Emergence was my first solo film and was a great experiment in small scale photography. I found it amazing how hermit crabs would emerge from their shell--claws and legs unfolding, antennas and eye-stalks stretching out to view the dangerous world outside their shells.  It was fun figuring out how to make such a small creature look as beautiful and majestic as they seemed to me.

The stars of the film are Caribbean hermit crabs whom I filmed on a family trip to St. John to visit where my mother used to live.

After we got home, I sat down at the computer, eager to sort out my footage. I began putting the clips together but couldn't seem to get any ideas for what kind of story the film would tell. As I was trying to edit I had a little tune playing in my head. I went over to my electric piano, pressed record and started playing, my fingers weaving together notes, melodies and harmonies. After the vibrations of the last note trail off, I changed my pianos voice to strings and improvised the second part of the score for Emergence.

After composing the music, all the editing fell into place around the rhythm of the notes and I had a film. I am really happy with how it came out, though I wish I could go back down and film more shots on the rocks, like the last shot in the film. I also wish I could give it more of a story: have the crabs journeying across the island and into the sea on the other side.

Thanks for watching,
Clayton Clemetson

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