Sticky: The Elders – Official Trailer

Trailer for the documentary feature film The Elders.

A feature-length documentary, The Elders uses stylized interview portraits of elderly individuals to tell a universal story about life’s most important lessons. Thematically organized around life lessons that reflect a wide range of human emotion and experience, the film seeks to reveal a larger more complex portrait of our shared humanity.

Directed by: Nathaniel Hansen
Produced by: Nathaniel Hansen, Maria Menounos, and Keven Undergaro
Lens Set provided by: Richard Schleuning – Carl Zeiss USA
DV SOLO 20 Tripod provided by: Gus Harilaou – Miller Tripod
Crowdfunded via:

The Latest…ups and downs.

Hi Everyone! I realized about a week ago that it had been quite a while since I had posted a project update. My apologies!

It’s been a busy couple months, and while the edit is taking longer than I had anticipated, I’m pleased with where it’s headed. In late October, I screened a 50 minute “rough cut” to about 45 people in Boston. Admittedly I was really, really nervous. But the film (even in that rough state), was VERY well received with tears, ruckus laughter, and moments of intense silence. It was one of the most memorable moments of my adult life to see people come together and experience what I had experienced in the summer of 2010. Without all of your help – none of it would have been possible!

One very humbling part of this project, which I anticipated but which I think is impossible to prepare for, is that some of my interviewees have quietly begun to leave this life. While inevitable, it’s difficult to learn of their passing. Out of 20 individuals interviewed, I know 2 have passed: Marie Hensell (my grandmother) and John Adams. It is to their lives and the lives of those who participated that this film is ultimately dedicated, and it is my hope that we can take away something small from the enormity of their lives.

In other news, I was thrilled to see that The Elders was listed as one of two other honorable mentions under the category of “Best Short Film” projects on kickstarter this year (2010). What an honor for us all! With thousands of projects to choose from, it’s a pretty awesome feeling to have my work recognized in this way by a community that I have really grown to admire and love. That community has allowed my project to flourish, and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

I’m also delighted that people make the connection to The Elders as a “short” film project. I suppose, technically, that’s accurate as it is a collection of short films that make up a feature-length film (70 minutes). And that was my intent from the beginning: Could I create a feature-length documentary film built entirely on short portraits of mostly talking heads? It worked, and it’s working as support continues to pour in!

Finally, my updated timeline is as follows:

Fine-Cut sent to composer: Feb 3rd
Fine-Cut screening/discussion: Feb 20th (hosted by the Snapdragon Inn in Windsor Vermont)
Picture Lock: March 1st
Final Touches and completed film (soundtrack, motion graphics, color correction): April 1st

Wish me luck – it’s going to be a busy few months and come this spring I’ll continue to keep an eye on your mailbox or your inbox for the completed film!


Short teaser

I’ve completed a 56 minute rough cut of the documentary film, The Elders, which I had the privilege of showing to 50 or so colleagues over at Emerson College last Wednesday. It was SUCH a thrill to experience this film with an audience. I was totally numb to the footage, and was even embarrassed that I had assembled a group to watch what I thought was an abysmal mess. To my surprise, I saw tears being wiped, faces glued to the screen and, near the end, uncontrollable laughter with a new kind of tear being wiped. The kind my sisters tease me about when I get laughing hard…

So I’ve come up for air for this week, and I have not touched the project since last Wednesday night. It feels good to get some distance, and I’m excited to dive back in and make needed changes and improvements.

To my colleagues and friends who were there…THANK YOU! And to those who have supported the film from the very begining, I’m excited about what this will look like a month from now and hopefully by the end of the year I’ll have a finished product we can all celebrate together.

Mike Welsch – Hillsboro Oregon

About a week ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Mike Welsch (Three Bears Standing), a native american gentleman who lives in Hillsboro, Oregon just outside of Portland in the beautiful Scholls Valley. This was a classic example of not judging a book by its cover. The cluttered exterior and interior of his workshop looked like a bomb had been set off or like I had been lost in a remote part of Appalachia. I’m not generally put off by the junk and clutter, but rather I find myself very curious as to the characters that might inhabit such a place.

I don’t want to give too much away about this interview – it’s one of my personal favorites so far – but I’ll simply say that this simple man had some deeply profound things to say about life and about our way of living today. I’m excited to edit this one together.

Thanks to Rich Vial for the introduction, and the production still.


“Coach” spent his career turning boys into men on the football field. Many of his students went on to play college football, and a couple went on to the NFL. Enjoy this short clip about his time as a coach, from our 2.5 hour interview.


Ferdie (Ferdinand) is a Brooklyn born Actor and Director who spent 3 years fulltime on Broadway before he got in to Perfumery. He brought along a set piece he had designed for show he was directing at the senior community where he resides in Charleston, West Virginia.

Doy – Summersville, West Virginia

Doy had plenty to say and I appreciated his candid nature and genuine conviction. Enjoy this short clip from our 2 hour interview.

Teaser Video of The Elders Documentary

Featured in this short teaser is Louise, from Waco, Texas. She relocated to Vermont when she was in her mid 80s. She was articulate and genuine, and it was a pleasure to get to know her. I’m excited to edit her full piece, and I know it will make a great contribution to the film. Enjoy!

Miller Tripod get’s on Board

Miller Tripod has thrown in an awesome tripod for this documentary film production, the Compass 15. It’s got the classic Miller SOLO legs which Philip Bloom has made famous, and a great fluid head. It’s a bit different from the Cartoni Focus system I’m so used to, but a few minutes with it on my shoot this last weekend in Vermont and I was ready to rock. I can’t wait to see what this thing can do. Stay tuned!

Lens Vendor Partnership

I am very pleased to announce a partnership with Zeiss USA and The Elders documentary project. Zeiss is an optics manufacturer specializing in still photo and cinema lenses used on a variety of cameras. Some of their lenses cost 4-5 times the total budget of this project! I’m so grateful for their support of the project, and this is a huge boost for independent film.

I’m excited to post here that the project will benefit from a set of prime lenses (shown above) that have been donated for use during shooting. This is a significant boost to morale, and is another indication that the project is on to something important. A “prime” lens is one in which the focal length is fixed. These are somewhat rare in the consumer world today, as most digital cameras have “zoom” as a big selling point. A prime lens does not zoom – in fact, the only way to zoom would be to move closer to the subject! Read the rest of this entry »


Through the eyes of an aging generation, The Elders examines what it really means to live, by coming of age. This website is dedicated to showcasing the stories filmed and the filmmaker's journey to film them.


A feature-length documentary, The Elders uses stylized interview portraits of elderly individuals to tell a universal story about life's most important lessons. Thematically organized around life lessons that reflect a wide range of human emotion and experience, the film seeks to reveal a larger more complex portrait of our shared humanity.

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