Monthly Archives: April 2012

Letting the picture do the talking.

Something I learned during 2010’s grueling shooting season was that my job as director is as much about getting people to not talk on camera as it is eliciting information. All four of the main participants are interesting, funny, heartfelt and very opinionated. Three of the four live alone, but everyone loves to talk when they’ve got company. It was late into the season before I realized how little footage I had of everyone just doing what they do and being themselves without explaining it, interesting as that explanation is. Watching the footage for the first time Gretta, the editor, has been wishing for more silence, footage of people doing, not saying. As an editor/artist working in a primarily visual medium, the silent scenes leave more possibilities open for creative flow. The best audio footage and the best picture don’t always coincide in the same shoot.

I want the world to know and understand and love the true story of this community as much as the film’s participants, so it’s hard for any of us to remember that sometimes the picture is the best way to tell the story and then create the space to let it do so.

Many stories, two narratives, one film.

Today I was reminded of the enormous value in discussing the creative aspects of the project with other film and story professionals. Walking through the story and watching the footage today with Gretta (the film’s editor; see previous post), we had an important revelation about the story’s basic structure. Keep reading

Film progress update

I’m currently in Madison, Wisconsin for another day beginning work with the film’s editor, Gretta Wing Miller. We’ve spent most of two days looking through footage, sharing ideas on the film’s structure and making notes. I fly back tomorrow afternoon, leaving a duplicate hard drive with her so she can continue working away. We’ve only watched a series of “selects” clips that I put together. This is maybe 10% of the total footage available, so there’s lots more to watch.
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