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“Offering Participants the Option to Request Changes or Even Remove Themselves Entirely” | Luke Lorentzen, A Still Small Voice

A woman with her brown hair tied back looks up and to the right.A Still Small Voice, courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Every production faces unexpected obstructions that require creative solutions and conceptual rethinking. What was an unforeseen obstacle, crisis, or simply unpredictable event you had to respond to, and how did this event impact or cause you to rethink your film?

I started this project interested in further developing my ability to connect and build trust with the people I film. But it became clear that the depth, connection and intimacy that I felt would be central to this story could only happen if participants (chaplains and patients alike) felt safe and comfortable sharing deeply personal moments in front of the camera in a way that went beyond anything I’d previously shot. Offering participants the option to request changes or even remove themselves entirely from the project if their comfort changed over time became a central part of fostering trust, comfort and collaboration. Granting this right from the outset of a project was new to me as a director, and it at first felt uncomfortable despite my sense that it was the right approach given the sensitive nature of the project. With time, this more open process throughout the shooting and editing led to a special type of collaboration that made possible what I believe is an usual level of intimacy in the final film.

See all responses to our annual Sundance Question here.

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