Personal Velocity

Personal Velocity


It’s always a lot more work than it appears!


I remember how many early mornings I was up, putting
together equipment for a documentary or trying to the night before—staying
up late and putting together my package and deciding whether I had
everything or not. And just mentally preparing myself for whatever
was to come.

Passionate Interests

I think that one thing that has helped me to do the
things I’ve done is that I’ve always kind of held myself to having
a certain passionate interest in the projects I was working on.
I had to be interested in the material and have to have something
to say. A lot of people will know what the craft of filmmaking is,
but they don’t really have very much to say. And that’s kind of
the reason you’re making a film. There is ultimately some sort of
message or story that’s being told.

Mini-DV Works

For documentaries, the mini-DV medium is fantastic.
For making smaller movies, it can work. But it’s not without
a lot of work; it’s not without its consequences. People don’t realize
that it takes a lot of work in post and it takes a lot of money.

The Similarities Between Fiction and Non-Fiction

[In documentary], I have to walk into a room and immediately
figure out what the essence of a scene is and what we’re going for.
That has spilled over into feature filmmaking, because I have to
do the same thing when I’m on a scout. I have to walk into the location
and visualize the scene that’s going to take place there, where
the actors can possibly go and how to cover myself in terms of the
lighting. So they’re similar in that way.

Women in the Industry

For a lot of women, I think it’s important to remember
that everybody has insecurities. Everybody—whether you’re male or
female—and that you constantly have to check in with yourself to
try and overcome those insecurities, to move through them and to
have confidence in yourself that you’ve learned by your mistakes.
Ultimately, what’s important is the work at hand.


Analyze That (2002)
Jim Brown All American (2002)
Personal Velocity: Three Portraits (2002)
A Huey P. Newton Story  (2001)
Blow (2001)
Bamboozled (2000)
Summer of Sam (1999)
The Mod Squad  (1999)
Just the Ticket (1999)
Poverty Outlaw (1997)
Scratch the Surface (1997)
4 Little Girls (1997)
If These Walls Could Talk (1996)
I Shot Andy Warhol (1996)
Angela (1995)
Unzipped (1995)
Roy Cohn/Jack Smith (1994)
Postcards from America (1994)
Romance de Valentía (1993)
Swoon (1992)
Samsara: Death and Rebirth in Cambodia (1989)