Contributed by: Kim Ware
Director of Ours on Ponce
Ours on Ponce from Ours in Atlanta on Vimeo.
I just finished editing my very first short film, a documentary called “Ours on Ponce,” about the Ponce de Leon area of Atlanta. All total, the editing alone must have taken me 40 hours. I’m never afraid to take on a creative project, but I will say this one really tested my patience, probably more than most any other project I’ve ever done. But I’m also more proud of it than I have been of anything I’ve done in a very long time.
The idea for “Ours on Ponce” was born out of a conversation I had a couple of months ago with my good friend Andy Gish. Andy had started a blog about Atlanta, and mentioned that she hoped the blog would help her “look at Atlanta through new eyes.” She approached me about contributing to the blog, and ironically, I was looking for something to help me also appreciate Atlanta. I had just been to Austin, a place that I love probably more than any other place I’ve ever visited. Every time I go to Austin I leave there thinking, “I want to move there!” But this time, I decided instead that I wanted to seek out the things I love about Austin, in Atlanta.
So I was happy to help and thought the experience would be good for me. Over drinks at our new favorite bar, Sister Louisa’s, Andy and I discussed possible topics for the blog. She mentioned how much she loves Ponce, and I suddenly got the brilliant(?) idea that we should stay out all night (yes, all night) on Ponce and document our adventures. By “document,” I simply meant write and take a few pictures. But a week or so later I saw that Creative Loafing was sponsoring a short film contest. It had to be about Atlanta, about 5 minutes in length, and shot by point-and-shoots, Flips, or phone cams—nothing fancy. Bingo! That’s how we’d document our adventures! We’d get a bunch of footage and I’d edit it all together and submit it for us. Never mind the fact that the only video editing I’d ever done was very simple edits (placing a title slide over a presentation) for work.
So I jumped in head first, recruited a few friends, and on January 29, we stayed out all night on Ponce. We hit some of the regular spots, like The Local, Righteous Room, The Majestic, and Murder Kroger. But we also visited some new (to me) places, like Friends and even the Clermont Hotel. A lucky break that couldn’t have been better even if it had been scripted, the Clermont security guard offered to give us a tour if we came back when his shift was over. Of course, we jumped at the chance.
As sunrise rolled around, Andy and I high-fived each other, celebrating our accomplishment. We did it. We stayed out all night without any casualties, no one got too wasted and annoying, and we didn’t even get the slightest bit grumpy at each other. In fact, we had a wonderful time. We met a cast of characters that again, couldn’t have been better if they had been scripted. We received a sketch of ourselves from a caricature artist at The Majestic. We made new friends, and strengthened the relationships with old ones. It might sound a little cheesy, but I really did feel like the five of us had created a bond that other people just wouldn’t really understand. We did this together, and we loved every minute of it. And for me, our night out did exactly what I hoped it would do. It made me appreciate and even fall in love with Atlanta all over again.
As I worked on the editing of “Ours on Ponce,” my appreciation for Atlanta increased even more. A few days into the editing, I posted something about the project on “Friends of Music,” an active Facebook group that I’m fortunate to be part of. I was hoping to get a few Atlanta-centric songs from Atlanta bands. I was amazed at the response. I must have received 10 songs, just in the span of a few days. That there are so many talented artists finding inspiration from our city is just a testament to how unique it is. And I’m so happy they got to be part of our little film.
I hope you find as much enjoyment in watching “Ours on Ponce” as we did making it. And I hope you find your own little slice of Atlanta to love. All you really have to do is look around.
Check out Kim's blog Pretty New Songs.