Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thesis Research

Last week I drove out to Lucerne Valley, a hot patch of sand, craggy peaks, and Joshua trees in the California desert about an hour north of the San Bernardino Valley (where I grew up). It's home to miscreants, misfits, misanthropes...

And Bob. He's an old family friend.

A few years ago, Bob got sick of living in stagnant, gang-infested San Bernardino and decided to break free.

He began to build a home - an ecologically friendly dome - that would provide a safe haven and a new beginning for himself and his son, Eli.

Bob and his older children, Sarah and Louis, learned to mix concrete with earth and stuff it into long recycled plastic tubes that they coiled, tamped down, and secured with barbed wire.

The shots I've posted here are two years apart: they date from August 2007 and August 2009.

One year from now, in the fall of 2010, I plan to shoot my thesis film at the dome. There are a lot of stories to be told in the desert, and I might trek out this November to do some research.

Question is: can I come up with anything more unique, more dramatic than what's already there? (It's a question any filmmaker must ask herself.)

The answer is probably no.

In which case I would have no choice but to make a documentary.

I wonder what will happen?

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