CarFree: Stories From the Non-driving Life

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks. I’ve been rushing to finish a one-hour documentary my friend Janine Tschuncky and I started working on back in January. It’s overdue, partly because of my usual dysfunctional habits in the early stages of editing (going over and over the footage with a panicked sense of “what the hell can I do with all this?”), exacerbated by landing a full-time job in June – it’s amazing how much energy and will-power gets dissipated when you have to drag yourself out five days a week and squeeze the rest of life into whatever waking hours you have left.

So I’ve been picking away at the doc on evenings and weekends, a few hours here and a few more there; and getting close to the end, I suddenly had a tight deadline to get it all ready to go the people who are doing my on-line and sound mix, to fit it in to their busy schedule. So this past week, I was combing back through the cut, nipping and tucking, focusing now on single frames and individual words and phrases that might be trimmed while retaining the sense of what’s being said … and maintaining the style and rhythm of the interviewees’ speech.

Janine and I ended up recording the final narration at the last minute on Friday evening, and I was still doing a bunch of technical prep work late Friday night and early Saturday morning – but I managed to get it done and the project was turned over to the post-production people at midday Saturday. After all the stress, procrastination, self-doubt and panic attacks, it’s now out of my hands. I’ll be going in later this week to check on the colour correction and mix and then it’ll be ready to deliver to MTS, whose local on-demand channel Stories From Home gave us the funding. After that, the film will be out in the world and out of our hands …

CarFree: Stories From the Non-driving Life, based on an idea by Janine, is about what it’s like to live in a city which has been built around the needs of traffic when you make a conscious decision not to drive. We tend to take cars so much for granted that we become unconscious of just how much they shape the way we live. For the people in our documentary, the decision not to drive has profound effects on the way they live their lives and think about the world around them.

It’s going to be shown on Stories From Home, but with luck it will find a wider audience as the “car-free” movement is now active in many countries around the world.


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January releases from Indicator

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Nelson Pereira dos Santos’ ethnographic satire:
How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman (1971)

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