It’s all about where you choose to shine the light.

Anybody who’s ever been tangentially associated with a film knows this to be true. The difference between a good film and a great film sometimes can be just about where the director chooses to shine the light. Pretty much every film from Quentin Tarantino (an East Tennessee native like myself) has a few scenes with a spotlight from above during key moments. Given the time some of these films were set in… all this light should seem odd, but we don’t notice. The art of lighting is the delicate balance between the obvious and the vague. Tarantino is its master.

In life, we are our own directors, able to choose to shine the light on the many times in life that the darkness invades our environment. I’m Sarah Chapman, and I go by a lot of titles, wife, mom, teacher, friend and daughter to name a few. At S.D. Professionals, LLC I am the Senior Creative Director and during the stay-at-home order I took on a few new titles including actress and fairy light designer. I hope you enjoy our “Small Moments” and take time to create some of your own.

A Note from Sarah Chapman

The quarantine, lockdown, stay-at-home life is hard on everybody, but for a creative family like mine, the endless days inside with no creative outlets…work, school, a film set…can be torture. But like the proverbial and literal director my husband is in his real life, he chose to use his bright light of creativity to join a collective effort amongst his friends. The Lockdown film fest… A few selected friends, all in the filmmaking business, would use this time at home to finally get to that passion project that always took a back seat to the projects that paid the mortgage.

I, for one, was thrilled at the idea. Primarily because it gave my, “itchin to get out and shoot again” husband, a project to work on. Secondly, it kept my daughters, who are normally in school, busy and allowed me to work. For me, it was the chance to show off a different perspective on my creative side. A side way out of my comfort zone.

Somewhat ironically, lockdown time has been one of the busiest times of my professional career. I am a graphic artist by trade and a creative director by title…lately I have been cranking out closed for business graphics for so many clients who are unfortunately being devastated by this crisis. My mind and soul needed a break from this madness and this film fest would turn out to be just the cure I needed.

We all had ideas on what to film. Our daughter Olivia wanted to do a horror film. And trust me…some of her ideas were pretty shocking coming from a 6-year-old. After lockdown, a few rounds of therapy might be in order.

For us, not Olivia.

We graciously listened to her ideas but in the end we got her buy-in to do a film her daddy had envisioned and now had the time and the platform to get it out in the world.

The idea he had swirling around in his head was “Small Moments” – A film about a little girl anxiously but industriously waiting for her mom to come home from (presumably) a business trip. The film uses light masterfully to convey such deep emotions about loss and love, anxiety and hope.

The Takeaway

It was especially important to our little production unit that one would walk away from this film with a light emanating from their very core. Seeing our collective work come together like this was exhilarating. Sharing it with the world and knowing they felt the same way…incredible. We won the Lockdown Film fest and while winning wasn’t the goal for us – it was the creative opportunity – we were thrilled that people got the message.

To me this film was the perfect analogy to what we are all feeling right now…waiting for this, this …thing…this awful, sad, evil thing…to end. And somehow knowing it will but not really sure when…but when it does and we can once again fall into the not so routine anymore ..hugs and kisses …of a loved one…and that the light of a million souls…who have helped us get back to a new normal…will continue to shine.

Those who know me well know that for a cook I am a really good graphic artist. I could blame it on this season of my life while my kids are little and I typically default to my famous buttered noodles. But let’s be honest, my talents are best displayed outside the kitchen. So with that in mind, I wanted to share a different kind of recipe…the recipe for this film. Remember to add a few heaping teaspoons of love.

“Small Moments” Award Winning Recipe – (takes a full week to prepare)

  • BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
  • BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
  • BEST DIRECTOR
  • BEST ACTRESS (Olivia Chapman!)
  • BEST FILM

Ingredients

  • Adam Chapman – Film Maker
  • Sarah Chapman – Actress and Fairy light designer
  • Olivia Chapman – Lead Actress
  • Ava Chapman – Gaffer
  • Red Gemini Camera
  • 50k watt Lighting
  • Fake Rain
  • Fairy Lights
  • Ipad
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush
  • A dozen reams of paper (for origami birds)
  • Fog machine
  • Patience

Directions

Monday

  • Have all freelance gigs cancelled
  • Create Storyboard
  • Practice washing hands

Tuesday

  • Learn origami
  • Practice making origami birds

Wednesday

  • Shoot bedroom scenes
  • Have Olivia change outfits a half dozen times
  • Make origami birds during lunchtime

Thursday

  • Shoot all scenes involving mom
  • Olivia’s opening rain scene
  • Make yet more origami birds during lunchtime.
  • Decorate bedroom for big reunion scene

Friday

  • Record audio during my lunchtime
  • Edit everything together
  • Submit

Saturday

  • Convert the studio back to house

Sunday

  • Wait for the winners to be announced

Notes

There is no one way to make this recipe. Just allow that things will change constantly, new ideas on how to make it better will come and go…and that in the end…it was all about the journey.

Sarah Chapman, S.D. Professionals Senior Creative Director 

With over 10 years of experience in graphic design, Sarah Chapman has built an incomparable skill set, fluent in multimedia design. She is also an accomplished artist favoring watercolor and mixed media paintings. Sarah masterfully pairs her passion for art with her keen sense of strategic planning to ensure each design connects with the intended audience.

Sarah’s husband, Adam, is a Film Director specializing in faith-based productions. The couple’s growing family includes two very spirited daughters who share their parent’s creative genes plus two cats and a pair of clumsy but sweet golden retrievers.

S.D. Professionals, LLC - Bringing Life To Imagination