I got the idea for my story by simply living in Chicago, I consider myself an observant person, but one doesn’t necessarily have to be observant to notice all the inked city dwellers. I started thinking about all the people I know, myself included, that have tattoos and figured that it could be a start to a great visual story. I wanted to look more into why the tattoo industry is still around and why it seems like “everyone has one.” My sister happened to be coming into town for an event and getting her Chicago flag tattoo, in the same weekend. I decided it was the final sign that I should use this subject for the class final project.
I had quite a bit of unanticipated difficulties with this project. The first being that I was not permitted to be back behind the front desk of Deluxe Tattoo (where my sister was being tattooed), if I was not receiving a tattoo that day. So I filmed the lobby and then I was given some interesting looks. It was nice outside and everyone was showing more skin so I decided I would go film in Wicker Park and Lincoln Park to get some B-roll or people with tattoos. This proved to be a very creepy assignment and not many people wanted to be directly on film or answer questions. I also felt like I let my interviews do the majority of the talking because I felt like they had the most valid source of information for something so personal. It was very hard to choose the right sections of 3, 30-minute interviews and my narration was often better-said or redundant to the sources info. Thus, the “story” was more shown, than told by me.
Best part/What I learned:
Even though I had some difficult choices to make, I enjoyed editing the project the most. I was watching the play back of Eva’s interview and became really nostalgic about our friendship and how we do really talk about these topics all the time and I’m proud to have included her in this project. She was talking about her personal tattoos at one point, and why she got them. I cried when I first filmed her, so did she and I cried in the play back too. It was tough not to include that in the final product and I don’t know if I would have learned the deeper significance behind her tattoo, if I hadn’t interviewed her for this project. I would say, something I was reminded of, more than what I learned, was that I need to let people talk more. I love my friends and want to hear what they have to say, so when I watch myself inadvertently cutting them off, it makes me realize I need to just slow down and listen more.