Mr. Paprika Documentary (Updated 3/29)

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On a whim, I asked Lahcen if I could make a documentary about him and his restaurant. I didn’t even know his name at that point, but I had eaten his food several times throughout the years. He was skeptical at first, but we talked about the vision I had and he agreed.

When I pictured the documentary I wanted to make, I saw slow motion. I wanted to see the minute details of how Lahcen practices his art. The dining area, the dishes, the decorations are all the macro, large scale components Paprika. But the very small and mostly unseen aspects of his cooking and presentation were what I wanted to dwell on. Theres a mystique about cooking, good cooking anyway. The alchemy of turning raw ingredients into a sensual experience is dependent on many many simple decisions and practices that add up to the final meal. Slow motion and detail footage can help bring out the potency of how something is sliced, sauteed, served, etc.

I wanted to hear him talk about why he does what he does. He’s a great conversationalist, and I knew I could roll camera while he mused and there would be plenty to mine afterwards.

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It’s been five months since we started it, and we’ll be picking up some more footage soon. I’ll update when it’s time.

“Long Exposure”

Long Exposure from Adrian Atwood on Vimeo.

This short film is a suspense/slasher concept. It’s also a love letter to my camera. I developed the concept around the time that I was doing a lot of timelapse and long exposure photography. I was also spending some time shooting video of landscapes, like the Mt. Pollux video I shot last winter. I knew I wanted to juxtapose the serene beauty of the idealized wild with the frenzied blood bath that nature really is.

A few crude storyboards I made “Long Exposure” scenes

We had to re-shoot a few sequences. The first attempt to shoot the stabbing scene didn’t pan out so well. There were some nice shots, but the sequence as a whole wasn’t working in context of what the (lack of) budget could pull off.  Night time crept up quickly and cut short what I had planned to capture that day. So we walked away with no usable footage, but a better understanding of how and what to shoot next time. Here’s the original stabbing scene.

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