Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sandy's Barn Dance

For years I avoided the popular annual barn dance given by our farming neighbor, Sandy Saunders. Didn't like the music, didn't like the crowds. This year, though, as part of my venture making a film about Sandy, I went. And enjoyed every moment of it. (Well, I didn't dance because I was there to film it.) The volunteer labor force worked without a pause for ten hours preparing it and Sandy himself featured prominently in every aspect of the preparations.


  1. Random thoughts on watching:

    * Found myself meditatively watching the beautiful rippling of the farm lady's strong arm muscles as she worked in the barn.

    * The portable staircase using the truck bed was ingenious, and I liked the row of ducks on the side.

    * Sandy is tough and has so much energy it puts me to shame, especially given the difference in our ages.

    * I found myself thinking of the difference between your approach to this documentary compared to the typical slick, banal TV approach. In a typical TV story on this event, all of the footage of the people working in preparation for the dance would be overlaid with jaunty music from the dance and an almost patronizing voice-over explaining everything that's happening and pointing out sights of interest. Instead, you weren't afraid to allow the rule of silence, muttering, and ambient noise over the soundtrack until the dance actually began. The relentlessly upbeat TV approach glosses over the events, while your naturalistic approach allows us to better feel the hard work and concentration of the people preparing for the dance

    * Enjoyed the cameos by Caroline as she ate watermelon in the background and then was foregrounded with Louis for a moment chatting with the neighbors.

    * The unseen child's enthusiastic conversation with his or her "lucky hot dog" was adorable.

    * During the last shot of the square dancing I was reminded of how often women end up dancing together at dances because they are trying to have a good time even when unaccompanied and how guys don't typically do this.

    * Great shot of the father with baby.

    Good job and thanks for posting ths.

  2. I started to watch and got pulled into it watching everyone work so hard to make a great thing happen, people getting together and having fun. I enjoyed it, this video I actually watched the whole thing...

  3. the best shot is at about 11 minutes. louie seems much more interested in eating grass than anything else. great clip dad! reminds me of home.