This is my contribution to 10-10-10 One Day on Earth, documenting the planet in one day. It was a real run and gun last minute shoot for me. Up until a few days before D-Day I was still unsure about what my subject matter would be. Add the fact that I had a paying gig later that same day and ladies and gents... you got a possible situation here. Suddenly I was starting to doubt that:
A - I could find a last minute story that would be interesting enough to watch... and
B - I would have enough time to actually film all the scenes I needed to tell a story before I had to pack up and go off to my paying gig later on.
About two blocks from my apartment is a shelter. I often noticed some interesting characters smoking outside whenever I drove past the building, so I figured on this particular morning I would try an unannounced "door knock" to see if anyone would talk to me. It's something I'm used to doing for my day job as a TV news photojournalist. But still never an easy task finding people with substance abuse or emotional problems willing to just go on camera with a total stranger. And although the people in charge at the shelter were very helpful, because of privacy rights, I couldn't shoot any footage on the premises. Luckily, I ended up finding Mike, a 49 year old alcoholic who lives there full time. He's trying to pull his life together in the midst of this massive annual tourist celebration happening all around him during the month of Halloween in Salem, nicknamed "The Witch City." Even though he had never been on camera before, Mike was very eager to share his story with me. I quickly pre-interviewed him off camera just to see if he would be worth the time. And man, he was talkin' in sound bites right out of the gate! So I clipped a Sony lav mic on him and sat him down on a busy downtown Salem stoop, where he proceeded to pour his heart out to me about his difficult time with booze and drugs. After the interview I followed him around for a bit among the crowds of tourists and street hawkers who were peddling cheap Halloween trinkets and t-shirts.
I shot this with a Canon 550D (T2i) using 70-300mm and 17-50mm lenses.
Special thanks to Mike for sharing his struggle with alcoholism and to Lifebridge of Salem, MA.
Soundtrack: "March of the Mind"
by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 3.0" creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/"