In The Driver's Seat

Five years ago, someone in North Philadelphia committed suicide by getting hit by the Amtrak train I was riding. I was in the first car behind the engine, where we heard the impact and the aftermath.

I was kind of preoccupied by the incident for some months afterward, and I went so far as to try to identify the person who died, and to inquire with Amtrak about interviewing the engineers and train personnel about what had happened. Though I didn't necessarily want [sic] to make a documentary about the experience, I found myself using the filmmaking process or conceit as a way to frame and make sense of what had happened. As if making a movie is reason in itself to get into peoples' lives, losses, and traumas. Anyway, nothing came of it.

And I'm glad, especially after reading the account of Vaughn Thomas in the Guardian. He was driving a train in London when a man stepped off the platform to die.

Last year I killed a man
[ via i forget]

Since 2001 here at, 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 that time.

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

find me on twitter: @gregorg

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first published: July 29, 2008.

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