Blue Boat Session 01

Take an excellent written story, record the writer reading it, film scenes from the story and have talented production guys weave it all together. This is part of what Jason Lee Rolfe is doing with his new project Blue Boat Sessions.

Blue Boat Session 01 is a collaboration between Syzygy Fly Fishing and Waist Deep Media, and starts with Steva Duda (TFFJ’s editor) reading his piece When We Get Together Again This Time Next Year and is complemented by Daniel Silverberg and Joey Mara’s talents(the duo behind Sasquatch and the Steelhead and the Rod Time With Big Joe series) behind the camera and in the editing room.

We caught up with Jason to talk about the inspiration behind it.

TFFJ: What was the inspiration for sort of screenwriting this piece? It’s a neat thing to develop the images in our head while we’re reading, but I think this concept brings a whole new element. Can you elaborate on your thought process as well as what the Blue Boat Sessions is all about?

Jason Lee Rolfe: I don’t know that I thought of it as screenwriting. The story is there. In this case, it is Steve’s excellent piece on this gathering that happens each year in Eastern Washington called Burning Pram. I swear, try as you might, you could never find a single outsized ego there in a million years of searching. It was just a group of friends coming together for the love of something–and not necessarily fly fishing.

For me, the idea was simply to feature writers reading their work; but I wanted that reading to happen outside of any normal context. So I wanted to see the writer in a boat, on the river, with friends, in their home, whatever. But I wanted to show that these writers are people, not just names on a page, and I wanted the audience to be able to connect with them in that way. So any screenwriting, either done by me or done by Joey and Daniel of Waist Deep Media or done by all of us together was simply meant to support that idea.

To elaborate a bit more: for me, it’s all about the writing. I love writing, I always have. But just as much, I love the writers. I love that there is a person behind each story, poem, list, recipe, speech, or whatever that you might read out there. And I think that to truly connect to a piece of writing, sometimes it can really help to build a clear connection to the writer of that piece.

So for me, the Blue Boat Sessions is not necessarily about making a film that illustrates the images in the written piece. It’s more about creating a new way of seeing/reading/hearing a piece of writing, taking it out of that written page context and putting it in a new place. The “Blue Boat Sessions” is a take-off of the Black Cab Sessions, which puts musicians in a London black cab to do one take over the course of a taxi fare.

My idea was simply to put writers in that same position. Reading a piece of work, in a different or weird or new context, and hopefully providing some great visuals to go along with it. For this piece of Steve’s, it was perfect to work with Waist Deep Media to capture all of the people and the place and the dogs and the fire that go along with it. Daniel and Joey, to me, have such a great visual sense, such a unique way of framing things. I knew that, no matter what ideas I had for this whole shenanigan, I needed to find some people who could help make that happen. I think the “Sasquatch and the Steelhead” vid was a great example of a clearly executed idea from start to finish. So, I was happy, and very lucky, that they were into the idea of doing this together.

But in any case, for me, it all comes back to the writer. I have immense respect for Steve as a writer. I hate to sound like I’m trying to fluff his ego, because I’m not. He wrote, for me, one of the most memorable lines I read in 2015: “The sun wants to be everywhere at once,” describing bonefishing in the Bahamas. There are a number of great writers out there, doing fantastic work, and too often I think people just skip over their names. I am constantly blown away by other writers: Dylan Tomine, Mike Sepelak, Nathaniel Riverhorse Nakadate, David Zoby, John Holt, Morgan Sherburne, and Cameron Scott, to name just a few who’ve been published in TFFJ recently. Of that list, I’ve only ever met Cameron and Dylan. I hope to get them in a Blue Boat Session one of these days, just as I hope for the opportunity to work with the rest of them. This one with Steve, it’s Blue Boat Session 01. There will be more.

Check out the video if you haven’t and keep scrolling for a handful of images from the weekend.

null01_yakima_4332.jpgYakima Photo: Copi Vojta

Follow Cam Photo: Copi Vojta

null03_Daniel_Silverberg_2015-10-25_Burning_Pram_0773.jpgBurning Pram Photo: Daniel Silverberg

$@%&ing Cameras Everywhere Photo: Copi Vojta

null05_unattended_situation_4250.jpgUnattended Photo: Copi Vojta

null06_chimping_4132.jpgChimping Photo: Copi Vojta

Yakima River Boatride Photo: Copi Vojta

null08_Daniel_Silverberg_2015-10-25_Burning_Pram_0706.jpgBurning Pram Photo: Daniel Silverberg

null09_paparazzied_4437.jpgPaparazzied Photo: Copi Vojta

null10_trainspotting_with_danny_4385.jpgTrainspotting Photo: Copi Vojta

Burning Pram Photo: Daniel Silverberg


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