Spreading the Good News – The Yoga of Videography in Assisi

As a new milestone this year, there was a video crew on hand to document the week.  Jennifer Szymaszek and her assistant, Erin Dean, were up and down and in and out every place possible in Assisi.  The were up before dawn to capture sunrise.  They stayed out late to capture sunset.  They carried backpacks and cameras as the scurried around the group to try to capture a moment, and they did it with such grace that there presence usually went unnoticed until they interacted with us again.  They became like flies on the wall, so I am really interested to see what they have captured.

Jen and Erin doing what they did a lot – waiting. in this case, they wanted to capture the group coming down the street with a guide. We just didn’t know when the group would arrive.

Jennifer is a film maker and has worked as a photojournalist (see some of her work here).  We spoke before the retreat about the general idea, but she took saw what was happening once she arrived and started working her magic.   It was a joy to see her create and work on something she is obviously so passionate about.

Both women are also Yoga teachers (an obvious connection), so not only could they appreciate the work required to technically capture the story, they respected and supported the work we were all doing there in a way that made their videography blend in to the experience completely.  Plus, they were thoughtful enough to give us a heads up if we were about to walk around the corner and find ourselves walking toward a camera – “just ignore the camera.”  For those of us who aren’t performers, it was good to get that reminder because it is unusual to be filmed until you learn to ignore the camera.

Erin carried the cross for the group.  In that she, literally was carrying a huge burden everyday.  Usually, she was jogging around with a backpack on either side plus sometimes lugging a camera was well.  I have never seen Erin practice Asana, but I have seen that she must be very good at Tadasana.  She is very stable.

They went all over the place to get a good shot

They joined us for breakfast and sometimes lunch, but they were in and out to capture images around town that will help tell the story.  Jennifer interviewed Mirka and a few people from the group so they were very much part of the group and also separate from it.

Creating the story through interviews

Until the last evening, Jen and Erin were observers.  After everyone in our closing circle had shared, Mirka invited them to leave the cameras join us and share there insights from the week.  It sounds like they moved right along with us in a lot of our experiences and even gained some insights on themselves from watching us.

Jennifer, about to step into the closing circle

After a very hard week, Jen and Erin joined us all for dinner, and, after a few shots, put down the cameras for a well-earned meal. I am really looking forward to the final product (or products) that manifest out the hours and hours of footage they made.  I will be certain to share it on the blog in the future so everyone can enjoy it!


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