Interview 1: Pat – Boston, MA

I’ve walked by this store on Boylston street hundreds of times, and there is always an elderly woman peering out from behind the store front.

The front of the store is all glass, and the display case is filled with “collectible junk.” I couldn’t help but think every time I walked by, “how does this store survive, and what is that woman’s story?” I had no idea just how interesting the woman in the junk shop would turn out to be.

I decided early on to make the store an extension of the main character, Pat, as she is very much a part of the store and the store a part of her. I utilized an establishing shot from across the street to convey voyeuristic sense of peering in to this “familiar stranger’s” life. I wanted to create a sense of place, differentiated by sound and perspective, that marked the outside from the inside of the store.

(NOTE: if you are viewing this site with Internet Explorer, the video below may not be visible – the video can be viewed here: )

I wanted the interview to have an almost home movie or archival feel and I felt that the drab colors and the cool fluorescent lighting should be accentuated for the viewer.

My only regret with this piece is that I didn’t have a wider lens to shoot the narrow store interior and capture the clutter and sense of claustrophobic nostalgia one feels when inside. Although it was awkward for me, I chose to frame a couple shots of Pat where she sits all day long near the store front. She literally blends in with the items on the wall. Over the last 35 years, Pat has become a part of the collection that she so lovingly curates.

I filmed this piece on a Sony EX1, with a Letus 35mm Adapter, Zeiss Planar T* f1.4/85mm prime lens, and a Nikon 50mm f1.4. The project was color treated with magic bullet looks.

Category: Interviews


One Response

  1. Dara says:

    Terry: Phenomenal! Way to go. That’s an awesome clip. Can’t wait to see the whole thing. Today, 2/3/12, at the Senior Center, the Hottell band will play at noon for the soiner dance, and likely Airy will be here from Riverside 99 years old and still going strong. You should interview him if you haven’t already. Thanks so much for putting this together.Wayne

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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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