We live in challenging times. On the one hand, video output is often seen as disposable or temporary. And on the other hand, the digital age means our films - once transmitted - are never really gone and actually have a permanency like never before.
In the moment of transmission, with any luck an audience will appreciate our endeavors. If we're lucky, not only will it entertain - or at least catch attention for the duration of the piece - but it might also resonate on a slightly deeper level.
But it's rare to receive a memory-jogging email about a project, buried deep in your memory. A piece of work made many years ago - but one that still maintains an impact on the intended audience.
As you may know, at Sparkly Light we have directed and produced broadcast coverage of a number of weddings - but the one thing they all have in common is they tend to be those of a Royal variety. The thought of filming any other type of wedding does not usually enter our working scope. Not to belittle the work of wedding videographers - a Herculean job I'm sure. I've been to enough weddings and seen enough camera operators running round trying to capture 'the moment' in the hope they can produce a lifelong memory for the happy couple. Talk about stress!
So, when I was asked to involve myself in a wedding many years ago, it was with some trepidation that I made the phone call to find out more. As it turned out, it wasn't the wedding ceremony that needed recording, but a speech to be played in on the day. And this wasn't because the speaker wasn't going to be there. Far from it. The speaker was very much a central figure to the proceedings. But - by their own admittance - they were crippled with nerves ahead of the big day and knew they wouldn't be able to deliver a speech, deserving of the occasion.
Over a number of visits, I sat down and interviewed the subject. Fascinating conversations followed, I was privileged to observe how much tangible love there was within this family unit. Somehow, I had to do justice to this very personal message. After many visits, and multiple versions of the edit, I was eventually able to craft a speech-like piece to camera that got to the crux of what the subject so desperately wanted to say. The film expressed their feelings, their hopes, their subtle words of advice, and the overall extent of their love that they wanted everyone to bear witness to.
Anyway, as I say, that was years and years ago.
So, you can imagine my surprise when I was forwarded a scanned copy of the inside of a Christmas card, where my name was mentioned. A lovely message simply saying how much the speech film had meant to bride, groom, and father too - not just on the big day, but still to this very day.
In our line of work, we always strive to make something that resonates with people, not just in the moment but ideally for years to come - and it is always satisfying when we achieve those goals. From a personal point of view, this ranks as one of my most rewarding of jobs. In some small way I have helped bring a family closer together. And in an age where media content is becoming increasingly frowned upon for being divisive , that's something to hang on to and cherish.