BEHIND THE SCENES OF "RESTING
PLACES" - THE DOCUMENTARY:
A WEEKEND ON THE SHOOT
IN 2004, I was contacted by an independent filmmaker,
"Kip" Kipikash, who told me he was planning on making a pair of
films -- a narrative drama, and a documentary -- centering on the subject of roadside memorials. He wanted to discuss using
some of the images in my Descansos
series, in the films. I was glad to help out.
In the summer of 2005, after Kip's dramatic movie, "Descansos",
had finished shooting and was approaching
completion, I was contacted by Kip's associate, Melissa Villanueva,
another young independent filmmaker from the Kansas City area. Melissa
had been first assistant director on "Descansos", and she had been
enlisted by Kip to produce the documentary, which was to be called "Resting
Melissa asked if I could come down to
Kansas City to be interviewed for the film. I jumped at the chance to get involved. I
flew out of Madison early Saturday morning, and after flying the wrong way to
make my connection
through Milwaukee, I finally got going in the right direction, and arrived at Kansas City in mid-morning.
was picked up by a crew member,
Kyle, who drove me around the KC area looking for roadside memorials -- and the
rest of the crew. They were out shooting an interview with Ilan
Ginzburg, a French photographer who has also made a study of roadside
memorial, and who had also been flown in to be part of the film.
evocative images can be found at his on-line exhibit, "Lieux de
passage" . Ilan
has also now posted a collection of his photographs of this weekend, here.
After we all connected at lunch, we went out to shoot some
scenes of me photographing a roadside memorial.
location, I was supposed to pull over in a van, get out and walk over to the memorial, and start shooting photos.
Easier said than done. I needed to pull the van up and
stop at the exact point the camera's focus was set at. I had a little
trouble "hitting my mark" (my excuse was the van's touchy accelerator
pedal). That eventually being done, I managed all right, I
think, walking around and following Kip's directions.
could have just pretended, dry-firing for the video camera, but as long as
I was there, I took a number of exposures of the memorial that was the focus of
Just as we were finishing, a trooper pulled up to check out the
suspicious activity. Kip explained to him that it had all been cleared in
this, we headed back to the
facilities of Flagler
Productions, which is handling the production, where I was interviewed in
front of a faux darkroom set.
I can't remember much about the interview. I am counting
on the magic of editing to make me sound intelligent and thoughtful.
and Kip are going over some of Ilan's prints.
Ilan's images of roadside memorials in his native France are
also set to appear in the movies.
The day ended with great conversation with Melissa, Kip and
Ilan over a great Kansas City steak dinner.
The following morning, we were up early for filming of an
interview on location at O'Dowd's, a bar in downtown Kansas City.
While the location
was being set up, Ilan and I
wandered the Plaza area of old Kansas City, putting our new digital cameras to
Then we returned to
O'Dowd's, where the final preparations were
being made for shooting the interview.
The interview subject for the morning was
Delahunt, self-proclaimed "bon vivant, scientist, big game hunter,
[and] runway model".
Eddie is a Dubliner now resident in Kansas City -- where he is,
in actuality, a
was to talk about soldiers' memorials and other related traditions of
was able to shoot some scenes inside O'Dowd's during preparation for
shooting Eddie's interview.
Soon, however, it was time for me to catch my flight back
As mentioned above, more images of this weekend as
viewed through Ilan's eyes and camera, can be seen at Ilan's parallel
reminiscence of this weekend, "Resting
Places". (There are some interesting connections between the
photos: for example, here is Ilan's
photo of me around the time I took
; and here is
my photo of Ilan around the time he took this
More about roadside memorials here: