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Art of the Story and the movie bella (Pt1)

by Peter on December 20, 2008

I headed to Target to look around for a few items and of course “stumbled” into the movie section to see what got my attention. I buy movies not necessarily for the plot but for the story behind the movie, cinematography, and for the directors commentary. Often times, I know nothing about the movie other than the the front of the box and the commentary on the back. Well, I came across the cover of the movie bella and was immediately sold on it. Here’s why.

There is a distinct style to Independent films that I like to incorporate when I photograph weddings. The directors are passionate about what they do and are are forced at times to experiment with their limited resources. For example, in the movie Jose (Eduardo Verástegui) and his brother Manny (Manny Perez) argue in the freezer of a restaurant. The director only had five minutes to get the scene finished so they took a hand held camera into the freezer with no external lights. Here was the problem. The only light in the freezer was a single bulb behind the actors. This is a big no, no. However, the scene was outstanding because it was real. Here were two brothers just verbally duking it out and the only place they could find privacy was in a freezer. There is nothing nice about arguing in a  freezer just as there is nothing nice about brothers arguing to the point of potentially damaging the relationship.

Families are like this. Skeleton’s that are determined to poke their heads out at the most inopportune time during family events are like this. Life isn’t always “picture perfect.” But its the story that brings families together. The trials and efforts to make things right. The time and emotional investment to communicate love to those who are in need of it. Stories bind because they give meaning.

A short aside:

I remember a fight my brother and I had when we were in middle school on a Saturday afternoon. Who knows what it was over but one thing for sure is…it was on like Donkey Kong with steroids. By the way, the only people who were around were my seventy year old grandmother (she didn’t know what to do with us to begin with) and my youngest brother (who was very young and thought that he was going to have one less brother in a matter of moments.) Here is how it played out. We fought fist to face in the backyard then in the front yard then inside in every room of the house, then out side again, then finally back inside of the house where it all ended because we just didn’t have the strength to fight any longer. And you know what my dad said when he got back? He said in no uncertain words, “I wish I was here to see it! I’m a little sad that I missed it!”

There is nothing new about a man and a women deciding to get married. There is something significant  when you learn that their story includes an accident that almost canceled the wedding. There is nothing new about a man and woman walking hand in hand until you learn that just a few months ago the doctors told the husband he wouldn’t walk again.

The art of the story is about what got you where you are. So what is your story? What got you here? Here’s my story in no particular order:

  • My dad was a Navy Seal
  • My Mom retired as a Sergent from the LAPD
  • My parents divorced.
  • I come from a family of all boys except for the wives.
  • I lived over seas a few years as a young lad.
  • I am invited to wedding as a guest and photographer

Now it’s your turn to share your story.

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