Documentary Filmmaking

Since 2006, I have occasionally dabbled in documentary film projects that incorporate archival images, video, film, and audio to offer new ways of seeing the subject at hand. My preference is to allow the subjects to speak for themselves, both visually and aurally, without supplemental voiceover narration or the presence of an interviewer. Past subjects have included the tension between the urgency of creative impulse and the passage of time, organic farming in South Carolina, and my mother, who passed away in 2006. I am currently in the preproduction phase for a feature-length documentary on a creepy but fascinating Route 66 ghost town in Arizona.

The following is a low-resolution, compressed version of Nubby Linen, or a short history of the birth of the Christopher Wren Singers of the College of William and Mary, a 13-minute documentary that combines recent interview footage of Suzanne (Stephan) Neely, the co-founder of this landmark singing group, with archival footage of Wren performances to tell the story of the first student-run, student-directed a capella group at the College of William and Mary. Today there are more than a dozen such groups. This short film premiered in Williamsburg, Virginia, in October 2007, to coincide with the Wrens’ 20th Anniversary celebration. The title winkingly refers to a joke among the group’s early members that their sound was more like nubby linen than the “textured silk” analogy one reviewer used to describe the group in their first season of performances.

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One Response to “Documentary Filmmaking”

  1. Hey Ewak!!!

    Nice job on the documentary!!! My dad just found this, I never even knew it was out here. How are you doing? I’m in the throes of parenthood with a 2-year old, and founding a brand new band – something like the 4th one over my adult years. Sorry to read about your mom. That must have been unfathomably hard. I can’t even imagine. Please shoot me an email and let me know how you are! If you ever want to do an update, I have a ton of video, including our recording sessions. Also – I’ve put most of our original recordings to digital – do you think current wrens would like to have them for fundraising?
    -Tara (p.s. I think suck and blow was a game from Laura’s high school years… 🙂

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