Under director Vanessa Vartabedian a small documentary film crew steadily unpacked cameras from the trunk of a Volkswagen. It was a chilly day in December in Wellfleet, MA and also my first time traveling to Cape Cod. After purchasing my postcard, I'm pleasantly surprised to notice a friendliness in the cashier's small talk, something I thought could only be found in my small hometown in the Midwest. While both places are seeped richly and deeply in landscape the Cape has an incredibly special golden afternoon sea light that I've never seen in the midwest or at my home in Boston. Vanessa shared that this distinguished light is her favorite part of her "second home". I smiled and began my experience to witness the Cape through two unique lenses: Vanessa's film passion and a man named Chuck.
Chuck, Vanessa's first interviewee, adorns a massive white beard and is an oyster-er, boat builder and lives in fantastically designed yurts. I've never been in a yurt and they are unassumingly super spacious inside. Chuck has dedicated different yurts to a sauna, kitchen, bedroom, and, the grand daddy of them all, one yurt to home his entire library and there's still space for his sewing projects inside. While we filmed in this giant ballroom of a yurt Chuck snipped away at sailing fabric and cheerfully told us the weaving of his dream to live on a boat full time someday. That'll surely come true.
Chuck also works as a DJ at a local radio station, WOMR (Provincetown, MA) and while filming in the radio studio I listened carefully to his voice on air. I was entertained as I heard him read a Christmas story from a book while sliding buttons to add dramatic sound effects to his listeners. During the interview sessions Vanessa showed her unique skill set of listening whole-heartedly to every word spoken. She is experienced with this type of attention from her passion project "The Mosquito Story Slam", a live event where storytellers have 5-minutes to tell a true story based on a theme. Stories also seem to be Chuck's expertise; with an open heart Chuck told the film crew of loving family moments, future aspirations and shared how to honor his version of "the true meaning of life". Hung on the front entrance of his kitchen yurt is a small, green banner with a Dalai Lama quote printed on it. Much like Chuck's charisma, these words are shared to welcome anyone who takes the time to read them.