Matthew Winfield Diederich

Just Tell the Truth

January 31, 2012

by Director Lauralee Farrer It’s risky to use non-actors to do your storytelling—you have to know that something else about them is compelling: that the camera will find them interesting, that they are going to give something authentic that will be moving, they are going to be brave enough to bring something fresh that no…

Compline in the pool

Narrowly Avoiding Death by Concrete Floor

January 25, 2012

by Director Lauralee Farrer When I asked Marcia Whitehead if she’d consider portraying the character of “Compline” shot recently in Indiana, I knew that water would be involved since our story team had already decided we wanted to use water in all its forms (immersion, drinking, ice, rain, snow, etc.) as a metaphor for dreaming,…

Traveling Man, played by Chris Min, moved to tears by the story of Compline

Squarely in the Middle of My Experience

January 23, 2012

by Director Lauralee Farrer While in Indiana we shot a scene that borrowed heavily from the life of singer Marcia Whitehead who portrays “Compline.” It was brave of her to be willing to let us write it into the story. None of us—including her—were prepared for what would happen when that scene was shot. As…

Lance Clark at Huntington University

To Sanctify the Day and All Human Activity

January 19, 2012

by Director Lauralee Farrer When sixth-century Benedictine monks stopped eight times a day to pray, their intention was to infuse menial work with the sacred by reminding themselves of the presence of God. They believed that being in the service of God can transform a temporal act into an eternal one, and the daily prayers…

filming "compline" in the cemetary at dusk

You Have No Events Scheduled Today

January 15, 2012

by Director Lauralee Farrer Yesterday and today my Google calendar informed me that I had no events scheduled, yet they were two very different days: the first so complicated it was impossible to record all that had to be done; and the second with a single chore—go home. Last night around 11:00 p.m. we shot…

Jordan McMahon taking off to get aerial shots for Compline

Up In A Balloon!

January 10, 2012

by Producer Tamara Johnston McMahon Jordan McMahon, cinematographer (and my husband) extraordinaire, had the privilege of going up in a hot air balloon for aerial footage of Huntington, Indiana, the other day! It was his first time up and, with the Scarlet-X in hand, of course he was beyond willing. A tight squeeze, Dream Catcher…

Chris Min as traveling Man at Zona Rosa

Telling a Story Everyone Already Knows

January 6, 2012

by Director Lauralee Farrer We are created in such a way that we cannot see our own faces, but require others to let us know how we look—what expressions we are telegraphing or whether or not we have spinach in our teeth. This is a hint to me that we were made to live in…

cropped PTH faces with title

Unforgettable Characters in Seven Minutes or Less

January 2, 2012

by Director Lauralee Farrer In a recent interview for the Los Angeles Times, Steven Spielberg described the challenges he faced with The War Horse, a film that stitches together a series of strangers by their mutual love for the same horse. It’s a big structural risk: it might easily become a series of disconnected vignettes.…

Lauralee Farrer and cinematographer Jordan McMahon in the graveyard

The Barn Burned Down

December 29, 2011

by Lauralee Farrer This brief verse by Masahide is a favorite of mine: The barn burned down Now I can see the moon. Fasting is a big part of my spiritual life. It can take endless forms and have as many different purposes: fasts can be short and intense or long eras of spiritual discipline…

grey indiana winter landscape

Lighting by the Moon

December 27, 2011

by Director Lauralee Farrer Last year, when Tamara, Jordan and I were location scouting in Indiana, Huntington-born producer Matt Webb took us to the St. Felix Friary. A beautiful monastery that had fallen mostly into disuse (now refurbished), it still retained the bones of its former glory. We looked out on a field white with…