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Storyteller Spotlight - Natalie Rosella

Natalie Rosella

 Natalie was the recent winner of our Create Your Reality, short film contest. She was given top honors in competitive field. Remarkably, Natalie got her start only three short years ago, but in that short amount of time she has developed a clear voice and unique style. 

How did you get into filmmaking?

I started playing with video on my phone about three years ago. It started when a friend of mine shared a tiny clip of himself that he recorded from his drone. My mind was blown at the idea that normal people like me could get our hands on a camera that could fly. I googled drones and was introduced to this entire world of filmmaking, lighting, cameras and tutorials. I got the drone, and about a year later, I bought my first camera, a mirrorless photo-video hybrid, and it all kind of snow-balled from there. The more photos I took; the more videos I made, the more hungry I became to learn, improve and figure out what makes a viewer feel something. I feel like I’m still in that transition period where I need to create more and make more mistakes before confidently identifying as a filmmaker. I’m almost there.  

What's your favorite Part of the Creative process?

The music! I mean, there’s so much of the process I love. The conceptualising, and playing with mood through lighting, sound and colour. But I think what I love the most is also what drives me most mad – it’s the music. If I have an idea first, I can go a little nuts looking for the perfect tracks, especially when there’s an abundance of great music out there to license. I spend a significant amount of my time curating and cataloging music, and there are times when you hear a track, and you can visualise the story immediately! I love that. But I think overall, developing a narrative that makes the viewer feel something, whether it be with the music, the sound design, the ambiance of the visuals or a combination of it all, that is my favourite part – evoking emotion. I just happen to feel it’s the music that drives most of that.

In addition to video, I spend a lot of my time taking and editing photos and I find I am still doing a bit of it all in terms of photo genre. But regardless of genre, I find the most satisfying part of that creative process is finding and loving the flaws in the frame – and accentuating them. Some rust or some spider web dangling off a flower or a piece of decay. When you pay attention to these little ugly things, you might just see that they are beautiful.

You were the winner of the Create Your Reality Short Film Contest (entry above). Tell us a little about how you came up with that concept? 

The concept was driven by the theme of the contest – Hope. The interesting thing about this short is that when I think of themes, I like to think of ways to have viewers feel the theme, rather than tell them what the theme is. But with this one, I went straight-on literal with the theme through the narration. The narration and title literally tell the viewer that this is a short about Hope. To compensate for this, we edited the audio to sound like a phone call, or a walkie-talkie conversation to call nostalgia. I think of hope as a future-driven emotion. And when I think of the stars and aliens and other worlds, I don’t think of the past or the present – I think in terms of what we might find or experience in the future. So, through that thought process, I was able to commit to the idea of making this a sci-fi, visually. But I also didn’t want the strong over-the-top colour and deep shadows to detract from the message, which is where the walkie-talkie audio and music helped immensely. The track we licensed was also just fitting, as it really sounded like a sci-fi track and it called for hope and inspiration. And to round it off, we added some astronaut sounds deep in the background. Though I suspect a lot of viewers didn’t hear the astronauts, I hoped that the sound of muffled astronauts talking to Houston would provide a sense of support and being not-alone.

What's next? what are you excited about?

I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. I’m going to keep learning, keep making videos, keep taking photos, keep sharing tutorials, thoughts and ideas as I gain more and more experience. The plan is to keep pushing my own boundaries and make as many lighting, audio, visual and conceptual mistakes as possible now. So that in the next year I will have gotten all those rookie errors out of the way, and I can focus on bigger projects by 2022. I’m excited for it all.