COTTONWOOD – A bit of an introvert, she would say, but Lindsay Bane survived the big city on the way to finding closeness in the Verde Valley.
Closeness, meaning connections to people that some say are hard to develop when everyone’s going nowhere – but getting there fast.
Last week, Bane began teaching film and media arts at Mingus Union High School.
Already a film instructor at Yavapai College, Bane says that teaching isn’t just about sharing skills and ideas.
It’s about empowerment.
“It all stems from education,” says Bane, who produced four commercial videos that screened at France’s Louvre in May. “I did not grow up around artists.”
On her way to finding herself, Bane one day found a book titled “When I Grow Up … I Want To Be An Artist.”
Which is especially interesting, when one considers that Bane was planning for a career in medicine.
Until she fainted.
Then, that happened
“I was going to be a nurse,” Bane says. “I got into a nursing program at the University of Pittsburgh. Followed a nurse, shadowed her. Saw a really long needle go into a patient … I thought I’d make a wonderful nurse, and then, that happened.”
Bane never studied drawing, she says. For some folks, drawing comes naturally.
When she realized a career in medicine wouldn’t be for her, Bane studied journalism, as well as film. Telling stories is what she does.
“Studying journalism helped me find structure in how you tell a story,” Bane says.
“It parlays into telling a story in film. And it also helped break a barrier in talking with people. With film making, journalism helped me learn how to work with people.”
Paying the bills
For eight years now, Bane has worked with TAG Creative NY, the agency that produces the L’Oreal videos.
Every spring, TAG hires the filmmaker to help produce videos that premiere at the Louvre for what she calls “an annual international show showcasing their achievements and highlighting what’s next.”
With a Master of Fine Arts Degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Bane has produced animated commercials for a variety of global beauty brands, including L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline New York and Garnier USA.
“My clients are advertisers,” she says. “It makes me feel hopeful for filmmakers who are trying to make a living.”
Making a statement
Inspired by the story “The Ugly Duckling,” Bane is now working on a stop-motion fairy tale called “The Ugly Saguaro.”
It’s a story about a saguaro that lives in a cactus nursery, feeling as if he doesn’t belong.
“He goes on a road trip to figure out who he is,” Bane says.
If Bane didn’t have to work for a living, she says she would “work all day on the Ugly Saguaro.”
Making a difference
Life is a series of growing experiences. An artist and an educator, Bane knows who she is. And what matters to her.
Since 2002, Bane has taught film as far away as Ireland, as well as in New York, Philadelphia and in Arizona.
Since 2015, Bane has been part of Yavapai College’s adjunct faculty, as she designs and teaches animation and film criticism curriculum.
Starting this year, Bane also teaches film and media arts at Mingus Union High School.
“I feel compelled to teach” Bane says. “I want kids to have confidence, knowing that their perspective matters. Tell your own story.”
-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42