Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The light touch

Documentarians debate observing versus directing.
It's a massively muti-variant equation that I have to solve while I'm one of the shifting values plugged into the calculation.
"Let's see, if I don't ask her to repeat that, I'm not sure I got good sound. But if I interrupt, she might lose this confessional mood. The L is going to come by in a moment and in fifteen minutes the sun will be off her studio window." Meanwhile, I want her to feel safe revealing these things about her childhood and her piquant relationship with her father.

We're collaborating and it's my job to make it easy for them to tell their story.
In fact, my weakness is that I like everybody to be happy and that doesn't always make the best, truest documentary art. So, I'm finally learning to let people take the risks they're willing to take in opening up. But that's hard. Maybe they need to have a safeword for the pain of exposure.

Maybe I should only work with sociopaths and not worry. I bet they have good budgets.

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