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  • Writer's pictureAmos Giles

Treasure Hunt

I'm sitting in front of a young kid. It’s almost his bar mitzvah. He’s already a little man. And he wants to make a movie. I'm decades older than him, and yet I'm supposed to help him think of a story. What will be in his film? How will he express himself in the way only he can? Perhaps it’s way too pretentious of me to make such a promise. He's just another Bar Mitzvah kid, after all. But in fact, he isn’t really. There is no template for kids. That’s what I promised. No predetermined video template.

But having no generic standard of what and how the film will be is a real challenge for me. I need to enter the mind of an almost-13-year-old. I also have a child that age. I’ve had a few. This isn’t even the first film I make with a bar or bat mitzvah bot or girl. But still…

At the end of the first session no ideas seem to come to mind. The poor guy’s imagination is stuck. He’s overwhelmed and does not understand how this process works. Nevertheless, I assure him it will be ok. Not to worry. But, every once in a while, I really do not know. Will it really be okay? Will we be able to find out what his story is? Maybe he's not special after all. Maybe he’s just another kid like everybody else.

At out next meeting we dig and dive. We stimulate the creative nerves. Ideas start starting popping up. Some are insane and will require a Hollywood production, no less. But that’s ok. Must not limit the flow. The main thing is to let the imagine fly. It is much easier to work with a surplus of ideas than a shortage.

There's hope. I'm give him a task. Homework for him and his family. They are also part of this. Despite their shyness, they do not realize how important it is that they be present, on screen or behind the scenes. We will get to see them through his eyes. We will discover his personality and his perspective that more often than not has never been given the opportunity for self-expression. So, now I calm down a bit. There is a vision and at our next meeting we will have material for the script.

Third and final meeting. The celebration date is approaching and a filming day needs to be planned. Wonder of wonders! Something evolves as if by itself. Something new has been woven into this special boy’s original script.

Sometimes it seems to me that these films create themselves ex-nihilo - out of nothing. But this isn’t the case, of course. It takes patience and work. I need to give the kid space to discover. I need him or her to know that I believe in them and am convinced that they have a story to tell that is worth celebrating on screen. We start filming. It's fun to go on an adventure. Take a shot from this angle and then another one from another angle. Scene after scene. Take after take. The participants don’t see how everything connects. It all seems disjointed. But I’ve understood who this kid is and I see what they are yet to discover - how to weave together his personality into a movie.

And a film is born! It truly is my privilege, time after time, to accompany another unique kid on this journey.

Mazal Tov. This week I finished another movie and it is awesome!

Not everyone feels comfortable exposing their creations on the web. But those who do are on my website. You are welcome to enter and browse. You may even want such a process for your upcoming family event.

You’re welcome to phone. I would love to venture forth with you into the unknown.

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