Storytelling has become a lost art. Since the dawn of civilization, mankind has used and relied on storytelling for a variety of reasons. Not only was storytelling a means to carry forward knowledge to the next generation, but it also formed their entertainment, as there was no Netflix, TV, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
The writing, editing, and video work of this 30 minute documentary, Untold Story, Return to Tra Vinh, was the most challenging project I have ever undertaken. It began solely as a volunteer project. The video editing in my home studio took 2 months. There were times I didn’t think I would finish. Not only were my tools becoming a barrier, but the emotional impact was draining at times. But I knew I had to finish if only for 1 reason – to bring a most life changing experience to fruition by telling my story.
Closing commentary for my video documentary – “Untold Story – Return to Tra Vinh” – Aug 2015 – the coconut chopping in the background may have drowned out my commentary in spots, but this is the risk with live on-location video shoots – behind me is the family kitchen & food prep area just behind their straw walled & dirt floor house – but very clean & tidy all around – it’s all the shelter they need – but a corrugated steel roof to keep the heavy rains out of their house – #tdktalks #vietnam #nojfoundation #cerebralpalsy
When I took a break of a day or 2, I couldn’t just resume where I left off. Many days it would take me atleast an hour of reviewing clips just to get into the right frame of mind. Sometimes all I did was watch my extensive library of clips from that 2 year period and relive the moment. It was very much like John Steinbeck, beginning his writing day by sharpening a handful of pencils, then test writing on the left side page of his notebook, (gifted to him as an aid by his editor), while the right side page was reserved for his actual writing, becoming his many classics we know today.
This 30 minute documentary began with a very simple question. It spawned 2 volunteer missions, as videographer, 18 months apart, in Vietnam with a childrens charity, a number of speech presentations and articles.
. . . the opening monologue . . .
“I knew a long time ago that, I would like to do volunteer work . . . to help others . . . the disadvantaged perhaps . . . something . . . involving . . . children. I couldn’t see more than that . . . . .