Christi Bode, The Unexpected Artist: ‘Telling the story through my lens’
ON Feb. 25, Alamosa Citizen outdoor writer Owen Woods and I met with artist, filmmaker, and producer Christi Bode over Zoom to talk about the new PBS documentary “Farm to Faucet,” a project she has been working on for more than a year with her creative team. The documentary will hit the screen this spring.
I first met Christi 5 years ago as I was putting the finishing touches on my master’s thesis installation and theater production at Adams State University. Christi graciously gave her time to help film the dress rehearsal of the one-act play I had written. After that, we didn’t see one another until the outbreak of COVID-19 when I was working at Kristi Mountain Sports and she was documenting the collaborative efforts to construct masks to be distributed throughout the San Luis Valley community. Watch that short video here.
Now here we are all these years later and have the opportunity to learn a little more about the woman behind the camera.
“You think about all these artists in their own bubbles creating things, like that never stopped. I always think; ‘wow, what other art is being created right now with everyone in their own little silos and worlds and maybe offering more introspection or space to be alone in your thoughts or just observing the outside world and trying to make sense of it all’.”
I asked Alamosa Citizen’s own outdoor writer Owen Woods to join the conversation because there’s a lot of paralleled topics between Art and the outdoors we touch on throughout the episode.
All quotes are transcribed from Episode 9: The Unexpected Artist. Listen HERE.
All photographs provided by Moxiecran Media, Christi Bode// ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Everyone has a story, how that story is told is up to the individual. Look at it this way, think about the number of people you know in your town… now think about the number of people they know…and so on… expand the circle of perspective. Try to imagine finding a through line of all those stories to create a documentary about shared lives and experiences in 30 minutes. Christi Bode and her creative team have been given the opportunity and challenge to create a visual story based on water resources and availability in Colorado.
The way in which we communicate and the tone in which we communicate, says so much about what it is we are trying to say. Sometimes pictures are worth more than a thousand words. Enjoy the photographs, the words of Christi, and allow yourself to step behind the lens of a different perspective.
“Sharpening your craft is to be an even better writer and to be a stronger communicator.”
“You need to be reminded of your why. And especially when you are an entrepreneur and you’re running a creative business, whether that’s you’re a filmmaker, video producer, a writer, a copywriter, a sound mixer, an editor, a photographer (uh our capitalist system!) but when you think about how you take your creative passion and make it into your living and how you pay your bills it very much becomes something different.”
“I don’t know if it’s affirmation that I’m looking for but I maybe just want to know that whatever I put out there made people stop and think or maybe led them to ask more questions… seek more information on their own.”
“I think it’s my nature to want to understand and explore things that are outside my realm of understanding.”
“How do I bring something different to the story that I’m not seeing other media outlets say or approach. This story has so much more dimension outside of just Douglas County or urban perspective, it has more dimension than what the San Luis Valley may be or how a farmer or rancher might perceive the situation.”
“I wanted to be able to offer some solutions even if it was a little vague and undefined or maybe felt visceral and not quite real but that these ideas are coming from people who live and breathe these issues whether they are a farmer or rancher or water provider that is trying to figure out how to secure 50 years of water supply for their town.”
“Broader ideas of; ‘how do you define the value of water? What do you think the solution is? What do you think the issue is?’ really letting that be the guiding light for the conversation.”
“And maybe that’s what a good story does, it evokes emotion, it stirs something inside of you, I think of a quote that Anthony Hawkins said; ‘I like my audiences stirred not shaken’.”
“I think what I love most about this process is the relationships that I get to build with people along the way, whether it’s the comradery of the crew I’m working with also those on the land and really getting a glimpse into their life.”
“Stepping into filmmaking is very much me getting to connect with the outside world.”
“Now it’s funny, I can’t see my life without mountains and rivers in them. It’s not just what my professional work centers around but what I feel personally. That’s what the Valley has shown me that you can explore 5 generations around the valley and just in our forest and wilderness areas and still not see it all. It offers this opportunity for endless exploration. Just space to breathe and a lot of room to grow.”
“I see so many metaphors in the geographical vastness of this place. And then coming here as an artist and as a storyteller, feeling that of, ‘where do I even start?’ and I found something.”
“You don’t need to go super far away to find a really good story, it could be your next door neighbor, it could be someone you met at the grocery store.”
“There are so many things in this world to care about that need a lens on it.”
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