Sharing a story: what difference would it make?

A couple years ago, I discovered a tremendous story that I want to tell. What I didn’t know is that my decision to tell this particular story would become one of the most important decisions of my career.

The story is based on the life of a friend of mine and her hubby who owned a restaurant. I had the opportunity to work alongside them for a short time and my experiences inspired me to tell a story about their world.

As I have been developing this story into a web series and sharing it with a test audience, I have been surprised time and time again about how it keeps teaching me, and why stories told visually and dramatically can make such a great impact.

Here are three considerations as you build your own story:

  1. Actions and images speak louder than words. Although words are important, images connect more with an audience. My audience was motivated best by the sight and experience they had with my story. They remembered how what they saw and experienced made them feel. This is true of any audience. The most powerful reason to use a visual art form like film or theatre to tell a story is that it is the most effective way to emotionally move people to shift or to take action.
  2. The story can help clarify the message. There are often so many details to share or include in our stories that it can often be overwhelming. This was the case for me with this story as well. But by listening to my friends who owned the restaurant tell me about their business, writing down all of our experiences including mine, and organizing the details into a script that had a theme and focus, I was able to find the key theme of the story: what my friends’ restaurant life was all about. This process of writing a script that works is a profound one that requires time, focus and skill.
  3. Collaboration yields the best results. Although I am naturally a collaborator and prefer to work this way, this web series showed me again that it is critical always to have others involved in my projects. My initial script and production plan was okay but by having others work on it with me leveraged the piece to be even better. My colleagues and mentors saw things that I could not see because I was too close to the story. I’m so grateful that I have a large network of creatives that I can partner with regularly to create great results for any story that I have to tell.

Is there a story that you have been wondering about telling? What difference would it make in your world or life if you contacted us today to tell it?

the beginnings of a story

This past summer, I was reminded about where my story begins and why this is important, not only for me personally, but for me as a business owner and professional.

I travelled for a special vacation and to celebrate my birthday with my family. I don’t live that close to my family. So whenever I have the chance to be with them, I take it.

The morning of my birthday, while preparing lunch in my Mom’s kitchen, Mom told me how she and Dad were reminiscing about when I was born. She said that they remember it fondly:

Mom had been in the hospital since Monday and I just would not come out. And yet, the doctors would not send her home because it looked like I was on my way. Finally, early Thursday morning, four days later, Mom was rushed to the delivery room. At 5 a.m., after 32 hours of labour, I arrived. Eventually, Mom and Dad were reunited and I was brought to them. Mom said that the first time that I heard and saw my Dad, I smiled. Dad says that he treasures that smile to this day.

This wasn’t the first time I had heard this story, but this time was extra special to me for some reason. And I was intrigued. So I began to explore why it was so special in my mind.

Time is precious

My parents are older now and any precious time together with them is so important. It is having those personal conversations that connect us.

Just a few short days later, I was in a restaurant meeting a co-worker. While waiting for her to arrive, I spotted a plaque on the wall that read: “Family is where your story begins.” At that moment, the family I treasure and my story came together in my heart and mind — I have a story because of my family!

For me personally, this means that I owe my parents much thanks because they gave me my smile. As I think about the beginning of my work as a storyteller and director, I understand even more now that having a strong beginning with supportive family, mentors and influencers was the difference for me.

Who was part of the beginning of your story? Your business story? Have you thought about thanking them?

This piece is dedicated to my Dad this month as we celebrate him turning a wise 80 years old.  Love you, Dad. I am smiling. 🙂

 

Season’s Greetings

6 reasons we hesitate to tell our stories

I can empathize. If you’re finding it challenging to think about telling your story, let alone actually creating it, I want you to know that I’ve hesitated too. And I am here to support you.

First of all, you are definitely not alone. From personal experience as well as from working with others, there are many reasons why people hesitate to tell their stories. Here are just a few of the top challenges you may find yourself facing:

  1. Fear of what others will think. Other storytelling professionals tell me they hear what people do not like about their stories all the time. So, it does not matter how skillful of a storyteller you are, not everyone is going to like yours. As Gabrielle Pfeiffer, who told her story, says, there will always be the nay-sayers.

 

  1. Concern that nobody will care. During a recent personal situation that was challenging my energy and time, I was thinking these exact words. But then my team encouraged me to openly blog about it. To my surprise, many of you wrote me to express your care. I am so grateful! Being real is very empowering, freeing and creates connection.

 

  1. My story is boring and not worth sharing. You and I know what has happened in our lives; we know the story we want to tell very well. However, our familiarity does not mean our stories are not of interest to others. In fact, there is an organization I am involved with called Women Talk that exists because they value everyone’s story. Your story is valuable and has power.  All you need to do is tell it.

 

  1. It’s too expensive. A Discovery together will help me know what resources it will take to create your story on film, stage or canvas. When you tell your story with me, you make a smart investment. After learning about your goals, I ensure that your investment hires the best team, equipment and time needed. In addition, it also provides the resources to create the best formats/ plans to share your story. Additionally, I’m committed to making it as easy as I can for you.  From creating payment plans to insuring our production plan and budget are a win-win, I look for ways to make it work for you.  

 

  1. I don’t know how to, so I can’t. You may not have any experience as a storyteller, director, writer.  But I do and I know other professionals who are.  This means that I can surround you with the talent to make your story come to life in a powerful impactful way.  So you don’t have to know how.  You can learn and I can help.

 

  1. Doubting that what you have ready will work.  I have seen individuals, who have either created part of their story or talked with me about it and then never share it. I believe this occurs because of overthinking. I have only known overthinking to sabotage something that is good. So when you begin, trust and see it through. You will be so glad you did.

