The whole of history could be written, says Petrushka Pavlovich, from the simple stories of everyday people living everyday lives.
Working out of a studio in the same apartment complex where she lives in Browne’s Addition, Pavlovich is combining art and technology, an unlikely pair, to tell those stories.
A longtime screenwriter and writing instructor, Pavlovich says she laid down the pen and picked up the video camera when she realized the powerful impact of the moving image combined with sound design. Now she tells stories using video via the internet in her home-based video production company, Fact & Fable Productions.
“I’m writing with the camera now, telling reel stories about real people,” she says.
Using few words, the imagery in her videos is inextricably layered with melody to create the sights and sounds of story with artistic interpretation left largely to the viewer, from Web-based commercials and documentaries to video greeting cards.
She compares the videos to the primitive cavemen drawing pictures to tell tales or the enraptured visual learning of an entertained baby. She is striving to create this same intimate, fireside connection between people in a modern world through a modern medium.
Surrounded by computers, monitors, speakers and all the technological trappings of a present-day full-service production company, Pavlovich’s work space feels part artist’s studio, part high-tech hub. Here she brings the flavor and hands-on intimacy of cottage industry to the sheer efficiency of an internet business model.
“I’m bringing art to the marketplace,” she says. “In only a few seconds, you can experience the beauty of unspoken poetry.”
The home-based environment is a natural venue for an artistic endeavor with an international client base, because the Internet, with round-the-clock convenience, Web cams and e-mail, closes the distance between Pavlovich and clients a continent away, making it feel as if they were in the same town, or even same room.
Like most home-based businesses, this always-on connectivity and proximity can make balancing personal and professional lives difficult.
“Deadlines just eat at you, but when it comes to real life, life keeps happening,” she says. “I don’t model myself as having any balance, but I constantly strive to establish it. That difference is people, somebody who needs you, a situation that requires your personal self.”
To keep the people in her life a priority amongst the deadlines, Pavlovich schedules her time. “I set a boundary that I just cannot bear to cancel,” she says. “I get lost in a movie. I shut the door.”
When she shuts the door it takes less than 15 minutes to get to the airport, downtown, or the country, one reason she located to Spokane after living in major metropolitan locales, from London to Los Angeles.
And none of her other office spaces afforded a view of stately pine trees and a host of native wildlife, from deer to wild turkey to raccoons.
After contemplating that view, or spending time with loved ones, when she returns to work Pavlovich once again gets lost in the movies, this time the ones she is creating from her clients stories.
“Most people don’t realize how interesting their stories are,” she says. “I have yet to meet anybody with a boring story. Their journeys interest me.”