Intimacy at the Core of a Story

“Intimacy is the posture of one heart toward another. Intimacy chooses the path of self-disclosure above self-protection, vulnerability above guardedness, unhindered and expressed emotion rather than silenced feeling.”

This quote is from the book A Well-Worn Path: Thirty-One Daily Reflections for the Worshipping Heart by Dan Wilt. His words sparked my imagination and gives reason to why I make pictures – An intimate art form for those who are willing to bare their soul.

I’ve talked to a countless number of directors in my life and found that those who are truly into their craft speak from the depth of their hearts. They have something that ignites within their soul and surfaces when asked about what went into their film.

Last Sunday night I got together with other filmmakers at a friend’s house. Not only was the food great, but our conversation made the time fly by all too fast. Each person spoke from the depth of their heart and shared a vulnerability that gave us a desire to work on a project together. While project timing will determine if that desire is fulfilled, we plan to reconnect in the near future.

When each person shared about their most recent picture, we were bathed in an atmosphere of intimacy and respect. Our levels of experience didn’t matter, as the personal moments shared were endearing and educational. Everyone learned something of value from someone else.

There was no pretense in the room and each person added to the conversation. The only disappointment was how fast the five hours past.

And yes, we watched some footage. What filmmaker can get together with others and not share a few clips? I think it might be impossible, but I’m not sure.

The coolest part of the evening was listening to how each filmmaker poured their heart into their project in a way that it impacted the audience through story. To that end, the filmmaker had to make himself vulnerable, rather than guard his heart. He had to reveal his inner most beliefs instead of protecting his heart. And he had to reveal the emotional thread that runs through his veins in order to bring the story to life.

These same attributes are present in all stories shared around the water cooler at work and at an intimate dinner. Choosing to expose our hearts to others through story is one of the most powerful exchanges a person can make, as it reveals who we are and how we think. Intimacy is at the core of every story.

Copyright © 2014 by CJ Powers

One thought on “Intimacy at the Core of a Story

  1. It make sense why one of the golden rules of writing is to “write what you know”. If you didn’t, it would be impossible to be vulnerable and reveal one’s innermost beliefs about an area in which you really had no experience about how your characters might respond in a given situation.

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