Monday, May 10, 2010

Film It, Dude

A few posts ago, I embedded a short documentary I made with a friend called "Central Square." Here it is again so you don't have to scroll back:

A Google Documents clean-out session turned up the tape logs from Sully's interview that cold, February day on the cobblestone sidewalks of Cambridge, MA. I'm posting them here for two reasons. First, I am re-amazed at how keenly aware and reflective he was about contemporary urban life in his drugged-out swagger. Expounding on the old days, his son's tour in Baghdad and his personal ethics, he shows a deep understanding of the fuzzy tensions between Boston's homeless and swanky college students; between urban apathy and "the brilliancy of the youth"; between modernity and postmodernity. In his soliloquy, he very poignantly states:
"Listen dude. I am covered man. I am bulletholed, shrapnell, I dont give a flip about nothin for nothing, but what I do appreciate is when I saw a war dog going like this. hey shit bum. get over here. Stand in front of the camera, give me your personal opinion."
It would have been very easy for Sully to write us off as some white kids whose parents sent us off to an expensive college to trade imaginary numbers around on Wall Street. But instead, he recognized the power of the camera as an opportunity for social empowerment.

Second, I want to illustrate that in the process of editing, Sully's story becomes partially our story as filmmakers. What made it into the film and how vs. what was left on the cutting room floor is a powerful reminder that what we see on our screens is not the capitol-T-Truth, but rather, "a truth."

So here are the transcripts from Sully's interview. Please excuse the spelling errors... Final Cut does not make logging easy.

These are the kinds of diverse insights we can find with more accessible production tools and the digital literacy skills to use them. Going into our communities with a camera, tripod, and open minds can be a profound opportunity for perceiving the world on our own terms, no matter how rough the final product is (and this short is rough)

But who cares? In the words of Mark John Sullivan, "...look, film it, dude."


  1. Just your style Jason, crisp and clean. Very nice. I thought it was about time I check out your Blog!

  2. Haha, thanks, Birdie.

    And you have a blog, too! Yay, cultural production!

    Consider yourself added to my Google Reader.

    // Jason

  3. Loved this. I recently wrote a post about breaking up with Central Square because Rodney's is closing and it's just not the same. I couldn't bring myself to go into Rodney's today; I felt like a looter. Crazy how that happens. Anyway, I loved all the visuals and he was a great voice in the background. And that woman who did her Catholic hand crossing thing, I see her all the time. Thanks for reminding me when Tello's and Gap were still around. Those were the days.