Before I began my interviews with Jay, I first considered my own role as an documentary filmmaker. As with all forms of film, so much of the filmmaker’s self becomes exposed through filming and editing. The questions we pose to our subject, our choice of perspectives, the quotes we keep and the ones we discard — All these decisions become markedly important in the creation of a documentary; especially because it is a form through which people expect some seed of truth.
Thus, I made the decision to keep a hands-off approach to my film of Jay, trusting that the interviews would allow me him to reveal what was important to his design perspective; in order for me to better craft a narrative about his story. This proved to be successful, as we ended up working closely together to understand this process — I looked outward for points of interest and relevance, and Jay looked inward through self-reflection — allowing us to meet in the middle.
In many ways, the ethnographic video was discovered rather than created. As interviewer and interviewee, we celebrated brief moments of synchronity. An interesting interview, when watched in full, can be very boring due to its predictability and lack of rhythm. However, any interview, when interspersed carefully with sensible links and transitions – much like telling a story – can be interesting and feel well-paced. Allowing the audio and visual to take turns, much like in a dance, can also allow different elements of the film to lead into each other, creating a much smoother expeirence.
I’m very happy to have had the opportunity to film Jay. To share in the personal space of another person; to see the environment in which they live, relax, and work, can be an intrusive experience, and I’m glad that Jay was very open and willing to let me into his life. It was altogether a very enjoyable film to make.