Did any of these reasons for hesitating sound familiar? If they did, that’s totally ok. Acknowledge it. Then, I encourage you to shift into action and contact us today. We’d be happy to help you tell your magnificent story.

 

Now on Telus Storyhive YouTube!

We’re so excited to announce that our short film, “Are You Listening?  A Pathway to Empathy” is now on Telus Storyhive YouTube! See it here!

And here are some great photos from our recent World Premiere.  Enjoy!

 

Why the film “Are You Listening?” is needed

Another angel has fallen. from Wanda Reinholdt on Vimeo.

Bullying is NOT listening.  And it continues to take lives.

This is why you need “Are You Listening?” in your community.

Join us at AYL Film and come to the Premiere Release Party on October 12th in Red Deer.

Find out how you can take this film to your community.

My smiley face!

My Smile

I stood with friends on the sidewalk waiting for the parade to begin.  It was a beautiful day.  On all sides of us, families and friends set out their chairs and blankets in anticipation of this year’s sights and sounds.  Kids were laughing and running.  Balloons were decorating the air.   I was consumed by the fun atmosphere when unexpectedly an acquaintance came over and said, “So Reinholdt Productions!  What are you doing these days?”

My tongue was tied.  I literally could not say anything.  Words were coming out of my mouth but nothing was sounding good or making sense.  My head was spinning and I was thinking, “Why can’t I answer his question?  This is my business.  I know what I am up to.  I know what I do!” But somehow, it just fell flat and he left shortly after.  

My mind immediately turned to how difficult I sometimes find it to tell people about what I do.  Sometimes, I do great.  But other times, it just seems like I am a stranger to my own work.

And then I recalled how I have been writing my own story as a screenplay for a few years now and it continues to challenge me.   Struggle with my story has been part of my entrepreneurial journey.

But then I smiled because I remembered that I am not alone.  Everyone struggles with their own story.  We’re just too close to to see them clearly.  So we need others to help us see what our story is.

The good news is that there is help for everyone, including me.  I am so glad to have friends, mentors and a team of support who are working with me regularly on the writing and telling of my story and to help me share better what I do with you.

Oh and because of their help, I know that I will be able to help you tell your story so that it stands out.  Contact us today to begin.

The Story of Our Portfolio

As is often the case, when I am out and about, I get asked where people can see my work.  I love the interest in my work and am so grateful to be able to share it.

Although I would love to be able to tell you that all my pieces are in one place, it does not work that way.  It really depends on who I am creating story with and why and the agreements created.

As simply as I can, you can find our stories:

On our website:

On our Vimeo or our YouTube Channel.  (Sometimes, we are not able to include the final pieces due to our distribution agreements.)

If we’ve worked on a film that is being distributed by a network, it will be on their websites.  The Are You Listening? film is scheduled to be released on Telus this month.

Any films whose creators have developed a IMDb profile for the project that I have been involved with will have links on my IMDB profile.

And last, they will be on the websites and social media of some of our clients.  For example, Calgary Counselling and The Wayfaring Fiddlers.

So take a look.  And we invite you to ask any questions or leave your comments.

A Stunning Way of Sharing Your Sound & Performance

We’re enjoying sharing our success stories.  We hear they’re helping you understand more about what we do and how we can help you.  That’s great!

Last time, we wrote about how we assisted a non-profit to transform the way they shared about their mission and vision with the world.   What was valuable to you in that story?  Let us know.

Today, we want to share about an Alberta band who contacted us because they had no solid way of sharing their sound or performance with the world.  They had phone videos and pictures of them performing as well as some audio recordings.  But nothing that was both audibly amazing, visually stunning and inviting.

So we met with them and learned that they often apply to play at festivals and events and they needed something they could send with their applications.  They also wanted something on their Facebook that people could listen to to sample their sound and performance.  In other words, they were looking for a marketing piece and also some music videos of specific songs that could show their musicianship and entertainment value.

We loved their celtic sound and story.  We also loved the location that they suggested we film in.  It was so them and conducive to filming. We were interested in helping them out.  Fortunately, they also had the financial resources to create the pieces.

As a result, we were able to develop a small team of talented artists.  Together, we created four videos that are being enjoyed and shared about them online, at festivals and events to this day. Three videos are of very differing songs and sounds and one is a combination of all their sounds and who they are for marketing.

Is your presentation to the world stunning and eye-catching?    If you believe it can be improved upon, please contact us today.

An Organization Transforms the Way They Share With the World

Last time, we wrote about how we helped a Film Producer.  Anything in this post help you?

Melissa says that our story about the Film Producer really helped her understand what we do better.

What about you?  Let us know.

This week, we want to tell you about how we assisted a growing organization to create a powerful short film that transformed the way they are sharing with the world.

I had the opportunity to serve on the staff of a non-profit.  During the first year of my time with them, I learned that they did not have any way of sharing visually and powerfully with the community and world who they are and where they are going.  Nonetheless, this was something that they wanted to do very much.  So I offered to help them create one.

Through discovering their goals, desires and mission, I was able to hire a small team to shoot a powerful video for them.  It includes testimonies from people impacted by their organization as well as images and pictures that depict the incredible impact of their work.

To this day, this video is being used to reach audiences and supporters of this organization.  As a result of the creation of this video, they are inspiring involvement like have never before. It is providing them with a way to have a conversation that is transformational and powerful.

Who do you need to communicate your work and vision to?    If you have someone, we can help.  Contact us.