Saturday, October 14, 2006

It's Not About Pit Bulls, Exactly

I started a new documentary project today -- on Street Photographers. Research and planning have gone on for a while, but today was the first day of rolling tape.

So I went to Central Park with students from my Extension Class at Hunter College. It was a beautiful day, and there was an event for dogs and their owners. Picture hundreds and hundreds of dogs, most of exceptional breeding. It's Manhattan, after all.

The idea was to get some footage of the process of making photographs in public. My students were great, experimenting with many ideas and shooting some very interesting pictures. It was fun to see them work.

The strange part was that the park was filled with Documentary crews. I ran into some who were there to shoot pieces on dogs, on dog owners, on dog fashion, and on the wackiness of how dogs are treated in affluent and decadent Western culture.

And I ran into a woman who is shooting a documentary. She asked what we were shooting -- well, actually "Who are you shooting for?" -- and then didn't seem to listen to the answer. She was noticeably relieved when it turned out not to be a documentary on Pit Bulls, though. I know this because when I asked her what she was shooting she seemed a bit hesitant to tell me, and then told me it was on Pit Bulls -- almost in a whisper.

Was she afraid to admit this in the middle of the sea of dog owners? (You have to figure it might be some sort of expose....) Or was she afraid we might steal her idea?

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