Not Your Parents' Documentaries: "California is a Place"
Sony's Bravia Balls Ad, David Michod's "Crossbow", James Nachtwey's war photography. Every once in a while, you get smacked in the face by art so powerful and sublime, it leaves you inspired, envious, or both. The mini documentary series, "California is a place", is no different.
Led by filmmaker Drea Cooper and photographer Zackary Canepari, these 5-7 minute masterpieces tell the stories of unique individuals and groups throughout the Golden State. What really separates the quality of these pieces from the typical info-doc is the confidence of the filmmakers to really go for it. They're shooting interviews with extreme wide angle lenses, macros, canted angles, cutting off the eyes, and shooting from behind (see gallery below).
But it's not style for style's sake. Eschewing the conventions of documentary (ie, This is your b-roll sequence. This is your sit-down interview sequence. And this is the sequence where you bore us.), they're opening up the medium to reflect the energy of the stories they're telling and the subjects they're profiling. Ex: "Scrapertown" (below)