Detroit: A New Frontier
A few months ago, in early April, as we and the rest of Detroit were sill shaking ourselves awake from the brutal, endlessly cold and snowy winter, we hosted an Australian couple, newly married and on their honeymoon traveling across North America. Laura had been working in video production for years already, but had recently started accumulating material that she had shot and produced fully on her own and wanted to work on a project in Detroit. We said "of course, we'd be happy to help however we can!"
To be honest, we didn't really know what to expect. We've had other guests interview us, photograph us, take video here or there. Sometimes we've gotten something back, most of the time we've never heard anything about it again, which is just as well. Neither of us is particularly comfortable calling attention to ourselves, and the idea of being the subject of a chapter in a book or in a documentary is vaguely uncomfortable anyway, because the medium and the tone is no longer in our control. But Laura was great, earnest and sincere in her desire to capture the Detroit that she experienced here in early April, happy to let us ramble our way through the story of how and why we ended up here, why we think Detroit is a special place right now, without demanding that we try to give a broken explanation of what happened to Detroit (that story is too complex for us to do justice in telling - there are whole disciplines devoted to dissecting and explaining the nuances of American race relations, politics, industry, real estate, collapse; and we are not those scholars). But we felt at ease with Laura, and she was happy for us to just talk about what we knew, what we had experienced here, rather than trying to create a piece that would deal with all of Detroit's issues, knowing that there were plenty of those around already, to greater or lesser effect. She just wanted us to tell our story. So we did, and all of our nervousness that despite all intents, we would still come across as ignorant, white-knighting hipster transplants to the city turns out to have been unjustified. She did a great job, she made us look better than we probably think of ourselves as being, and she got some wonderful, haunting, misty early spring footage of Detroit to boot.
So, here it is, another part of our story. We hope you like it. And, of course, check out http://laurabrain.com/ for more of Laura's excellent work, too!