“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. It has to be passed on through the throes of time to have a significantly positive impact.”
It started from something like this:
“What should we do for our Christmas video this year?”
“I don’t really know yet, but I know I kind of want us to do a short film of sorts.”
“Okay cool, but what’s the story going to be about?”
And so, began the quest for a Christmas-related story. Yet, what started off as a simple story of a kid not getting what he wished for; packaged in a light-hearted format, soon became something we unanimously felt was missing a certain ‘Chemical X’.
Thus, in this search of meaning and purpose, we asked ourselves:
“What has the Christmas of today become?”
Truth be told, the façade of Christmas being a time where families gather and spend heartfelt time together – is merely that, a façade in this new era. We believe Christmas festivities have become a time of expectations. Where families expect a roasted turkey dinner paired with eggnog, where friends expect a vibrantly lit Spruce or Pine tree to be sitting next to the fireplace, where children expect not only a present, but a ‘good-enough’ present.
With that, we realised that there was only one thing left to do: research and revisit the whole concept of Christmas. And on Day 0 of this operation, we came to a consensus – that Christmas heavily entails the spirit of gratitude.To us, Christmas is not just about spending quality time and gathering with our treasured ones, but also a time to genuinely showcase our mutual love, care and appreciation. A time of festivities that wrap up the year, of gratitude – being thankful for what we have, and appreciating what we’re given, forever and always. Yet, Christmas ignites a feeling like no other festivity in the world – it puts smiles across people’s faces whilst they queue up to buy presents for their loved ones, it motivates us to open our doors to others to enjoy the warmth and glow of family and feast, it teaches us to be grateful for whatever we receive from such bouts of kindness, and to create the best moments out of what has been handed to us generously, spreading it on even further. To give freely and lovingly, without a slice of the Reward Pie. To grant purely and conscientiously – not because we have to, but because we genuinely want to. And the same applies on the other end of the spectrum. Gratitude also lies within the receiving end. To be appreciative and thankful for whatever we receive and make the best out of it – because the value of an item lies not in the item itself, but the wondrous moments that entail that item.
And just like that, like a thief in the night, before we realised it, Production was there, knocking on our doors at 6:00am in the morning on a Saturday. We must say, everyone seemed as fired up as they were anxious upon first take. It was almost like you could hear a pin drop across the globe during our first take, with the exception of setting up and character dialogues. And just as quickly as it came, soon enough we were at our final location – and time was not on our side as light faded from the bright skies we were familiar with at the start of our shoot. Nonetheless, the 13-hour ordeal turned out better than expected.
Work was yet to cease thereafter, though. After a short hiatus of the weekend, we were back at it entering the final lap – Post-Production. First came choosing the absolute best out of the 149 takes we had, followed by audio-visual sequencing of the footage, ensuring the story flowed just as how we planned. Now, most of the time, we would stop here, but guess what? We decided to kick it up a notch just so we could amplify the perfect feel – by colour grading and sound designing our product, thanks to a few extra hands.
And with this new-found clarity, we headed forward in this direction – of tying a relevantly positive message to a joyous occasion. Henceforth, our short film – “Gratitude” was conceived. We’d prefer to save you the details of the entire process and our key learning takeaways from this self-initiated project for another edition of this newsletter, but before we leave you to it, the author would like to say:
“This is an open letter full of heart, thankfulness and appreciation as we aim further and higher. This is a short film about what Christmas is to us – about Gratitude; the spirit of being grateful for the hand we’ve been dealt and crafting the best moments out of it. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did producing it.”