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Boundary-busting filmmaker Cam Archer — one of Filmmaker‘s 25 New Faces and director of, most recently, Shit Year — is making his first doc, Criminal Thoughts. He talks about it and his career in an unguarded video for Kickstarter.

In the video, Archer is up-front about the exploratory nature of his project, which appeals to me. As more and more Kickstarter campaigns seem like pre-buys for existing products/projects, Cam’s appeal to us to assist him during his creative process is striking. From the page:

CRIMINAL THOUGHTS, my first feature length documentary, will be an exciting, creative departure for me. in the past, my work has been almost exclusively narrative. though i still consider all of that work to be of me, the fictional element, as far as i am concerned, builds a wall, or a mask, which keeps us from getting to know one another. i’d like to remove the mask and be as direct as possible. does this sound okay?

FIVE REAL CRIMES call to me each night… they’re tangled in my mind, actually. with your help, through my lens, i can begin to explore, investigate and re-imagine each of these crimes, their horrors. each investigation will take me some place new, places like: WASHINGTON STATE, INDIANA, OHIO, VIRGINIA, FLORIDA, CALIFORNIA and VIETNAM. yes, crime is everywhere. why?

the film will have one principal narrator, an actor, who will speak in the first person (as me), presenting new facts and old truths, as they are collected and exposed. additional narrators, or characters, will be presented throughout the film, as each new story or incident is introduced. inevitably, with actors lending their voices to real people, some of which are dead, there will be an unavoidable narrative element in the final film.

though this film will be, at its core, about crime, it will, inadvertently, also be a film about me, touching on my own personal obsessions and dark thoughts. projects like this are often labeled ‘personal documentaries,’ but i’d like to think that this project, at this point in time, is too new and undeveloped to be easily classified. if you’re interested in supporting me, this work, think of it however you like, or as whatever you like, then prepare yourself for something entirely different. this is how i first approach a project.

of course, it is impossible (in these modern times, where everything is available) to not feel inspired by other artists, their works. i love chris marker’s film-essay, sans soleil, films by sharon lockhart, films by ross mcelwee, the monologues of spalding gray, dave cullen’s columbine and truman capote’s in cold blood. with each of these works, i find myself lost in the head of the creator, the artist. it’s like we begin to share the same head, or lens. i would like my film, CRIMINAL THOUGHTS, to produce a similar, personal connection.

Archer has five days to go and is short of his modest goal of $14,900. If the above intrigues you, check out his page and consider helping.

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