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Making and Unmaking Documentary Review


Directed by: Shaun Rose, Andrea Stangle

Written by: Shaun Rose, Andrea Stangle, Bruce Rose Sr.

Starring: Shaun Rose, Andrea Stangle, Charles Trainosky


I have always enjoyed watching the filmmaking process. There is total chaos on the set as a group of hardworking people navigate through commotion to realize a vision. Sometimes, these behind-the-scenes stories are filled with elation. Sometimes, they reveal tragedy and unhappiness. But, in the end, they all are inspiring as everyone gets to enjoy the final creation. Making and Unmaking is one such documentary that offers a view behind a painful filmmaking process that almost broke its director.

In Making and Unmaking, director Shaun Rose recollects and shows his old memories, displaying an unsuccessful time in his life and career. Rose remembers his days during 2012-13 where he printed a script with green ink because he didn’t have the black color. We are taken to different locations where the filming of Rose’s first film, Summer Days, would have taken place. One thing to note here is that every location is related to his childhood memories. For instance, there is a place where Rose and his brother used to skateboard and bike while they were growing up. There is a field where he was supposed to shoot a baseball sequence, and it was selected as the director used to spend time with his friends there. All this indicates how personal and subjective the movie-making process can be.

There are always hurdles in any creative process. Filmmaking is no exception. It tests both your zeal and your problem-solving skills. Because if you think carefully, a film is like a puzzle in which you have to arrange all the pieces correctly in their particular positions to make everything clear and understandable for the onlookers. At times, you have to manipulate a piece to fit it into the puzzle, like how for Summer Days, Rose had to evoke the feeling of summer during the winter season.

Making and Unmaking uncovers the struggles of making a film on a shoestring budget and how it could take a toll on your health. Rose suffered from depression and was deserted by his friends when he needed them the most. His voice is permeated with a frankness that pierces through the documentary and touches our emotions. There is pain and humor in his comments that instantly connect with you, making him your companion. And that is why you feel happy when he narrates his achievements - his film Upstate Story gets selected in film festivals and is showered with awards and praises. Rose’s story proves that hard work always pays off. You just need to be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day.



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