How do you know when a project has reached its end?
"When I start doing documentary work, it can be really hard to establish the protagonist. But then the story slowly develops and I begin to understand where it's going. Eventually there is a moment where it becomes ripe and I know I have most of the material shot."
Do you have a shot list when working on projects?
"No, but there are moments when I think about what's missing from the story and consider what else I need to shoot to make it complete. I'm constantly going through my material throughout a project, making preliminary edits so I can see how a story will develop and where it will end."
Do you know which direction the story will go in, and how often does that change?
"I know, more or less, what the film or a photo essay will be about, but how the story will be told remains to be seen. Many times, when I am in the middle of a project and making edits, I find it will take a strange path. I often have to remind myself of my original idea."
What are some of the common misconceptions about documentary work?
"The time required. Not just the actual shooting, but the time and effort spent on post-production. People also underestimate how beautiful that process is. A lot of documentaries take their shape in the editing room."
How has new technology changed the way you work?
"The big change for me has been with information technology and new media. There are all these new bases you need to cover to stay known, and I don't do it well enough. Social media is basically marketing, and it's made things harder, I think. But you have to do these things. On the other hand, editing software has become much more sophisticated, which really helps speed up post-processing times."