Gifting a Story

There has been a little buzz amongst my friends over a wedding gift I gave to my recently acquired wife. It’s a video I created to show Emma how excited I was to marry her. The morning of our wedding I told her I made a video for her and showed her via a nearby laptop. She loved the video and insisted on sharing it with her bridesmaids. I told her, “You can do whatever you want with it. It’s yours!” From there it began to circulate to the groomsmen, friends, family, friends of friends, and families of friends. Our friend Naomi wrote in to the Huffington Post and you can check out a write up about it here.

One of my groomsmen was so surprised by my production skills he asked “so is this what you are going to school for?” I hesitated, and replied “Not exactly. But school has definitely helped.” I went on to explain while I am not being taught how to use a camera I am being taught about the power of storytelling.

The point of the video gift was to deliver a message that showed our understanding of what “home” means. Instead of just writing it, I told a story (through two monkeys) that showed scenarios that were seemingly complete except for the second monkey. These scenarios were based on real scenarios Emma and I are familiar with. The end of the video shows the introduction of Ms. Monkey as she arrives to the train station where Mr. Monkey is there waiting to pick her up.

I think what is so successful about the video is how the scenarios resemble our real life experience. That, paired with the appropriate lyrics courtesy of Edward Sharp & the Magnetic Zero’s make for a clear story about what home has meant to me (us).

An unintended consequence of the video was the reaction from our friends and family. I went out to dinner this past weekend with a few friends I hadn’t seen since before the wedding, they were quick to compliment me on the video that had reached them through multiple social media venues.  I guess what I didn’t expect was the impact the video had on people other than Emma. The stories and scenarios are personal and contain small details only Emma and I understand but I guess the overall message is clear enough that other people appreciate it.

You can catch the video here.

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