This film is about my life-long journey in realizing and pursuing my passion for nature and wildlife filmmaking. The goal of the film is to encourage the viewer to discover something in life that they love doing or experiencing and spend their life engaged in whatever that may be as often as possible. I take the viewer through significant periods of my life. Some focus on my attempts to form a connection with my dad after his passing. Others focus on me taking steps towards and experiencing my dream. In doing so, I discover my father and I share the same passion for nature and wildlife, while choosing to experience it in two different ways.
Name: John Mastriano
Project Working Title: FRUITION
Project website (if you have one): https://johnmastriano.com/in-development
1. Personal philosophy that inspired the making of this film (150 words maximum):
I love watching inspiring nonfiction and fiction films. I want to create a non-fiction film that inspires others to see the joy and excitement in pursuing something they love, regardless of whether or not they achieve their ultimate goal. I want to encourage people to attempt to see joy in the journey.
The film explores my convictions by showing (here briefly write your film’s premise)
The premise of the film is my journey of discovery in realizing my passion and then spending my life pursuing that passion.
Discuss how you see this work in relationship to a larger creative landscape. What are some works that have had an impact on how you approach your work?
This film will be an inspirational, non-fiction, nature and wildlife, auto-biographical piece. Some works or artists that have had an impact on how I approach my work are several wildlife filmmakers including Bob Poole, Steve Winter, Joel Sartore, Jamie McPherson, and Sophie Darlington.
I really appreciate the films created by Gnarly Bay, a Rhode Island based video production company. Over the last few years, I have watched several short length non-fiction pieces they have created. They are tremendous story tellers whose films can be watched over and over again while noticing or experiencing something new each time.
Another film that has had an impact on how I will be approaching this film is Without A Scratch by Samantha Farinella. I really enjoyed the various techniques she used in telling her story, especially the mechanics working on cars to help illustrate a medical operation.
How is your project structured? Narratively, associatively by ideas, or by argument, Explain:
The project will be narratively structured. As of now, the film will start by referencing the short amount of time I had with my father. I will then offer some information related to who he was and what he loved to do. I will then move onto how I tried to stay connected to him after he passed away. This leads us to how I realized my passion for nature and wildlife. I will then describe my journey, so far, in attempting to achieve my goal.
What is at stake in your film for the audience?
The stake in the film for the audience is whether or not pursuing their passion is worth doing, especially if there is very little or even no chance of achieving their goal. In addition to what is at stake is the threat of missing out on experiencing and pursuing something that adds happiness to someone’s life.
6. Target audience
Who is your main audience for this film? Are there other audiences?
The target audience for this film is anyone searching to find purpose in loss, feeling lost or unmotivated in their own life, or someone looking to be inspired. A goal of mine for this film is for people of all ages to be able to get something out of this film. There might be footage of a klan of hyena’s hunting and killing a buffalo calf and a cheetah feeding on a gazelle carcass. This might make this film not quite appropriate for young children.
7. Goals & Impact:
What is your primary goal in terms of how you would like this audience to be impacted by your film? How do you want viewers to think? Feel?
I will start by saying what I do NOT want and that is for viewers to walk away feeling sadness and only sadness. Loss will play a major role in this film and sadness might be an emotion felt by some viewers, but I want them to feel other emotions too.
That being said, I would like the audience to feel inspired. I also want them to feel one step closer to being at peace if they have suffered the loss of a loved one. I want anyone who might feel like they are drifting aimlessly through life to get up, get out, and find something that brings them genuine joy, without worrying if they are good at it or not and without money being the primary motivator.
Are there other goals or themes that are important to convey?
An additional, equally important, goal of the film is to have the viewer walk away with a fresh or increased appreciation for wildlife and the natural world. I want the viewer to feel motivated to travel and experience nature in real life and not just through a monitor.
9. Project Status
What stage of production are you at? How much have you filmed and/or edited?
I have been filming (unknowingly in most cases) for this project over the past several years. I shot a large percentage of the footage during a trip to Kenya with my wife back in December. There will also be some very old family video footage included as well as footage from other opportunities I have had to experience nature and wildlife.
I am very early into my first rough cut. Seeing the story come together on a timeline has given me some shot ideas I would like to capture to help clearly move the story along.
10. Goals for this semester:
What do you hope to accomplish in this Advanced Studio? Please be as specific as possible.
One of the primary goals I want to accomplish in Advanced Studio is to firm up the organization and story structure of my film. I want to lay down a solid foundation for the film that I will continue to build on throughout my time in the program. I also want to experience receiving feedback from colleagues on a sensitive piece of work that I am personally very attached to. I want to step out of my comfort zone and develop experimental techniques in storytelling.
11. Strengths and Challenges
My strengths and challenges on this project are:
This film will be an inspirational, non-fiction, nature and wildlife, auto-biographical piece.Some works or artists that have had an impact on how I approach my work are several wildlife filmmakers including Bob Poole, Steve Winter, Joel Sartore, Jamie McPherson, and Sophie Darlington.re not close to the story might recommend. Incorporating feedback from colleagues on a story that is so personal will be challenging. There is no one in the world who can tell this specific story better than I can which is an obvious strength.