I was recently telling someone about the work I do and I got some interesting feedback. He said, “you’re an interpreter.”
I have been spending some time with that statement and find it very intriguing. I guess I have always confused an interpreter with a translator. But when you look up the definition an interpreter is someone who facilitates communication. From the dictionary… “The interpreter will take in a complex concept from one language, choose the most appropriate vocabulary in the target language to faithfully render the message in a linguistically, emotionally, tonally, and culturally equivalent message.”
I think it’s human nature to go through life not feeling understood or really gotten by the people around us. We’re such complex beings, us humans. If I were to ask you who you are, you would typically tell me what you do, your career. I would press on, who else are you; a father or mother, a writer, a member of my community, I play tennis and like to eat. What does that really tell us about you? Can we even expect to know you and your multi-faceted personality without being with you for years? And even then, there are aspects of ourselves that we keep private, sometimes even to those that are the closest to us.
It often takes someone else, this “interpreter”, to really communicate who we are in the world in a way that’s comprehensive as well as entertaining and that contains all the bits and pieces that make up the nuance of who we are.
I am attracted to the visual media of video because of how much we’re able to get across. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and “every picture tells a story” are not meaningless quotes. Our minds are fed by the images on screen and they, in turn, create meaningful illustrations of a life. We video biographers, or interpreters, are able to look objectively at a life and hopefully, create that interpretation that people will cherish for generations.