DPP: Did you place more of an emphasis on visual or audio storytelling, or did they play an equal role?
Gelfand: I definitely pictured the shots in my piece beforehand, but the audio really drives the piece for me. Pretty pictures are always great, but when sound is truly engineered, it really brings you into the story. The farm felt so alive with insects and birds and wind and water. There was just this essence that couldn't be fulfilled with mere visuals. However, the slow-motion abilities of the EPIC are clearly outstanding, and being able to employ 240 fps was a treat.
DPP: Where was your location? How did you choose it?
Gelfand: We shot at Wolf Pine Farm in Alfred, Maine. The farm is the home and workplace of my subject, Robin. Since the location itself was such an integral part of the piece, it was easy to choose where to shoot, in this case.
DPP: Did you use specific shooting techniques or gear to deal with the location or any environmental challenges?
Gelfand: I operated fairly lightweight. I kept all necessary lenses on my person and just tromped back and forth through the fields. We would use a van or pickup to move gear from one end of the farm to the other. Environmentally, the weather mostly held up. It was definitely unpredictable, but I think that worked well for some killer time-lapses.
DPP: Looking to the future, what's next for you? What new projects or dream jobs, short term or long term?
Gelfand: I'm collaborating with a creative partner, Caroline Losneck, on an installation called Fyke Tide, which is loosely based on three months of audio recordings, video and photographs we captured during the 2013 elver eel fishing season in southern Maine. We actually just did a test run at the Camden International Film Festival that was really thrilling. Our goal is to expand it to larger gallery spaces and other U.S. markets. Other projects include an ongoing, as-yet-untitled short documentary about my wife Katie's sleep-talking habits and also a feature documentary film about the history of the answering machine.
FILMMAKER: Maya Ragazzo
DPP: What's the story behind Seep?
Maya Ragazzo: Seep is a self-portrait that explores identity as blankly as possible. I wanted little connotations associated with the piece, and tried to create a world that could possibly exist anywhere. I'm painted white in order to look pure and rid myself of my normal appearance. The liquid in the piece is meant to wash away my concealed facade. As I slowly wipe away the material that's obscuring me, I'm revealing my natural characteristics. However, I never truly reveal my actual self in order to let the viewer be in the position to decide what they think I could be. Seep is really a reflection of how others can have a certain view of you, which is often skewed in relation to how you think of yourself.