“O’ER THE LAND” director, Deborah Stratman
[PREMIERE SCREENING: Friday, Jan. 16, 11:30 am — Holiday Village Cinema III, Park City]
I think I might be one of the few filmmakers out there who still cuts on a flatbed. Or rather, if I shoot on film, I cut on film; if I shoot on video, I cut on a computer. I still cut on film for a few reasons (it’s easier on my eyes, the tables are all being given away so I don’t have to compete for an editing space, I like handling the plastic), but most important is work speed. And by speed, I don’t mean faster. The slowness is seminal to the end product. Maybe it’s because I am, in essence, a slow thinker. But the way my thoughts are given form when I cut film is radically different than when I work on a computer. My films unfurl the way they do in large part because of my faith in slowness, and because of the way analog/mechanical processes accommodate that slowness.
I’m not antinonlinear; I’ve embraced it on many occasions. I just appreciate the unique temporal and pressure differences that each process lends itself to. As someone who still works in film, or plans to keep it up as long as market forces allow, I’m definitely negatively affected by the systematic discontinuation of some of my favorite film stocks and the closing down of film labs across the country. It can be depressing and pretty stressful to have your artistic tools threatened by obsolescence.