While going through my daily grind of searching for inspiring things online, I found a video on Vimeo that left me awestruck. It was an inspiring and personal mixed media video called ‘Places Other People Have Lived’, made by Los Angeles filmmaker Laura Yilmaz about her ‘Home Sweet Home’.
There’s a big difference between a house and a home. A house is just a living space but a home is a warm habituation that’s full of personal experiences and treasured memories. And a home that you’ve lived in for years becomes akin to a balmy, friendly cuddle. ‘Places Other People Have Lived’ is an autobiographical work that traces the immeasurable experiences and memories that are attached to your home. It presents a relatable tale of a family and their home. It struck a chord with me instantly as I’m soon to move out of my abode of 12 years.
‘Places Other People Have Lived’ fuses various styles of filmmaking. The mixed media video combines animation, stop motion, live action, illustration, pixilation and rotoscoping to name a few. Each style is tied in together effortlessly with the help of a narrative. Mixed media usage can be very gimmicky sometimes but this mixed media video doesn’t shift focus from the story.
Very few filmmakers have the ability to tell a story in the matter of minutes, even fewer can make you connect with it. Laura Yilmaz gives us a feeling that we are the family in question and the video is actually an account of our memories. ‘Places Other People Have Lived’ seems real and compelling also because of the documentary style adopted by Laura Yilmaz.
For me, what works best for ‘Places Other People Have Lived’ is the endearing story and the soulful dialogues. Sample this excerpt:
“We’d always looked forward to dad’s slide shows. We begged to see the faces of people we knew but before we knew them, places we’ve been but before we’ve been there.”
The video is dotted with such simple lines of truth that touch you. It goes on dissects a home into its components, i.e. the living room, kitchen and bedroom and narrates an anecdotal memory that tells us the significance of that space. The story is very well written, heartwarming and human.
Laura Yilmaz’s directorial piece ‘Places Other People Have Lived’ is definitely worth a watch. Enough talk, let’s watch: