Shape Of Love NOW – This week in movie-making

+ logging video footage from Washington County

+ attending a conference to meet people from around Maine with museum and archive collections/experience

+ building Shape Of Love: 200 Years In Maine’s sister site (ongoing)

PHOTO and QUICK PONDER of the Week: Farkle and Foliage Afoot and Afire!

It was another action-packed Shape of Love weekend in Washington County, bookended by two colorful experiences: filming a passionate game of farkle on Friday and photographing foliage in blueberry barrens on Sunday. I’d never heard of farkle, a dice game of “guts and luck” before, nor had I ever seen carpets of color like this that made my eyes feel lucky.

The area along Route 193 between Cherryfield and Beddington (about an hour east of Bangor) is well-known for producing blueberries, but this time of year it’s a scenic gateway in red. After blueberry harvest season, the barrens produce a second “bloom” when the plants burst into color before losing their leaves for the winter. The fields vary in color from brilliant fiery reds to browner hues depending on whether plant sections were raked and harvested this cycle.

The sea of reds along the road signaled me to stop. It was seductive. I had to get out of the car. The desire to be part of the landscape was unusual in that I don’t think I’ve ever had the urge to climb a tree during foliage season. I’d rather stand back and look at it. Not with this foliage. It was like a stage and I wanted to be on it, with it and among it, trees serving as a backdrop of vertical color in the distance.

Similarily, it was hard to resist the farkle game earlier in the weekend. I was filming it, but what I really wanted to do was jump in and play it! Farkle is a race to score 10,000 points and my Beals Island team (technically Great Wass Island) was having a spirited relay around the table. They even made farkling look fun and farkling isn’t good, by the way, especially when you farkle three times in a row and lose 1000 points.

One of the things I like about documentary filmmaking is that the line of separation between me and whomever and whatever I’m shooting is frequently very fine. It feels especially so when I use my iPhone versus my bigger camera rig and accessories. There is a closeness and intimacy that makes running through the field of foliage or jumping into the game of farkle feel like a natural extension of the moment. Overall, the “line” is a good place to be, however respecting it can be challenging, especially if the subjects or subject matters are close to heart or hand.

There were plenty of times when I was making The Home Road that I forgot I was supposed to be filming my father on his ancestral trek when my default role as daughter took over for documentarian. “Shoot!” had double-meaning when I realized the camera wasn’t recording because I’d been too in the moment to capture the moment! That was a unique project but I was reminded of the fine line this weekend when I returned to the Jonesport area to film people and places I’ve grown closer to over three visits.

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