“You constantly exercise your ability to chase and catch those candid, elusive moments that are the magic and heart of any true story.”
Australian filmmaking duo Victoria Carwin and Sam Haft impressed the San Francisco DocFest programmers with their uplifting story Nobody’s Perfect. The film celebrates true kindness, unconditional love and everyone’s right to live a happy life.
Victoria Carwin shares her insights on the making and process behind putting the film together.
Written by Victoria Carwin (Producer, Cinematographer, Editor)
It was chance and good timing that brought this story to my attention. One afternoon my friend and actor Sam Haft popped in for a chat with me and my husband, Richard (also an actor). Sam told us he had been nurturing this concept for a while, one of those ideas that float around while you focus on other things. As soon as he shared the story with us I knew I was stung. I instantly jumped onboard.
It is a simple story that we tell, so it only took a few days of pre-production and we were on the road, ready to dive in. We drove 230 kilometers (over 140 miles) to the location and filmed everything in one day. Sam directed and did additional photography. Richard helped with everything from driving to camera work. I operated the main camera and sound, edited and produced the film. David Bruggemann, a very talented composer, scored the music and Michael Vasiliev did the final sound mix.
While I have made several short films in the past, this was my first documentary project. Approaching it from a technical standpoint, it was a completely different experience in terms of story and structure. Sam wrote a shooting script, of course, and I prepared to film it. Instinctively, I knew that I could apply my skills as a photographer to capture the natural action that would unfold. As in most documentaries and journalism, the action often leads the way. You constantly exercise your ability to chase and catch those candid, elusive moments that are the magic and heart of any true story.
Initially, I anticipated telling a story about remarkable people who were unaware of how remarkable they were. During the actual filming, and later again in editing, the story inevitably reflected my personal beliefs in life, probably what attracted me to it in the first place. What surprised me as a filmmaker is that these kinds of stories, of people doing good for goods sake, are probably laying just beneath the surface all around us. All we have to do is look.
Our film is essentially about the philosophy of equality, and opportunities in life that should be open to every living creature. It’s truly wonderful to see that our heroes live by the principles most of us rarely have to think of, just because they can’t imagine it being any other way. They live in the moment, they find their ultimate happiness in caring for one another, and this gives a meaning to their life that’s incredibly empowering.
I’m hoping that the audience will not only enjoy this inspiring tale about unconditional love but will discover something more meaningful, that will appeal to them personally as it did to us.
About the Filmmakers
Victoria can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org