Saturday, May 30, 2009

Through the Labyrinth - a Microdoc

One of my favorite production phrases is "It just fell off the truck that way." That's the case for this microdoc, but not its subject.

My friend Lorien Eck and her students at West Adams Prep on Vermont in Los Angeles went through a pretty elaborate and interesting process to create their West Adams Prep Labyrinth. You can read all about it here...and you can see some great photos of the thing taking shape.

I am a gardener myself (I do most of my best writing out there), and when I heard there would be a ribbon cutting I jumped at the chance to attend. Just as she was heading to the front of the crowd with the scissors I asked Lorien who was shooting video and she said, "Aren't you?" Which is true--I had said I would, but didn't have a camera aside from my marathon-proof Olympus. I'd brought it to shoot panoramas. I rolled with it and... "that's the way it fell off the truck."

This is a very static film, but I love that it has beginning-middle-end anyways. I walked around the outside and then I followed the crowd into the labyrinth: all the way in and all the way out again. There is a narrative to the order in which the people go through: I love the little kid in red, and then all the students who built it, followed by the guys from Inner Gardens, West Adams staff, friends and family, etc. I love Noh plays, and this reminds me of Noh...there is a theatrical convention in Noh (and also Peking Opera) where a character indicates a journey by walking in a small circle onstage. There are many people on a journey in this one: the little boy in red, the students, younger and older folks, couples, a pregnant woman...seeing them looping back and forth...well, there's a story in there somewhere.

The music is from a site called, which must be seen to be understood. It's a mashup I created myself on the fly...loads of fun.

Through the Labyrinth from John Flynn on Vimeo.

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