Gary was for the most part sedated in the ICU the entire first two weeks of his injury. However, one of the times he was awake, Gary had requested I film. The next day I brought the camera in and began to film away. This was a whole new chapter in life, and to the story of Tiger.
This photo of Gary was my first day, first shot in the ICU just a week after Gary’s injury. The moment was surreal. Just weeks before, I was filming Gary doing 47+ pull-ups in under a minute while trying to beat the Guinness Book of World Records and training for the AMERICAN NINJA WORRIOR Reality TV show. Now here I am, filming him sedated, unable to speak, and barely alive. I was alone in the room, and felt compelled to take the photo for me. Not sure why. I just did. I never showed anyone until the other day when I told Gary the story, and showed him the photo. We decided we should share it to everyone.
Tiger is a documentary 13 years in the making. Throughout the entire time, the aesthetic and style of the film was to try my best in capturing everything in a purely cinematic way. Remain totally passive, and let the story tell itself. There will not be interviews or any of the traditional approaches that are common to documentary cinema.
The process of filming Gary, Chrissy, Family and Friends surround Tiger has always been an intimate process. At era of moviemaking that has seem to become more about saturated computer special effects, unnecessary remakes and generic template fluff, I’m proud we are making something that is so pure. The camera has become almost invisible. Perhaps my observational style is a way to filter the harsh reality of life that sometimes surrounds me. But for me, I think its moreso just an example of my love, appreciation and admiration for cinema itself. I’m the first to say I am not a documentary filmmaker. I do not care for that label. I’m just a filmmaker with the honor and privilege of capturing magic life is giving me.
Dec. 6, 2014