. So I added the idea of sharing to Paul Kleiman’s model and reposted my reasoning in the on-line forum and set about writing this post to explain, in a more comprehensive way, the journey I have been on. In this way I think I have been able to advance my own thinking a little.