Brief Encounters

“I’m only concerned with that particular moment, the moment of the picture. I really don’t have any interest in what happens before or what happens after. And in a certain way, it’s a privilege that I don’t have to think about plot, story line, or character development..I can just focus on that moment, and how to make that moment as beautiful and mysterious as possible.”

I have a new found appreciation for photographer, Gregory Crewdson. After watching a documentary about his work, Brief Encounters, I have come to better understand the artist’s methodical creative process and compulsive obsession with detail. Every single element within Gregory’s elaborate images is painstakingly considered and it is commonplace to find him conflicted over drapery folds, lighting, and cabinet knob selections throughout the film.

With a soft spot for Massachusetts, the artist often returns to areas like Pittsfield for inspiration and regularly utilizes MASS MoCA’s 10,000 square foot sound stage in North Adams to construct his eerie scenes. He enlists a team of designers, producers, and a string of local volunteers to help bring his visions to life; causing the big-budget productions to look more like colossal movie sets rather than intimate photo shoots.

Brief Encounters is certainly an engaging documentary for anyone with an interest in photography and the artistic process. Having a chance to learn the complex back story behind Gregory’s striking yet psychologically ambiguous images is rewarding, endearing, and certainly worth 1 hour and 17 minutes of your Netflix time.

Season 6 of How I Met Your Mother can wait. ♥

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