A space for All of Us - In Front of the Camera

I have spent more than two decades behind the camera. As a young child, I wanted to be an actress, a performer and a singer.

I loved being on stage, but quickly found out that, even though I was driven, I was not particularly talented.

When I was fourteen I got lucky. The high school I attended had a public access television station, and I enrolled in a class to learn about video production.

My life changed.

I felt the creative rush of making something that the world could experience without having to be the one in front, performing. I could make decisions, have a voice and lead a project in a new way. I was hooked. I loved all aspects of producing.  I still do.

Later, I went to film school and graduate film school, embarking on the journey of learning how to be a good producer.  In the early days of my career, the voice of a film was really that of the director. The producer’s job was to stand behind the director and the on-camera talent - to be the support and power behind the public representation of a project.

I felt at home in that role, knowing I could make a difference while supporting the people with whom I worked. I could create a safe space for everyone involved with the project.

I could help them find and tell their truths, and share the message of the film.

Interestingly, now, after twenty years of that work, I am faced with a shift in roles, thanks to the launch of Portraits that Move – and this blog, specifically. I’m excited but, frankly, a little nervous to put my own voice out there, my image, and my ideas. It feels weird and unsettling to be in front of the camera instead of behind it, but it is exactly where I need to be.

Why? First, I believe that we should try things that scare us.  The other side of that risk is empowerment. Second, if I am asking people to be in front of the camera and tell their truths, then I need to do the same. This kind of trust, this type of dialogue is what we need for the authenticity and accessibility of Portraits that Move.

Sharing our feelings unites us and makes us feel closer.  A recent conversation with my cousin reinforced that perspective and suggested that this blog be a conduit for connection.  So, in that spirit, I hope that this space will be just that, a place for us to feel closer, to share in joy, and to be in this together.

Thank you in advance for the support and feedback, as I step out from behind the camera.  Looking forward to our continued conversation, and exploration of truth, connection and fearlessness together. 

~ Susannah Ludwig, March 2015

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