"East Texas is a really great place to make films... as long as you want to be the director and producer."
Growing up in Tyler, the first documentary I ever saw was Hands on a Hard Body, which depicts a contest that used to be held in Longview. I remember being bored during the entire movie, but surprised that it stuck with me afterwards, in a way that most movies didn't. I would think of the man eating the greasy hamburger or the woman who listened to gospel music on her portable tape player, and I enjoyed wondering, "What are they doing right now?"
I loved the idea that the people in the movie didn't stop existing, after the movie. They kept living their lives in Longview, while people all over the world were watching this movie...
And during my freshman year of college, I was empowered by films like Invisible Children, amateur documentaries that didn't try to appear professional. These movies helped me realize that I could make documentaries, too - even with my lack of experience.
So I started making movies.
The first film I worked on was a project for Roadtrip Nation, and later I helped make a short film about grape farmers in Lodi, California. I worked on some interesting projects for fun, with friends in Tyler, and I also worked on an intimate collection of films to connect my Guatemalan host family to their emigrant family members in Deleware.
I'm currently making a film about tower crane operator, which will be shown at Stanford this week (see below).
As for the Rose Documentary, I submitted a proposal for Stanford funding, and we'll see where it goes from here. At the least, I'll make something short and personal, and at the most, this personal film will grow into a larger (but no-less-personal) project, over the span of the next few months.