Recently, I was reminded why narrative (i.e. scripted) stories are so important in our media landscape.

As visual inspiration for the film I’m writing, I’ve been watching Euphoria. I’ve always been hit or miss on the show. Some scenes are absolutely brilliant. Others are like a music video that goes on for too long. But after watching it all the way through. There were moments that really touched a nerve.

Like the main character, Rue, I lost my dad when I was young – age 29 to be exact. He had suffered with alcohol addiction since I had been in college. And his liver and kidneys eventually just gave out from the abuse. With that being said, I wouldn’t be in Los Angeles without him. The little money he had put aside to leave to family was used to fix my car, finance the move and honor one of his last wishes to me – to use it for filmmaking.

There is a scene in Euphoria (not really a spoiler) where she sees her dad in a dream sequence, hugs him, and tells him she misses him. That she can barely remember what he looks like and the sound of his voice. And in that moment, I felt like I was in her same shoes. Because while the pain of losing him has lessened over the years. There are still moments that I feel the exact same way – wishing that I could see him just one more time.

While I love the craft of documentary. It’s power is getting you to understand and empathize with another person. Narrative has a unique power – it helps us see ourselves in the shoes of the characters we’re watching. Because it’s fictional, It allows us to be a part of the journey the character is on. We fill in the details of what we don’t see. So it is a true representation of our own journey. It’s like it was made for just us.

I am not going to declare that the film I’m working on is going to be as impactful as Euphoria. I’m on draft 2 and I have a long to go. Not only in this film, but also in my career itself. But watching things like it reminds of why I fell in love with filmmaking in the first place. And why real, human stories will always be needed.