Mara LeGrand: Writer/ Director/ Producer of "Heart & Soil" has worked with many teams of film makers, adapted stories to script, written 8 original screen plays and was part of a docmentary team of public health workers in Nepal, Tibet and China in 1985. Making this film was the first time Mara took complete responsibility for all technical aspects of film production.
An award-winning photojournalist, screenwriter, poet and former columnist & writer-producer of a weekly public radio broadcast, Mara served as both producer and story consultant for "Ed Meets His Maker”. She has been involved in promoting independent filmmaking for many years beginning in 1976 with the Telluride Film Festival, and most recently as national publicity coordinator for the Screenwriters' Conference at Santa Fe and broadcast publicist for filmmakers at the Durango Film Festival. Drawing upon a background in business development, publicity, public and private health care, as well as marketing, Mara has recently established Skydancer Productions.
Mara As A Story Teller
I realized through making this documentary how profoundly characters inhabit the world they've come to know through their unique perspective. I’ve already noticed how this insight improves dialogue in my fiction story telling.
It's the characters perspective that reflects their views, reveals their point of view, back story and insight into things, especially what they care about, and what they want.
Making a documentary was a great way to hone listening, and notice characters natural way of being. As a director I was was respectful and interested in what they had to say. They didn’t feel interviewed, so were able to be natural and completely themselves. Trust was important also. One bean field farmer who I captured on the fly one day, invited me to ride his rig and I was able to get some great footage but he didn’t want to sign the release forms in the end. He said he’d been made fun of all his life and didn’t want to take the chance. No face was our final agreement, everything else fair game.
Learning about story telling through real characters, reminds me of the adage about the “horse’s mouth.” Nothing speaks clearer than the horse himself, or in “Heart & Soil” the donkeys baying in rhythm with the music, or a chicken, unprompted, walks through the shot.
Skydancer Productions, LLC