It is believed that once a year, on the Twelfth Night after Christmas, something special happens in Kalsoy, one of the Faroe Islands. 

On that night, seals come ashore, shed off their animal skins and transform into beautiful human beings, who gather on the beach to dance the night away. Before the sun rises, they have to put their seal skins back on to be able to return to the sea and rejoin their families.

A popular legend says that one night, a farmer came across the seal women dancing and fell immediately in love with one of them; he stole her seal skin so she could not return to the sea, and brought her to his home. He locked the skin in a chest and would always carry the key at a chain around his neck. They had children and led the life of a married couple; but one day, while out fishing, the man realized he had forgotten the chain and the key. When he went back home, the seal woman was gone.

After that day, no one has seen her anymore but her presence is still alive.

The people of the Faroe Islands still believe that people who are born with webbed toes are descendants of the seal woman’s family.

It is a story about love and fear; about being allowed to create a new identity away from the native land and longing to return home.

Multimedia Tips

a. What program was used to create the multimedia?

For this multimedia I’ve used Final Cut Pro X + Garage band for the sound editing.

b. How and why did you choose that music?

I wanted music and sounds to have a key role in the multimedia. Since the story has a strong evocative mood, I knew I needed something to help the viewers entering that mood, and feeling the spooky atmosphere of the legend. 

I spent hours going through libraries of music and sound effects to spot the right ones. It was long, but at the end it was definitely worth it, since when I came across the right soundtrack, I knew that finally I had something that fit perfectly to my photographs.

c. Tell us about the editing process when you think of a multimedia. 

What makes me interested in working with multimedia pieces is the possibility to put together different elements and experiment in order to convey the message you want. You don’t have only the body of pictures to deal with, but music, sound effects, cutting, and as in every good recipe you need to find the good balance between the ingredients.

You need some tries before everything works harmoniously and personally, with this multimedia, it took me a while before I found the right path to follow. It’s not easy at all to catch the viewer’s attention, especially online where everything runs so fast; that’s why the cutting and the pace become extremely important. In my opinion, when I work on building a multimedia story I always keep in mind the very simple but efficient Aristotelian storytelling arch. Starting from that powerful structure then I like to play around in finding other solutions and variations.

I truly believe that the multimedia’s nature of dealing with different visual/sensorial elements, represents its strength because it adds new layers in the visual story telling’s fruition.

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Emanuele Camerini | The Twelfth Night