It’s Go Time!
Today the theme for the 6th annual DVC/UWOL Charity Film Challenge was announced.
And the theme is… “TREES”.
At first it sounds deceptively easy to crank out a four minute film about trees. But then you start to think about it and you realize you just can’t shoot a bunch of trees and show them for four minutes and make it interesting.
My biggest problem with these challenges is that as soon as I hear the theme, I get an idea or two and then it’s hard to come up with other ideas when I realize that my original idea was not realistic for the amount of time I had to complete the film.
So of course, my first thought was a film about a Christmas tree. I’m thinking the non-nature and wildlife filmmakers will probably go this route. Christmas could be a tough one to beat. But I’m a nature and wildlife filmmaker and I guess if I were to do something about a Christmas tree, it would have to take place outdoors.
So then I started thinking, should I have actors in this film?
A couple thoughts popped into my head right away. Now forgive me if these really don’t make sense, but they popped in my head and the whole idea of this journal is to document my process.
So I thought about a father and daughter film where every year around Christmas the two go out into the woods. The dad tells the daughter about the peace and solitude of the woods and how he comes here to get away from the stress of every day life. One year, the father dies from cancer. The daughter goes years without going back into the woods until one year her mother convinces her to go on the walk she used to take with her father. At first she is reluctant but eventually she falls under the spell of the trees and begins to lose herself in the forest. Somewhere in the film there is a special tree that the two would always visit. Through her travels she ends up at that tree. It’s marked in some special way so that she knows it’s “their” tree. Something catches her eye and it is a weather beaten plastic envelope with a letter from her father. Knowing he was dying, he left the letter for her to find at the tree. The letter brings closure to her dads death and years later, we see her taking her daughter to the tree explaining how the peace and serenity takes away all your problems etc.
Ok, so kind of cliche and not really all that much about trees. I guess the tree is just a background character for the father and daughter.
The second idea that popped in right away was something to do with Native America legends or stories about the trees being their ancestors. Not sure where I’d go with this, but I’ve always been fascinated that I could be standing next to a tree that was in its teenage year when Native Americans lived on the tallgrass prairies and the European settlers had yet to arrive. So, I may have to do some research on that and see if there are any stories about trees in Native American lore that I could build on for a film.
So those were the first two story ideas that popped into my head.
Do you have any idea?
Leave a comment below!