Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters

2012     1 x 79/52     Color: HD     English

Producer, Director and Cinematographer
Ben Shapiro

Tom Patterson, Nancy Kennedy and Ben Shapiro

Original Music by
Dana Kaproff

Produced in association with
AVRO/The Netherlands and SVT/Sweden

Brief Encounters offers insight into celebrated photographer Gregory Crewdson’s process of capturing unique, surreal, and incredibly elaborate portraits of small town American life. Though, Gregory Crewdson doesn’t just “take” photographs, he creates them, through elaborate days of design and set up.

Crewdson’s unique process of creating his almost cinematic images is both intensely personal and highly public as these hyper-detailed pictures have their origins in Crewdson’s anxieties and desires. In his decade-long project “Beneath The Roses”, he descends on streets and homes of the depressed towns of Western Massachusetts. Using light, color and character to conjure arresting images, he manages a crew of 60 amidst seemingly countless logistical and creative obstacles. For Crewdson, the photographs represent the moment when his chaotic and sometimes complicated life as an artist and family man with two young children comes together – “for that one instant, it all makes sense.” There is no imagined backstory, no before-and-after to his images, simply the moment that lends itself to mystery and intrigue.

Revealing Crewdson’s life and career, including the formative influences of a psychologist father and his fascination with the work of photographer Diane Arbus, we witness his work grow and deepen, inspired by fears and ideals, anxieties and desires, pop-culture and personal struggles. Brief Encounters brings unparalleled access to his celebrated photographic process with a twist of his frank reflections on the experiences and inner life that inspire his surreal imagery.