[This piece is taken from the documentary series that follows independent musicians in the recording studio called Shaking Through, that I directed from 2010 to 2014]
Role: Producer, Director
I met Lou from Lewis & Clarke through my friend Tim Showalter, who fronts Strand of Oaks. I quickly learned 2 things: Lou was a great guy, but he had a really dramatic personal history he wasn't sure he wanted to share.
As a filmmaker, this presents you with a challenge--you need to follow your nose to good stories, but you can't tell them at the expense of your subjects. I knew I wanted to tell Lou's story--a dramatic tale of how he gave up a promising music career to fight for custody of his son. However, I wasn't interested in doing at the expense of Lou. The goal, then, was to make this a team effort, where the devices I wanted to use made him feel comfortable sharing his story.
Over a few months I spent a lot of time visiting him at his home in the Delaware Water Gap, taking hikes and talking with him until we both felt sure that I understood all angles of his story. We settled on a strategy of scripted voice-over, which allowed us to craft his words together, to tell the story in a way we were both excited about.
The end result is quite haunting. We both gave a lot of ourselves to the piece, and it shows.