Iron 14: The Documentary
Project Start: February 17, 2017
Project Completion Goal: August 31, 2017
Description: Create a short documentary film about the LDS Church contemporary art acquisition program
July 28, 2017: Done! Wait...there's more?
After months of letter writing, scouting, research and preparation, investment in a new Iphone 7 Plus, some lighting equipment, and so on, we are down to today. We met Laura at her office at 7am and after swapping through a couple outfits we got down to business. Joy ran the camera, Steven delivered the questions, and Laura was a fantastic subject. We've been really impressed with the quality we can get out of the iPhone. But now comes the hard part: taking 2 hours of footage and pics and narrowing that all down to a 10 minute short. Fortunately for us, there is plenty of material to work with!
July 7, 2017: Scouting the Site
In order to be prepared for our shoot date, we decided to do some test pictures/video and run through the Church History Museum with Laura to predetermine what art we might like to shoot, and where we will conduct our interviews. This also gave us a chance to check out lighting and what kind of foot traffic we can expect. The museum was very busy this day, and it was clear to us that we were going to have to film after-hours in order to not interrupt the guests (or be interrupted.) We also made the decision to invest in an iphone 7 Plus...you know, the phone that happens if you accidentally throw your iPad mini into the dryer.
June 30, 2017: All good Mormon things start in New York
A pretty interesting opportunity to get prepared for this documentary popped up and Steven, ever ready for an excuse to go to the Big Apple got a ticket to go. The "Mormon Arts Center" hosted a festival at the Riverside Church that was all about exhibiting and discussing topics surrounding mormon art. It was a very interesting conference, with an entire art exhibit curated by Laura. There were several speeches that also informed the direction of our documentary. I've posted them here. Two by Laura, and another very moving speech by artist Levi Jackson.
May 23, 2017: Who exactly are you again???
We submitted our proposal to do the short documentary on March 1st and it made its way through the checks and balances of the very thoughtful Church PR system. They had several questions for us such as: What equipment will be used? Where will this be shown? and our favorite...Who the heck are you guys? We went back and forth with answers, sometimes they were waiting on us, and us on them, but on May 23rd, we got the good news! APPROVED! We've got to hand it to them, we didn't expect cooperation, particularly since we aren't Mormons. And while this is by no means a documentary meant to do anything but shine a light on something we find to be very positive and interesting, it could have easily been shut down. Hooray!
April 1, 2017: An Iron that helped launch 50 Irons
Purest and historians will note that this Iron technically started well before the April 1st launch date of the "50 Irons Project". There may be academics who wish to debate the ethics of our choice, but that is the great thing about art...there are rules, there are interpretations, and to each beholder the truth in their own eyes. The fact is, Joy and I (after a great idea was presented by Steven's wife Jenney) were fascinated to learn that the Mormon Church has an art collection, and not just of the religious narrative art that one might expect, but of non-mormon art, anti-mormon art, and even contemporary art of various mediums. We thought that there was a fascinating, inspiring and relevant story to be told. So, we decided to help bring that story to light! The first step happened on February 17th. We sat down with Laura Hurtado of the Church History Library and discussed with her our idea (she would be the subject of the documentary, as the curator and purchaser of much of the art). She was supportive, and suggested that we submit a proposal so that the PR Department could make a decision. So, we did!