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A view from behind the lens

Jesse Buckley

Jesse Buckley behind the camera

With all that happens when we're shooting video here at Daily Grommet, the team suggested that I begin to chronicle the "cutting room floor," so to speak. Every day, we release a new story -- both written and in video form.  There's a catharsis to the process; collectively there is a tremendous effort to do justice to the Grommets, the founders, and the inventors, in addition to our own insights and experiences. The number of hours that go into each story is a calculation I don't even want to make.

While editing the video from the studio (and those submitted by the people involved) I am acutely aware of just how much each Grommet means to the people behind it.  They care as much about their products as we do about Daily Grommet.  And my role is to grab relevant pieces of the video, weave it into the story we have to tell, and leave the rest behind. There are clips that are absolute gems: pieces that crystallize an attitude, or the reality of what surrounds the video that is being made.

And yet, so many stories are left untold, or alluded to in a few seconds.  When creating Fish Aye Trading, there was so much I would have liked to include: details of John's Doherty's life, his communion with the fish and the sea...his nonchalant approach to his own creative process, and many other insights I've since forgotten. I felt ruthless cutting it down into a 2-3 minute video. And then a strange thing happens when the team has seen the video. It takes on a life of its own, becomes a new thing that is (ideally) more than the sum of its parts.

Today's Grommet, Rickshaw Bagworks, was very similar -- layers of meaning and points of view. Jules' son, Dane, discovered the shop (and the crafts-people & ethos behind it) where the bags are made, just around the corner from where he's living for the summer.  He was so enthralled that he called Jules to share his find and submit it as a Grommet. And then he bought the bag, before Jules or the team here could even look into it.  Jules was stunned-- Dane buys so few things.  So when she traveled to San Francisco, they visited the factory together and she documented the tour. In the studio, we shot video  focusing on the core elements that seemed to make the bags meaningful and valuable. And the founder, Mark Dwight, submitted video too, illustrating even more of the dimensions behind Rickshaw Bags.

The final video was long by our standards, more than 3 minutes. But we felt it was ready to set free, ready for your eyes and a life of its own in the wilds of cyberspace.  However, there was a clip that was orphaned on the cutting room floor, a micro story that is complete on its own and doesn't need the rest of the story -- it stands on its own:

Mark was the CEO of Timbuk2, and his message is crafted and "on message," but the information reveals how deeply his Zero Waste vision permeates Rickshaw Bagworks. I'm happy to be able to share it with you today.

I can't promise that everything I pull from the floor will be this articulate. But I can promise that it will bring a new perspective to the stories we tell, and hopefully make them even better. I feel a bit like a mother hen (?), tending her eggs in a nest made of scraps of virtual film. Luckily it’s not a responsibility that's mine alone -- everyone here is nurturing the Grommets in their own way; even you, our audience. Not to make it out to be a heavy burden--it's a great adventure, with some great out-takes. I'm looking forward to sharing more of them as time goes on.


  • Claire Says:

    Great post Jesse! I loved reading something from your point of view. Thanks for sharing - I love reading the blog even more now that I'm back in DC.

  • Jesse Says:

    Claire, we all miss you! Thanks for your kind words.

  • Jennifer Says:

    Are you planning to make bags that fit a 17" laptop any time soon?

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