I've GOT to get this

I've GOT to get this film shoot log out of my head and onto the screen! It's been almost two weeks since we actually got back, but since things snowballed as soon as I got back to NYC, I left for vacation with Jean and have been even farther away from the net than before. Some vacation entries will follow, I'm sure, but I'll spare you most of the details.

On location, day 4 - Throughout the morning Jeff and I followed people around, fly-on-the-wall-style. We shot more farmers, some dry cleaning workers, and some older women doing housework and running errands.

The inspiration, I think, was Albert & David Maysles' Salesman, a film I first saw in business school, of all places, where it transfixed me with its simplicity, forthrightness, and insight. Now that the whole 15 minutes mentality has permeated (at least) US-driven society, the indifference to the camera that Maysles' subjects possess seems impossible to recapture and either eerie or nostalgic, depending on your POV. I can tell you that the presence of the camera and the notion that something is being said or done ON camera and could be repeated/disseminated are front and center in the minds of almost all our docu participants so far.
[if interested in Maysles, check out Maysles Films website or this interview with Al Maysles from The Onion's AV Club.]

After lunch, we were planning to do some driving shots: homes, fields, roads, field roads, irrigation ditches, highways, mountain canyons, etc. We got as far as the homes, fields and roads when the lens fell of the front of the camera and I drove over it. (I still have it and will post pics when I get back). Apparently, the threads had come loose during repeated rotations of the graduated density filter (which is half gray and half clear and is useful for shooting with outdoor light). Anyway, shooting wrapped up pretty quickly after that. We had to get the sound equipment back to my friend Dodge, so we just kept on driving. This unexpectedly abrupt end of shooting did NOT have anything to do with the fact that the crew had its first-and only-lunch with beer in UtahÖ

A final note from the crew regarding the location: Give up the search for good coffee early, at least in Utah County. Stick to 7-11 and avoid gas station/mini-marts, where 80-ounce refillable jugs of Diet Coke rule. In these locations, the coffee is generally the color of Coke (with melted ice), and apparently just as flavorful. One morning, I cracked, "I guess God doesn't want you to drink coffee," Jeff quickly (and accurately) replied, "Mormons don't want me to drink coffee."[note: I put the same link for both, since I'm a believer. ]

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

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first published: August 22, 2001.

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