I have always had a fascination with the history within the four walls of my dad’s garage. I remember spending late nights with him working on snowmobiles and other things as well. I didn’t spend as much time as my brother did but still hold memories in this space. As I’ve grown older, I’ve also grown much closer to my dad (although always having a good relationship) — the relationshop is now soo much stronger. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I have finally grasped the importance of family. I am on the road a lot but when I am home, I spend as much time with my parents as I can. We are lucky and have a cabin where we all come together — a common place we all enjoy. Family is extremely important and it is my goal to share this with others.
When I approached the film, I was initially going to craft the story around a voice over but after assembling the piece, felt it was stronger without it. When approaching this project, I sat down with my dad and got him to walk through the objects in the garage and comment on the items that held a special place in his heart. Following this, I worked with my mom to help craft the script as I knew she would also be able to bring a strong message to the piece. Below is both the brainstorm session I had with my dad as well as the script that the three of us drafted up together. I will make note of when each of the lines were to appear on screen as each image were crafted specifically around the text.
Crafting a Story Through Art Direction
There are a variety of ways in which a story can be developed. For this video, I wanted to use art direction to help craft the story. To do this, I first determined the story I wanted to tell. In it’s simplest form, the concept I wanted to explore was founded from the saying ‘if these walls could talk’. I wanted to explore a space that told it’s own story through the items that existed in the space.
When I approached this film, the first thing I did was sit down with my dad — whose space I was to explore. I walked him through the items in the space, getting him to talk about the different memories that he has had based around these specific items. I crafted a full list of these items and then started to write a script based upon my personal experience when I walk into the space. By talking both the list I created with my dad and the script I put together, I was able to determine which items in the space best represented the story I wanted to tell.
There is nothing like walking into a space that you KNOW is full of memories,
That sense of joy that you know was once experienced,
The conversations that will remain within the confines of these four walls —
Late night pipe-dreams rarely seeing the light of day.
A place where craftsmanship comes in many forms.
This craftsmanship passed down though generations.
Enveloping a rich history of memories.
Memories from a forgotten past preserved as relics,
Encased in a complex system of interconnected elements.
Each relic holding a familiar memory, remaining untouched until a younger generation,
Memories evolving and maturing over time,
But knowing these memories will remain untouched.
Brainstorm Session – Organized Chaos
The excerpt below is the notes I made when talking with my dad about both the contents in the garage/workshop as well as the memories he had in the space.
- Memories evolving and maturing over time, SHOT: Beer bottles – stubby nose to the long nose – remember what he had been drinking out of for years — once you change you don’t go back — remember when parents had stubby and now both parents are long gone — took so many years to change the bottles — Great West just starting out thought he would keep a few to keep both memories alive.
- SHOTS: Clock from an auction — Furniture store clearing out — bought a bunch of furniture legs, brackets, screws and the clock was in with the stuff.
- Items passed down — tap and die set — was given to dad before grandpa passed away — inside has grandpa’s writing on the box — tickle trunk had the tap and die set — dad said to grandpa he wanted it — passing down from generation to generation — means so much to dad — prized possession.
- Merging objects from past and present — gardening tools.
- Wood sigh — stripping bark — bought at auction — something he always wanted to do.
- Welder — got from uncle Myron — was from uncle’s father — uncle gave to dad to use — got it working and then uncle asked for it back — took it back and gave dad another welder — other one was way better than new one.
- Air compressor – Friend Wade going through divorce — had to get rid of equipment – had air compressor — he said 2, dad asked 2000 — no 200
- Pulled a motor out of a vehicle.
- Paint cans – dad wanted to paint a portrait on wall at lake.
- Garage has given lots of satisfaction.
- Would call up buddy’s would come over and have tun of fun — ton of laughs and actually accomplish something.
- Would fix stuff that would actually work.
- Had to be gear head — have three guys working together and would come up with best solution.
- If only the garage could talk…
- Green staked shelf — western automotive (last automotive job) closing and dad asked if he could purchase.
- Vehicle stereos changing but keeping old ones.
- Motor – by the fan — snowmobile engine — was gonna put in snowmobile but sold sled first.
- Socket set area — wanted something that was accessible.
- Cabinet with three drawers from meat locker in Wadena — got from his dad — his dad purchased a lot of them but dad took three.
- The benches my dad built – guy worked with furnace company and that’s how they shipped stuff — he saved it and dad got for next to nothing — hardware from before (above) was used for the bench — cost nails and screws.
- Steel in the corner – come from parts building at lake – taking bed frames apart – projects.
- Door – probably 15 years of calendars on the door.
- SHOT: Holder for screw drivers – hand made.
- Vice – had originally a small dinky one but next door neighbour rented garage out and guy had a lot of stuff and had vice – dad asked what he wanted for vice and he said $25.
- Tin on benches- from inland steel – people were chucking it.
- Screw cabinets – were the very first thing he bought for the garage – at first had nothing to put in them — didn’t take long and now they are over full.
- Anytime someone throws out, he keeps.
- Manuals in cabinet — went to auction bought one manual for his truck — many manuals from his dad – some from western automotive, some he bought.
- Scroll saw – loonie banks design — was using jig saw — scroll saw was easier – made a whole bunch of banks first to pay for scroll saw – jig saw broke and had to braze to fix – did fix.
- Built the nice cabinet for prized possessions – tap and die was inspiration – welding stuff in there – special things in cabinet – wood working tools in cabinet — most valuable stuff.
- Pigeon holes for hardware from auction.
- Blue step stool – VERY IMPORTANT – dad’s dad made that stool – dad uses all the time – well built – more memories – he remembers him building it – remembers him painting it baby blue.
Shot using the Kessler K-Pod System & Hercules Head.
Equipment provided by Eric Kessler.
Special Thanks to Wayne & Diane Kanak.