PRACTICAL makes films and videos that are the culmination of cameras, research, travel, sketchbooks, sleep, screen time, and running wild. Based out of Traverse City and Grand Rapids Michigan, we love sharing our work and process with those around the world.

Just Getting By

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written by Paul Genzink  -  Project Release  -  October 31, 2017



It was my first week at Practical and found myself in the backseat on a 2.5 hour car ride. It was here that I listened to Joshua Davis’ song Just Getting By for the very first time. Immediately my head flooded with a variety of images; concepts began forming and my excitement level grew. The song, heavily influenced by memories of the past and of simpler times, transported me to my childhood, one filled with imagination, creativity, and play.


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In an early pitch, JohnPaul Morris showed me a photo of a young boy jumping on a bed. The content of the photo, the composition and the execution of the photographer created an emotional response for him and myself and it served as a north star for us as we pursued our options for each vignette we would film.


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One challenge that we faced with this piece was creating something simple but not something obvious. The narrative tone of Josh’s lyrics already communicate a beautiful story and we wanted to create a similar tone, visually, without being redundant. We entered into a balancing act of sorts, keeping in mind the emotional response we wanted to achieve while remaining close, but not too close, to the character of the song.


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We spent a few summer nights driving around, dragging friends along, and redecorating our own living rooms to capture the images that we needed for this piece.


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What made this process truly enjoyable for me was being given the opportunity to revisit my childhood creativity. To remember how I lived in a state of wonder and make believe and to be able to recreate those moments on camera is the very reason that I decided to get into filmmaking, and continues to remind this.