My multi-generational family farm was recently sold. Observing farms that are still in operation is both nostalgic for me and a chance to explore my complex thoughts and love for farming, and to dream about the path I didn't take.
Whenever I go on the road with my family, usually trailing my husband’s tour schedule, I find a farmer with whom to spend a day with. I am one woman running camera and sound, shooting in a day and usually taking two days to edit.
I show up with my gear, having had one conversation over the phone with the farmer. I like to get full access; otherwise, it’s not worth shooting. I aim to not impose upon the work and worker(s), but to also acknowledge that my presence affects the scene.
I am privileged to witness many facets of someone in his/her work. It doesn't take long for us to get used to each other (including animals to the camera). I can tell that my evolving relationship with the documented affects the final short film. Who knows what the everyday is like when I am not there. What is more interesting to me is the dance between the observed and the observer and how these layers intercede.
Farms that I have shot and are researching: hobby farming, organic farming, factory farming, irrigated/dry land large acre farming, robotic farming, vertical farming, barge farming, cash only farming -- basically anything that involves dirt, machines, and/or animals. If you know of other farms and farmers that might be interested in this project, please contact me. I might make it out that way.
I hope to make many of these shorts and show them as a touring public installation; maybe on the side of a grain bin. Stay tuned here for a rotation of new farm films.