The most inspiring speaker that we had this semester, for me, was Michel Scott. There were so many aspects to the making of Over The Hills And Far Away he shared that will stick with me for the rest of my filmmaking career. I was very excited to hear that Scott was coming in to talk about this film, because I had seen pieces of it last year when his editor came into my class to talk about her work on the film, so I already knew the story and had seen a lot of footage, but it was awesome to see how it had all come together.
I loved hearing that before this film Scott was in Hollywood doing miscellaneous things (for example, being a PA on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre... the sequel) then quit because he knew that's not where he wanted to be. I am definitely not the Hollywood feature film type, so it was reassuring to hear and know that I don't have to settle for work that I don't want to be doing. Granted, yes, every now and then I'm bound to need money and shouldn't be so picky. But it just makes you realize, especially in our industry, why do something you're not passionate about? Why waste your time helping others make films you don't feel invested in and wouldn't go see yourself?
I also liked hearing how Scott got started on the film. The story literally fell into his lap because he attended an event about something that genuinely interested him and he was passionate about. If we as documentarians are consistent about staying involved and cultured, we are most definitely going to find stories worthy of film.
Over The Hills is by all means a journey film, both for the family and the filmmakers. It blew my mind to hear Scott talk about taking the trip with the family, riding the horses, camping, and traveling through Mongolia. That is definitely both a dream job and a terror - traveling the world to shoot a film, but also having to ride a horse for ages while trying to hold a camera. Crazy. Here's a short bit of b-roll that is on the movie's website. My favorite part is seeing the sound guy on a horse with a boom.
I left class thinking "I want to be him." That's pretty much the best a guest visit can go, right?