In today’s ‘The Power of the Image’ post, we asked Lauren Panrucker, the chair of the APVP, to share how she became involved with videography, how she finds inspiration and the images that have transformed how she sees the world.
What are your first memories of wanting to be a videographer?
I actually studied performing arts before I got into film. I graduated and went to so many auditions unsuccessfully. Finally, I got a job on a film school short and when I saw the final product I was just blown away by the quality. I thought to myself “If I can learn to make stuff this good, I could make my own films and star in them!”
A few month later, I enrolled in Griffith Film School and by the end of my second year I was turning down acting roles so that I could be behind the camera; I completely caught the bug, it was all I could think about! I don’t act anymore. I am just so happy creating film and photography projects. I have really found my calling.
What motivates or inspires your videography?
Emotion and beauty without a doubt. If it gives you goosebumps and you can’t look away because it’s so pretty, it’s my jam. I love finding that perfect angle or perfect shadow, and when I get into the edit suite I am completely motivated by the emotion of the clip, how it tells the story. I say to the students I teach: if the camera work is strong, the edit should write itself. It’s like a puzzle and you are the one that gets to find the pieces that fit together perfectly to form the completed work.
How do you maintain your motivation / inspiration / creative impulse?
Usually, it’s something I stumble across: an article, a new commercial, or a piece at an awards ceremony and it’s just clicks with me. I will watch it over and over, enjoying the moments and finding all the tiny nuances. Then I try and focus on why it worked. My husband jokes that I watch the ads more than the shows on TV, and I would have to say that he is right! When done right, they are like tiny, fleeting, lovely pieces of art.
One of my recent favourites is the McDonalds TVC where the young woman buys the icecream with a pickle to tell her mother that she’s pregnant. It creates a feeling that stays with you, one you remember when you pass the store. That’s good advertising. My other recent favourite is the new Officeworks commercial where the little girl gives her uncle a unicorn pencil case. That one kept me guessing what the message would be and it was so sweet and unexpected!
Is there a division or interrelation between your personal videography and your videography business?
I actually make very little personal content. When we go on holidays with family or friends, they know that if they want a pic, they will have to take it themselves. I can go an entire trip without taking my phone out of my bag and I will almost never take my camera with me. When I am in work mode I am a perfectionist and I can’t break that, so if I start taking photos on a holiday I get really obsessive and start getting distracted; instead of looking at a view I will be thinking about lighting, or how the other side of the mountain would make a better shot. Aside from dorky selfies with mates, I would say my content creation is almost exclusively business so that I enjoy my time away or time off.
Can videography change the world and the lives of others? If so, how do you seek for your videography to do this?
Absolutely! Look at Sir David Attenborough, or the creators of Blood Diamond… or simply ask anyone what their favourite film is and why. Films can inform and can educate (and sometimes this power is used for good and sometimes it’s not). As kids, many of us learn how to deal with bullies from TV. While your parents can tell you what to do, you’re much more likely to follow the actions of your favourite character on TV. Images can change us on a tiny scale or they can show us the world in a whole new light.
[Our company] Tide has a really strong passion for the environment. We try to work with companies that share our values and we make sure our content communicates the values that we believe in.
Is there an image, video, or film that has changed you or affected you?
I honestly couldn’t list them all without taking up the rest of this article! I am affected by so many beautiful images: from the stunning covers of Vogue, to the well-taken journalistic photo that teaches me something about the world, to all the films I love. My number one could possibly be the 1998 film Run Lola Run; I remember that being a moment for me when I really focused in on the impact your decisions can have on your life. I think that film is probably the reason I made a few of my smartest life choices. That, and my mother always telling me “actions reap consequences!”