The Sunflower Dance - keepsake film

keepsake film calgary family filmmaker

That’s it, I can quit as a filmmaker, I have now made my masterpiece. Only joking, making a masterpiece just makes me feel even more inspired to keep going. I’m sure this one feels extra special to me because it is so personal. I’m feeling emotional these days about how unbelievably quickly my kids are growing up. And so when I saw a challenge created by a role model family filmmaker to create a personal film capturing something I don’t want to forget, I thought it was the perfect chance to commit to pushing myself in new ways (learning slow motion and additional audio).

Most of the family films I have done to date, of my own family or clients, build off my documentary style and just capture what happens, without any planning. This film was going to be a bit different and I spent time really thinking about what I wanted to capture about my 3 year old and making a plan to specifically film that. One of her biggest passions is dancing and she’s been asking to take dance classes for awhile now. I resisted at first, to be honest it was mostly for selfish reasons. Of course I want her to do something she loves and support her in that, but I also just love watching how she dances without having “learnt” anything and hardly even watched anybody else dance - she just dances what she feels and like she says in one clip of this film “when I hear music, I just have to dance”. I just don’t want anything to change about how free-spirited she is. And I’m not ready to face the fact that she’s growing up and this will be the first time she’s in an activity that she’s really asking for which is very different than things like baby rhyme time classes haha. But I just couldn’t hold out on her and I truly am excited to see where her determination and love will take her with dance.

This keepsake challenge was perfect since I knew things were about to change. It helps me preserve my free-spirited tiny dancer, just as she is today, and forever be able to remember her little voice and her beautiful attempts at being a “ballerina” at this age. I planned a Mommy/Morgan date night this past week where we drove out to Bowden Sunmaze. She wanted to put on a dress and all day was talking about dancing in the sunflowers so I knew it’d be a perfect chance to bring my camera and take some video clips. One of the neat things about making a film is that you don’t know for sure how it’ll all come together until the intensive editing process where you really get to be an artist and not only edit each clip, but then pull a full story together set to music.

There is no doubt that I’ve found a new type of film I want to make more of, for my own family and others. I think a mini keepsake film is a great option anytime you think of something in your life that you know will be different in a year and that currently makes you smile - physical features of your child or how they talk or things they say. For me in this film, I wanted to capture Morgan’s long hair as a physical feature because I knew I was going to cut it for the very first time this week. And I loved how she talked about dancing “so hard” and that you could feel the passion just by watching the way she moves. I think this film captured all of that and it might always bring happy tears to my eyes when I watch it! I hope you enjoy it as well….