As a preview for our local filmmaker showcase we have a Q & A with Simon Conroy one of our board members and director of the film Grass Farm Chicken which is playing this Friday May 6th at The Strand Center. Doors open 6:30pm Tickets $5... Students (with I.D.) and under 18 get in free!
Simon Conroy discusses some of the challenges of documentary filmmaking and profiling artisanal farming in the area.
LCIFF: Once you had the idea for the film, how long did it take to shoot and finish the production?
SC: The two music scenes in the film are from an open house I bought my family to. This was my first time on the farm & I asked if I could return to film on a processing day. I did and shot the majority of the footage one misty july morning from 6-9am. The plowing footage was a bonus that I captured one afternoon when I was passing through in an effort to get a few images to round out the story.
LCIFF: Did you experience any challenges through out the production?
SC: The challenge with documenting is to not influence the subject. You want to tell a true story and show the audience what the daily scene is like when the filmmaker is not there and the camera is not rolling.
LCIFF: What do you hope the audience takes away from the film's message about artisanal farming?
SC: Americans consume an incredible amount of industrial chicken. This film shines light on one of the thousands of sustainable & quality small farm models playing out across the country to bring consumers another choice.
LCIFF: What other mediums (film, written, etc.) inspired you to make this film?
SC: When I saw Ben Stechulte's "Small Farm Rising" I felt many of the scenes shot & stories told were ones that I would capture and tell similarly. I am constantly inspired by people who share the most fascinating experiences that are going on every day and would otherwise only be known by those living within them. Bringing to life on the big screen that which seems ordinary to some and extraordinary to many is the goal.
LCIFF: What did you learn the most about yourself or your subject after completing your film?
SC: I did not want to shy away from the slaughtering process. It is messy and labor intensive and these are challenges in increasing the availability and affordability of this meat. The first time we showed this to a large audience I realized it was ok to make them feel discomfort as the benefits of opening eyes outweighed the risk that some would choose to shield theirs.