Dec 17 2010

Returning to Film – a Love Rediscovered

Published by at 01:06 under Articles,English

SOURCE: http://www.mymosaik.lu
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” For some, the answer comes when we’re very young. For others the answer comes like fine wine…slowly aged, carefully decanted and thoroughly enjoyed. Such is the case with Ginger Montreal who, at age 49, discovered her true passion in documentary film making.

“I used to go to Lebanon every year as a child, “Montreal said. “I took a camera everywhere I went,” Each year she took more photos, changed to video and ended up with a decade’s worth of imagery. It could have been a great start to a career in film for Montreal but she set the film on a shelf and forgot about it. “I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do,” she said.

As a young woman she met a recording engineer in London who was working on an album for Stevie Wonder. “I was determined to do the same thing,” said Montreal, who is also a singer/songwriter. “When I told my mother I wanted to be a recording engineer she laughed and said I could never master the technology.” It was that very small admonishment – one sentence really – that set her on a safe (but not very artistic) path toward marketing and communications. “Who cares what their mother says?” Montreal said with a laugh. “But I spent years staying away from everything technical.”

That began to change in 2001, when she took a job as a video producer for a documentary filmmaker she met in San Francisco. While producing, she realised how much she loved film and it reignited her passion. “I finally realised that the woman I was working with liked to spend more time talking about films than actually creating them,” Montreal said. She quit. And despite what her mother had said years earlier, she bought a digital video camera, some sophisticated editing software and set off to make her first film, learning the technology as she went.

Click here to view Ciné A La Crème, a short film by Ginger Montreal.

Montreal is currently winding up production on a documentary about a Jewish woman who sets off for Germany to find the graves of her grandparents who died during the war. During her journey the woman falls in love. “It’s called the Lady With No Tears,” said Montreal.

Shooting documentaries is not only difficult, it’s largely a labour of love, Montreal said. “I live for my art, but I can’t live from my art,” she explained. To make a living, Montreal takes on commercial video work and also manages an artist agency. Even Montreal’s commercial work is beautifully filmed and reveals “story” in very subtle ways. Take, for example, Discover Luxembourg (see below). Instead of shooting a film filled with trite phrases and overused visuals, as is so often the case with tourist films, Montreal discovers the essence of Luxembourg through its people, it’s heritage and it’s visual appeal. Though not a single word is spoken in the film, you understand that, one day, you have to go see that magic place.
As for all those coming-of-age photos and videos from her childhood visits to Lebanon? “I plan to make a film from them one day Montreal said.” Let’s hope so. It would be a shame to leave them on a shelf.

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SOURCE: http://www.mymosaik.lu
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” For some, the answer comes when we’re very young. For others the answer comes like fine wine…slowly aged, carefully decanted and thoroughly enjoyed. Such is the case with Ginger Montreal who, at age 49, discovered her true passion in documentary film making.

“I used to go to Lebanon every year as a child, “Montreal said. “I took a camera everywhere I went,” Each year she took more photos, changed to video and ended up with a decade’s worth of imagery. It could have been a great start to a career in film for Montreal but she set the film on a shelf and forgot about it. “I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do,” she said.

As a young woman she met a recording engineer in London who was working on an album for Stevie Wonder. “I was determined to do the same thing,” said Montreal, who is also a singer/songwriter. “When I told my mother I wanted to be a recording engineer she laughed and said I could never master the technology.” It was that very small admonishment – one sentence really – that set her on a safe (but not very artistic) path toward marketing and communications. “Who cares what their mother says?” Montreal said with a laugh. “But I spent years staying away from everything technical.”

That began to change in 2001, when she took a job as a video producer for a documentary filmmaker she met in San Francisco. While producing, she realised how much she loved film and it reignited her passion. “I finally realised that the woman I was working with liked to spend more time talking about films than actually creating them,” Montreal said. She quit. And despite what her mother had said years earlier, she bought a digital video camera, some sophisticated editing software and set off to make her first film, learning the technology as she went.

Click here to view Ciné A La Crème, a short film by Ginger Montreal.

Montreal is currently winding up production on a documentary about a Jewish woman who sets off for Germany to find the graves of her grandparents who died during the war. During her journey the woman falls in love. “It’s called the Lady With No Tears,” said Montreal.

Shooting documentaries is not only difficult, it’s largely a labour of love, Montreal said. “I live for my art, but I can’t live from my art,” she explained. To make a living, Montreal takes on commercial video work and also manages an artist agency. Even Montreal’s commercial work is beautifully filmed and reveals “story” in very subtle ways. Take, for example, Discover Luxembourg (see below). Instead of shooting a film filled with trite phrases and overused visuals, as is so often the case with tourist films, Montreal discovers the essence of Luxembourg through its people, it’s heritage and it’s visual appeal. Though not a single word is spoken in the film, you understand that, one day, you have to go see that magic place.
As for all those coming-of-age photos and videos from her childhood visits to Lebanon? “I plan to make a film from them one day Montreal said.” Let’s hope so. It would be a shame to leave them on a shelf.

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