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Preconceived Notions - A Couple Discuss a Major Life Decision at Burning Man


This project came about because we saw a gap in the way Burning Man has been depicted in film. We didn't want to make another documentary or hedonistic travelogue. There are many of those. Instead, we wanted to show how this week-long arts festival in the remote desert can serve as a catalyst for deep interpersonal communication and growth.

Preconceived Notions is a narrative, scripted, conversational film, shot at Burning Man in 2013. It tells the story of a couple negotiating a life-changing decision, and is set against a stunningly rich and varied visual canvas.

We ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the needed equipment: A Panasonic GH3 Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera, with a Panasonic 14 - 140mm lens for daytime shooting, and an SLR Magic Hyperprime 25mm T0.95 lens for nighttime shooting. The Hyperprime delivered absolutely gorgeous images of the glowing fantasia that is Burning Man once the sun sets.

The film took another year to edit. Sound is something you can not control in anyway at a place like Burning Man. Original audio needed to be scrapped, and replaced with soundscapes created from recordings made while the cast rested.

We were honored with a screening in The Bay Area at The Albany Film Festival in Albany, CA, and a screening at the inaugural Windsor Film Festival, in Windsor, CA, a lovely little town nestled up in Sonoma County surrounded by award winning vineyards. Both of these screenings were greeted with enthusiastic reactions from audience members.

In 2015, a narrative film made at Burning Man is a rare thing. This may not be so in the future, but for now, Preconceived Notions stands as one of the very few that shows Burning Man in a completely new light. A film made by Burners, for Burners. It's an opportunity to communicate what Burning Man means to us, now, at this stage in our lives. Not just as one giant rave, but as the vibrant catalyst for conversation, interaction, artistic expression and pure joy that we know it to be.

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Yes, I've never seen a narrative film made at Burning Man before. 

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