Presenting filmmaker and Fusion Doc Challenge Finalist Josef Beeby and his film “A Day in the Life of a Pedestrian Crosswalk Button”

December 16, 2015

What’s your Fusion Doc Challenge film about?

This film explores the hidden life of an object we interact with every day and therefore overlook. But it’s these ubiquitous objects that often have the most interesting histories.

A Day In The Life Of A Pedestrian Crosswalk Button

How did you choose your subject?

We wanted a hook that would make us immediately stand out. In brainstorming we hoped to showcase a local artist by interviewing his sculpture. When he couldn’t fit the timeline of the challenge into his schedule, we held onto the ‘object as subject’ idea but looked at things we use every day and therefore don’t pay attention to. Bringing out the hidden life of a seemingly dull object became our goal.

What was the hardest thing about the challenge?

Once we had our subject, the movie went through several enormous tonal shifts. It started as a much more heady and pretentious look at human life through an inanimate observer. When we caught ourselves deep in navel-gazing we had to rewrite basically from scratch, halfway through the contest, to make something fun and engaging rather than portentous and plodding.

What was the best thing about the challenge?A day in the life of a Crosswalk button

The moment when we actually had our interview setup with a crosswalk button. After painfully early morning and hours spent in the pouring rain finally being able to shoot a crosswalk button in an interview setup justified what we were doing (and made us spontaneously crack up more than once).

What’s your biggest take away from the challenge?

Limited timelines are wonderful excuses to try something weird. Whether you succeed or fail you’ll have tried a new method of storytelling and have a completed project under your belt. The Challenge was a also a lesson in simplicity. When we tried to make something “deep” the film got weighed down. Having to go back and pare down to the essence of it was something we will be applying to our future projects.

What is on the docket now for your film career/What are you working on?

We have just completed a short documentary on gentrification and music called ‘Changing Keys’.
We are currently in production on a feature doc called “How To Start a Fire”, a film that tackles the changing face of survivalism through the eyes of two passionate Zombie Survival Camp instructors.
We are also prepping a short art doc called “Good Morning Mr.Rat” that showcases creative taxidermy, to be shot in early 2016.

Anything else you want your audience to know?

Squids communicate by changing the colour of their skin through neuromuscular chromatophores. They also use their ability to change colour rapidly as a means of camouflage and have been known to mimic the light reflections of the water below them. Squid are amazing beaked animals.

You can follow Josef Beeby on The Audience Awards here!

Watch a behind the scenes video of A Day in the Life of a Pedestrian Crosswalk Button here.

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