The Capital City Film Festival


It’s the beginning of April and for many Lansing residents, that can only mean one thing:  the Film Festival is Neigh!  Yours Truly will be among the people working on the production crew, so if by chance you’re trying to get a hold of me, please wait until Monday – I promise I’ll be in touch!

For those who don’t know the Capital City Film Festival is now in it’s third year and is growing.  It was started by a handful of very adventurous people, who threw caution to the wind and went to great lengths to put on a world-class event.  Among them is good friend of mine who first made me realize that films take what I love about still photography and combine it with sound and motion to create a powerful story-telling medium.  Since then, I always look to films for inspiration for my photography, and it’s exciting to have a collection of films come into town that break the traditional hollywood mold with some fresh ideas.  There have been submissions from all over the world and if you haven’t made plans to go you really should.  More information can be found here.

To me, the appeal of the motion picture world is the sheer amount of consideration that needs to be put into each component of the film to successfully tell a story.  Every aspect helps to set the tone – lighting, sound, dialogue, composition, camera movements…the list goes on and on.  Yet, to poorly execute any one aspect results in a story that fails to suspend disbelief.  When I think about films in that regard, and when I see something presented on the screen, it really makes me appreciate he work the film makers put into the film.  When I stop to consider all the work that goes into these (and I know first-hand what goes into this kind of media) it really makes me glad that I am a humble photographer – I don’t need to have a crew of 20 or so people to go out and create something…although sometimes it would be nice!

What I like to do is try to think about my photography in a cinematic manner.  If I could take a single frame from a 2 hour film that would explain the entire point of the movie, what would that still image look like?  Admittedly, this is nearly an impossible task, but if I am able to make the viewer stop and think about the events and emotions depicted in a single frame and extrapolate that out into their own storyline, then I know I will have created an image that comes close to that goal.  Imagery is such a powerful vehicle to convey emotions, thoughts, ideas, actions, that the possibilities that still exist with still images continue to excite me. It’s true that we are exposed to more images now than at any other given point in history, yet there is still so much unexplored territory.

This is why it’s good to have events that explore the arts – not only do the arts let us understand and contemplate the human condition, but they also inspire innovation.  I applaud the organizers of this event and I hope this is their best turn-out yet.  If you’re reading this and you happen to be looking for something to inspire you to do great things, or if you’re looking for something that goes above and beyond the ordinary means of entertainment, I encourage you to check out the Capital City Film Festival. It’s fun, it’s awesome, it’s family-friendly and you just might make some new Facebook friends!