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Creative

LVLY Editor J. P. Damboragian Lends Visual Drama to 'Wolakota'

The short film juxtaposes Native American rituals with the threat of climate change

LVLY Editor J. P. Damboragian Lends Visual Drama to 'Wolakota'

Editor J.P. Damboragian of LVLY, the creative post production and content studio, recently edited a short film that was named a Vimeo Staff Pick. Titled “Wolakota,” the film juxtaposes our current environmental problems against the Lakota people’s way of life and their regard for nature. It’s racked up over a hundred and ten thousand views since being uploaded to the video sharing site less than a month ago.

Damboragian has worked with the film’s co-director, Tim Sessler, before. This project began four years ago, when Sessler travelled to the Pine Ridge Reservation and shot extensive footage of Native American rituals, as well as lengthy interviews with tribal elders. 

Last fall, Sessler teamed up with Brooklyn Aerials to shoot aerial footage of New York City, giving it an infrared, Ektachrome look. He had the idea of merging the footage together, using the content from the Pine Ridge shoots as a counterbalance to the dramatic, red-hued city scenes. He then turned everything over to Damboragian to see what he could come up with; “Wolakota” is the result. 

“Tim gave me the general idea of what he was looking for – a visual statement that the earth is bleeding, and we can look to indigenous cultures to see how we can change,” the editor explains. The pair collaborated closely on the edit, he adds, with Sessler sourcing the music track that helps set an authentic tone for the film. It’s title sums up the theme of the film: “wolakota” is the word the Lakota people use to describe their sacred way of life. “It’s a strong metaphor for what we need to do today to address climate change,” says Damboragian.

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Music

Music: Bethan Kellough

Post Production / VFX

Colourist: Kath Raisch @ CO3

Editor: J.P. Damboragian, LVLY

SFX: Defacto Sound

Other

Equipment: Brooklyn Aerials & Already Alive (Gear Support)

Production Service

Camera Operator: Mike Isler and Jose Montanez (Shotover Tech)

DOP: Tim Sessler (Aerial DP and Operator)

Production Service: Gotham Film Works

Production Company

1st AC: Drew English

2nd AC: Stephan Hawk

Assistance: Vic Shoulders

Cinematographer: Tim Sessler

Director: Tim Sessler

Drone Operator: Ike ‘Wanbli Omani’ Miller

Category: Short Films and Music Videos , Short films

Genre: Drama , Music & Sound Design , People , Scenic