I just finished my first serious try at a “cinematic short film”, and I feel nervous to share it. It’s about Winter, one of four distinct seasons here in Sweden and it’s been in my head so long that I also needed to write a bit about the inspiration behind making it the way I did. I separated this my “thinking on paper” from the actual short film, but of course I hope you’ll watch that in the end.

But first, why seasons and why film and not a series of photographs? It’s just nature after all…

The image in the mind’s eye. For me it’s where the obsession began. It’s what keeps me going, it never fails to excite me. Because you take one shot, you put it together with another shot, and you experience a third image in your mind’s eye that doesn’t really exist in those two other images.

Martin Scorsese

Cinematic Creativity

I have always been thinking of creating content for YouTube, as a blogger and content consumer, I guess. But lately, maybe in the past year or so, I have also been consuming some video tutorials on how to become a better videographer, how to plan out stories, and how to edit and film to make what you want to tell more interesting. As my camera is my old smart phone most of the time, and these clipps were made in the moment without any planning, I am not saying that my first film is an epic start in any way – but, and this is a big but, my thinking about making videos has shifted sligthly I think.

I look more closely, I think about creating video in another way.

Some things about storytelling is interesting to me, others I don’t care much about. As a storyteller myself I am always more interested in reality than in fiction. I want to tell my own story and document my world rather than creating new worlds. It’s just how my brain work.

But as I have learned, storytelling is not just fantasy, it is the way you weave something together.

I have also been watching some professional photographers talking about the importance of documenting your life in photos, in video, in capturing the moment, in making actual short movies of ideas and your own surrounding. To follow your ideas and finish your projects. And I love these concepts so much!

This concept makes me wish I’d made even more video when I was younger, in different ways than I did. And that all of those first stories weren’t locked up on VHS tapes…

Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our lifetime, we need to keep them alive.

Martin Scorsese

Cinematic Aesthetics & Subtitles

Another influence, that I want to mention just quickly, is Asian creators that create videos or vlogs where they are not talking to the camera nor are they doing voice over. Instead they are adding little text strips at the bottom of the video, and letting it be ASMR real life sounds or they add on music. I think it is because they’re not comfortable talking English to the camera? In any case, it is a huge trend that you might have seen if you’re hanging out on YouTube, and I find it interesting. Because it also does something to the viewing experience, I think. It makes you slow down a bit, and enjoy the visuals more. And it makes everyday vlogs, of cooking or watering the house plants, seam so… poetic… romantic… cinematic! At least, if it is well done. And that’s where I got the idea to create my season series with subtitles, which was a lot harder than I thought. But also interesting. And very time consuming.

For me, I am very used to reading subtitles since we swedes only do very little dubbing of movies from abroad, and almost exclusively on movies or series for kids. We have subtitles on all foreign series and movies here weather they’re from Germany or the US, so we learn how to follow along in a plot reading subtitles as kids. But my hope is that even if you’re not used to them, they will not be a huge problem in my little shorts.

Documenting the Season you’re in

I have always loved the change of season. Maybe not always winter, but the change. The everlasting surprise of a new season. No matter how old I become, I love that change, and each year it takes me by surprise. How the air feels different when spring is upon us, the smell of summer, the colors of autumn, the beauty of winter.

Has it ever been this white, this beautiful, this early (or this late), this new and fresh? Memory is short, but winter is long. Long enough to forget the other seasons and marvel at them when they arrive, I think.

Since having a phone I document things that makes me happy. My first digital video project was part of my Happiness Project, and I loved making that series and re-watching those little clips. So it’s not that strange that I pull my phone camera out when the weather changes and try to document it. I have been doing it for years, and when I noticed all my winter-clips I decided to pull them all together to create something other. Something new. Something I could name. It was the beginning of the seasons series I think.

I think that’s all I wanted to share today. Let me know if you want examples and links to the mentioned inspirations above and I’ll try to re-find them for another blog post.

Watch Winter here.