The Caveman, The Voice, And The Story09/19/2010
By Shantal Reich
Now more than ever, communications technology is enabling the world to become more and more connected. This makes film very powerful—and in my opinion—the most powerful form of communication. Naturally, this power attracts all sorts of people with all sorts of agendas: the good, the bad, and the ugly—and the beautiful. I know that I have a story to tell as well—a unique one. My goal is to take part in this universal conversation.
But what is this conversation? Why is it universal? What is it about storytelling that makes it so basic to human experience that we even have evidence of it since the Stone Age?
Storytelling is an attempt to put life into perspective – giving people the ability to attach meaning to their experiences, feelings, hopes and dreams – as well as their failures, disappointments, misfortune and pain. Storytelling has been a quintessential human activity since the time of the caveman. This really is the human endeavor of searching for meaning in life.
The art of filmmaking is really the art of storytelling. Everything the director places in a film has a specific purpose and function that will help communicate a message. From the dialogue and the actors, to the set and lighting to the sound and editing to the camera movement and framing—the story connects the details. It makes sense out of life. It’s a template to place on experiences to help you determine what these experiences mean and what actions you should take. I believe that all the details in my life also have a meaning.
I am a filmmaker, passionate about my art. I am also a religious Jew, passionate about my essence. I am therefore pursuing a double curriculum both in school and in life.
Pursuing my film career and my spiritual life are not two separate efforts. They are tied together. The importance of storytelling is not only important in a film, but it is also important in life! Our lives are stories of their own. The Torah (the Jewish tradition) places a template on my life to help me interpret the meaning of my experiences and guide me to what my actions should be.
Each and every person has a story to tell but not everyone has the ability to tell it. A good filmmaker is able to see the world from other peoples’ perspectives, give voice to that point of view as well as contribute through his/her unique perspective. It is therefore our job and privilege to tell stories that need to be heard, to put new information into the world that needs to be evaluated, to inspire people who seek direction, and to invoke feelings that need to be felt by using this powerful form of art to CONNECT and UNITE.
Shantal Reich is a senior at Torah High School of San Diego and is currently finishing production on a short film/music video entitled “The Child” and applying to film schools.