“ARLEN FABER” writer-director, John Hindman
[PREMIERE SCREENING: Sunday, Jan. 18, 5:15 pm — Racquet Club, Park City]
Although technology may have shortened the average person’s patience over the past few years I believe that storytelling should never rush to keep up.
It is true that we live in an increasingly fast culture. Our communication demands that our lives be summed up with only as much information as will fit on a Facebook profile. We don’t invite, we e-vite. We don’t talk, we type. And we quit sharing and started blogging. Don’t get me wrong. Many of these things are totally cool. But I think that although life may have gotten faster the important moments still take time.
For my movie I chose to set aside the pounding immediacy of everyday life and focus on the moments in which time seems to stop: When you fall in love. When you say the worst thing at the worst time. When you do the wrong thing for the right reasons and stand by helplessly as it plays out. When you savor the joy of the perfect comeback. And when you lay it all on the line and hope she takes you back. Those moments demand their own time and space. And, for me, I like the movies that take the time to give it to them.
Preston Sturgess, Billy Wilder, Woody Allen, Frank Capra and others all knew the value of sticking with the performance as it unfolds. The camera and a lot of fast edits can give you a false sense of thematic value. I think it is a better storytelling choice to (whenever possible) let the camera rest long enough for the audience to forget about it. This seems to me to be more effective and more lifelike. Our lives unfold in a seemingly endless stream and when movies mirror that those are some of the moments we remember best.
Over the past few decades scenes have become shorter and within those scenes we have more cuts than ever. I chose to go in a different direction. If I could get a scene in one shot I would. For example the main characters go on a tentative romantic stroll and it’s all in one tracking shot. No coverage. For me that puts the viewer on the walk with them in a way that cutting could not.
The final scene of the movie is another example of being unconventional by today’s standards. One long shot through a window with no coverage. I purposefully didn’t shoot an alternative to this or cover it in any way. Some people spoke up during the editing process and asked if we had any coverage, or could we see it from a different angle. If I had shot it any other way I would have been under a lot of pressure to use a different take. Thankfully I did not.