For the past 11 weeks I've taken part in Stillmotion's Take Action Challenge, a filmmaking course focusing on how the many decisions you make for every single shot of every movie affect your viewer and your story.
This is my submission for my final project. My subject: Savanna Stein, 10-year-old Irish dancer.
I've known Savanna and her family for over 8 years. Savanna's mom, Jenny, has shot weddings with me, and I have nothing but respect and admiration for her as a photographer, a mom, and an overall superb human being. Her blog: familiarlight.squarespace.com/
I was thrilled that Savanna and Jenny were willing to go out of their way to allow me to shoot Savanna's dance class, rehearsal and performances and take time out of their busy schedule so that I could tell the story of Savanna's love of Irish dancing. I think that at age 10, Savanna has already had to learn the life lesson that when you love something, it may not be all unicorns and rainbows, but sometimes there are elements that you really wish you could do without. But you have to put up with them to keep doing what you love.
Thank you Savanna and Jenny for letting me make this movie!
Thanks also to the Burke Conroy School of Dance, The Twentieth Century Club, the rest of the Stein family and my family.
And, of course, to the team at Stillmotion for constantly pushing us to do more than we ever thought was possible, take no excuses, and always ask WHY.
This film was shot on a Canon 7D and Canon 5D Mark II with lots of Canon lenses, Manfrotto monopod and Steadicam Merlin, and edited with Adobe Premiere.
Earlier this year, my father, Tony Montemurro, stunned everyone he knew when he announced that he intended to join the local fire company. He'd retired about a year earlier from a successful career as an international operations executive, and was already quite busy with other volunteer positions as well as his sailboat and collection of classic cars.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Tony began the county's Fire Fighter 1 course in August. After four long, intense months of training and study, he passed all of the written exams and skills tests and graduated from the course.
My family and I are beyond proud. Of course I've always thought he's amazing and capable of the extraordinary, and of course I wanted to find a way to tell and share his story. While I live 300 miles away in Pittsburgh, I put together this short film during our holiday visit to Doylestown.
Many thanks to:
Doylestown Fire Company 79
Bucks County Community College
Every other Montemurro
Music: "At Launch," "Movement Proposition," "The Parting," "Our Story Begins," and "Reunited" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons “Attribution 3.0″ creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Shot on a Canon 5D Mark II, 50L, 35L, 100L, 70-200L on a Manfrotto monopod and tripod and edited with Adobe Premiere Pro CS6.