: Bob Gillen's Blog
: The Magic of Storytelling in Film
Writer/director/producer Shawna Baca is a self-taught filmmaker, with experience in short films, spec commercials, and webisode development. She leveraged that experience into wider exposure and success, ultimately putting together her own production company.
BECOMING A STORYTELLER
We asked Baca what an emerging writer needs in order to become an effective storyteller. “When I became a filmmaker,” Baca says, “I considered myself as a storyteller, not necessarily a writer. Even though I wrote my own material, what I gravitated to more than the material was the intention or purpose of the story and how we were all emotionally influenced by that story. I didn’t go to school for screenwriting but what I was good at was strumming up the creative imagination to sit around, make up stories in front of small audiences, mostly family and friends, that would engage and hook them in.”
Baca’s appreciation for storytelling has deep roots. “I was raised by my Yaqui/Apache grandmother for the first four years of my life before going to live with my mother. Storytelling was always an important way for me to learn about our history, or things going on in the world around me. I used to love sitting around waiting for my mother or grandmother to tell me a great story. It always whisked my imagination to a wonderful place of make believe and that place is where I felt emotionally invested, fulfilled, happy or aware.
“Since I am a filmmaker I consider the overall process as a way of creating magic to make your story come to life. I believe that my grandmother’s early influence helped me shape my life. I had no idea that I was so culturally downloaded with her indigenous richness, which later my mother helped solidify.”
For Baca, “… writing a good story is key but then knowing how to make that story breathe life is the magical part that makes each filmmaker unique in his or her own right. You can give ten filmmakers the same script and I guarantee you they will all have their own artistic value and uniqueness. No two films will be exactly alike when you add in color palettes, tones, editing, score, etc.”READ MORE...