THE PASSENGERS: My experience with Olaf de Fleur's Skillshare classes and Film Webinars

THE PASSENGERS: My experience with Olaf de Fleur's Skillshare classes and Film Webinars

4 min read


VALERIE (Voice-Over)
"Hey, Olaf…"

It was not planned, measured, calculated. Not at all. In fact, I found you by accident. A beautiful accident, of course.

It was a cold Wednesday night in November. The kind of ordinary night when you don't expect anything to happen. I was sitting in my living room, my cat purring by my side and my computer on my knees. I was searching for something on the Internet, although I was not sure exactly what.

You appeared on my screen as the teacher of Skillshare’s class Learn Indie Filmmaking by Making a Short Documentary Film. While you were driving a car through Reykjavik, Iceland, you shared your passion and your tools skillfully...  and with humour. I admit that I hardly got any sleep that night. You had opened up new avenues right in front of me.

The next night, I wanted another ride. Once again, I hitchhiked on Laugavegur… or was it Kleppsvegur? Anyway, as I took Learn Indie Filmmaking By Making a Short Film, you let me get on board. It felt like you were talking directly to me. How did you do that? Must be your drive, I thought.

As we arrived at our destination, there was an invitation for your Saturday online Film Seminar. What? You organized group trips too? My suitcase was ready to go!

You welcomed me to your seminar and to the group as if we were old friends. Sure, we had already travelled a few virtual kilometers together, but… it was something more. You asked me just the right questions. I wasn’t sure about my answers and you saw right through me. It could have been strange or troubling, but no… It was as if your mere presence gave me confidence.

I have to ask: Olaf, do you have a secret power?

You need to know that I haven't written for a while. Why not? Life, maybe? But it has been a while...

Very smoothly, you got me to pick up my ideas and identify the essential elements. Then, you gave me a mission that was not only very special but achievable: to write for twenty minutes. Just that. I just had to write and bring you some words. Just like that.

Hey! Wait! I told you I hadn't written for a while, no?

After a deep breath, I dove in. My hand, hesitant at first, traced letters on my blue gridded sheet. And that was it. The words slipped out like stowaways. On their makeshift raft, they sailed away, giving disorderly strokes to the sea.

A few days before, I would have shouted, “Show me your passports! Where are you from? Don’t go there!”

A few days before, I would have used a megaphone to summon them to come back. “What are you carrying? The waves are getting higher! Go back or you’ll drown!”

Did I still have a heart?

Some of the articles that I kept in my novels, as well as my novels

A few days before, and without the slightest pity, I would have let these words disappear at sea. And, surely, oblivion was next.

But not that day with you, Olaf.

That day, you put me in charge of my passengers. You gave me a life jacket for each of them. I couldn't turn my back and look the other way. Not anymore.

I just had to tame the sea.

I gathered my defectors, all dripping with seawater, and brought them to the land. I vaguely recognized them. Most were still strangers to me. For now.

They were shivering when I introduced them to you, Olaf, and to the whole group, but you welcomed them with warmth, with kindness, with openness. I will learn to take care of them, that’s a promise. They are now in a safe place.

One thing I’m sure, it was not only a Film Seminar but a lesson about courage. The courage to show up and be vulnerable.

I hope many travelers will cross our paths. Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us, Olaf.