True Journey is a web mini-series created by Tim Williams that aims to showcase six different people with singular talents; each person gets one episode to film themselves – the creator of the webseries is never present on screen whether by face or voice – and talk about their skill, their journey and their inspirations.
I had the opportunity to watch the first episode, a 22-minute focus on Ty Suite, a beatboxer whose speciality is electric guitar sounds.
The episode should allow him to show his talent, how he discovered and honed it, and how his day-to-day life as a beatboxer is; yet, most of the runtime is dedicated to his family life, with home videos or face-camera speeches about his wife, son, mother and father.
The entire episode seems scattered in irrelevant or unnecessary moments and commentaries that make you forget what you are watching in the first place: is it a documentary about unknown talents or a random vlog found on Youtube?
The discovery of Ty’s talent, his professional background or his family and friends’ views on Ty’s dream are barely touched upon; answering and exploring these questions in a deeper way would have certainly made the documentary more conventional, which is maybe exactly what Tim Williams was trying to avoid, but without these answers it is hard to grasp the true extant of Ty’s day-to-day life and how his talent affects it.
If True Journey’s aim is to inspire others by showing the journey of talented people, this journey needs to be the main focus.
There are still some silver linings: when Ty talks about his late father and how much he inspired him, the viewer can easily transpose that love to how Ty takes care of his own son, highlighting, whether by choice or not, a legacy of fathers caring about their sons and fostering their talent.
In this moment, Ty’s journey is made clearer: it is his father who inspires him, and his goal seems to be to inspire his son the same way. Unfortunately, this touching moment gets lost in the rest of the episode.
On a technical aspect, the stylistic choice of having text on screen from time to time is another peculiar decision: instead of acting as title cards or popping up to add crucial information, the text often appears randomly, sometimes just to emphasize some words Ty is saying but without a clear purpose.
All in all, a clear purpose is what True Journey lacks: it is too scattered to act as a real documentary and too unfocused to make us care about the people participating.
This is only the first episode, however, and later ones will maybe mitigate these issues; I definitely hope so, as this is a documentary that definitely has potential.