What am I filming now?
I am filming answers to one lovely question. I have done 153 sit-down interviews, mostly in the western USA, British Columbia, Ontario, Pennsylvania, and southern USA. The main question is simple, yet profound; it is validating and central to us all. Each person’s answer is unique, personal and treasured.
I don’t tell the interviewees the question ahead of time because I don’t want them to pre-think their answers. Spontaneity is quite beautiful and so very honest. In addition, I don’t offer the question here because we live in a fast-sharing digital world and I am keeping the question under wraps until the film premieres and the website launches. I want to edit the film and website to honor the whole of what the interviewees shared with me and what I learned from the entire experience before sharing the question in the public sphere. But keeping the question of the film a mystery hasn’t kept me from making a trailer.
I’ve done seven trips to find and film interviewees. I try to follow my curiosity, joy and synchronicity. I don’t walk around looking for 6’9” interviewees, or left-handers, or lovers of spinach. I wait until I get a sense of strong curiosity or “knowing” that I should ask that particular person.
Everyone is nervous at the beginning and glad they said “yes” at the end. During the interviews, there is always laughter at some point, pondering, seriousness and truth. Between trips, I edit, work on the website design, and make my daily bread as a carpenter, sometimes as a filmmaker.
In 2016, I edited together a 15-minute preview piece that tested my ideas and choices for the film. It works. In 2017, I turned to fleshing out and finishing the website design. I’ve shown both the preview piece and the website design to people for feedback. The feedback has been marvelous, their reactions have been what I’d dared hope they would be. (Yay!)
In the Fall of 2017 and 2018, I took two trips and interviewed 43 more wonderful people in the Northwest and Northeast. The 2018 trip was funded by 122 generous people who donated through Kickstarter (thank you again!). I travel alone in a van with my lights, cameras and microphones – just me – following where the Universe nudges me to find just the right interviewees. Go to the Where’s Barbara? page to see the list of whom I have interviewed and where I interviewed them.
In 2021-22, I worked with three editors to edit interviews for the website. By the end of 2022, we had edited 107 interviews down to 3- 18 minutes, over 80 interviews had been color-corrected and over 90 interviews had their sound cleaned and balanced.