The Encounter Collection by Stephen Kenn explores the significant act of passing an object on from one generation to the next. It is in this exchange, accompanied by words of wisdom, that a boy is often called to a life of courage. While aware that everyone’s life experience is unique, and often painful, this film focuses on the experience of a boy losing his father and yet retaining the love and passion that was intended for him.
Creative Development: Process Creative and Stephen Kenn
Music Curation: Ryan Taubert
Sound Design: White Noise Lab
Color: Matt Fezz
Letter and Voice Over: James Watson
Young Boy: Bradley Aiello
Boy: Lucas Aiello
Stephen Kenn // Process Creative // The Encounter Collection
(Transcript as best as I can decipher it, * indicates unknown. Corrections welcomed)
20 October 1944
US Army/Air Force Base
I hoped I would never write this to you. In a little less than an hour I’ll be strapping myself into my old plane and pointing it nose westward. I’ve seen the orders . . . I think it’ll be for the last time.
And so suddenly I find my life stripped away, like the branches of an old, black tree. All that matters is that I write this to you. I know you won’t remember me, not really. When I spent three days with you last year when you were six months old, and, though you can’t yet understand it, I . . . loved you more then than you might imagine loving anybody right now.
Now listen to me. This uh life, know that it is precious. You’ve gotta grasp at every little whiff of it that passes by you. It won’t be easy, and it won’t be certain. Not now, and not in your unimaginable future. Don’t be surprised, no. Embrace the stiff winds, and the lonely heights.
Remember your name. Never turn away from the bright course because it is hard. But above all, love. Scrape out the bottom of your soul and love for all your worth.
And when you find her, risk everything. Die a thousand deaths to get her. Don’t look back. When you grow older, older than I’ll ever be, blow on the embers of that first heroic choice. And you’ll be warmed, sustained.
Someday you’ll have a son. Remember he is your greatest gift. Tell him these things. Make a man of him. Love him.
Don’t live to get money. Have a few things, but make them good things. Take care of them, learn how they work. There is beauty in the smell of good machines and old leather.
When you walk, alone, in the autumn. Down roads at night, with the trees tossing in the sunset, know that I would give everything to walk with you, and tell you their names. But I am there, in the light through the branches. And I am loving you where I see you.
I must go now.
All my love, forever and ever,
- These things that connect us. (lostandfoundbooks.wordpress.com)
- Sunday Morning: Dear Son (davidkanigan.com)