There have been two videos I’ve created recently that I was following the path of Sir Charles G.D. Roberts writing his famous animal stories. Roberts was a writer from New Brunswick living at the turn of the nineteenth century and is known as the father of Canadian poetry. In his ‘animal stories’, most notably, Kindred of the Wild from 1902, he displayed a natural and intimate understanding of the simple actions he wrote about animals living in the wild.
I sought to record the animals, in this instance no surprise here, geese and deer, in their natural habitat doing the natural things that they do, and use that as the basis for the narrative in the shorts. I edited the footage together in a way that made it look like I was telling a story that wasn’t happening at all. The buck, was in one location, and the doe was in another area of the same park, on a different day. I have imposed the storylines onto them by carefully editing sequences together to make it look as though the deer are behaving flirtatiously. This feeling is also achieved by the music. The music is a simple romantic melody that sounds like it could be the start of any romantic comedy walk in the park scene, so using that music to help create meaning goes a long way.
Animals are a great subject because they give you interesting film footage that you can edit, so you practice your editing skills with meaningful content. I am drawn to the idea of animal video shorts because, and particularly we notice it in Windsor, these animals are a part of our lives. How many of us have been held up in traffic, not just from a train, but from a train of geese in Windsor?
Why take the time to record free animals living their lives in the wild, and exploit them here in these silly beginner attempts at videography? People are drawn to animals and their natural behaviour, especially when that behaviour is recognizable to us, like watching two deer flirting with each other, or geese pecking around the park and floating around the beach all day. Perhaps it reminds us of our natural connection to other living things, if we can begin to look at something that is different and see ourselves in it, then maybe that helps our humanity grow to be more tolerant of each other.
All it takes is a little preplanning of when to go and spend a bit of time patiently observing the world of animals and recording with the right lens to get the best look of the animals as they do their thing out there in the wild.
From a spiritual perspective, each animal has a different meaning and significance in our life and dreams, so I hope these two videos make you wonder and see something new in your dreams tonight.
Here are the brief, ‘video animal shorts’, I hope you enjoy.