If you spend any significant amount of time learning how to be successful in business and marketing, you’re going to have someone tell you to figure out your core values. Filmmakers typically apply core values to their production company, or to themselves as a freelancer. However, it was important to me that we determine those core values that are specific to Spirit of Tivaevae.
Tackling cultural topics head on can be tricky, having our core values in place allows us to handle any potentially sticky situations with grace and sensitivity. Plus, I want to be sure that everyone who joins our production team or our community of followers are clear on the guiding principles for who we are.
Here are our core values:
Spirit of adventure
The whole point of making this movie is discovery — learning about tivaevae and why it became an important part of Cook Islands culture. We embrace all the risks and unknowns of documentary filmmaking with a spirit of adventure.
Tivaevae is all about building relationships between the women as they work together to create a quilt, and between the artist and the recipient of a tivaevae. There are plenty of things you could be doing that do not include paying attention to our film. To show our appreciation for your time, we create immersive, entertaining, educational experiences for our community members.
Respect for family and culture are foundational values to many pacific island cultures. We understand that as documentary filmmakers our job is to seek answers to our questions. We also understand that listening is even more important than asking the questions.
Be an example
The world needs more pacific stories, it needs more islanders telling the stories of their people and history. We share insight into our process in the hopes that it inspires others to tell their own stories and engage with the culture.
Melodie is the director and producer of Spirit of Tivaevae. Born in New Zealand to a Cook Islander father and American mother, Melodie was raised in the United States. Her family background gives her a unique perspective on being a Pacific Islander raised outside the culture.