The Tailenders

PBS Premiere: July 25, 2006Check the broadcast schedule »

Film Update

Adele Horne, Filmmaker

Adele Horne
POV: What has been the overall reaction to the film? It has a density of topics ranging from media and technology to religion and language. Have you found that viewers tend to gravitate or react strongly to one topic more than the others?

Adele Horne: The themes of language, religion, media, and technology all seem to elicit interest and discussion. Audiences find the film thought-provoking and say that they find themselves mulling it over days later. My favorite response is when people feel they are left with lots of swirling thoughts and ideas to ponder.

POV: What is the inevitable question that you are asked after screenings? Any memorable moments or incidents that made you re-think how you approached any aspects of the film?

Adele: Audiences almost always ask, "How did you find out about this organization?" or "What drew you to this topic?" I tell them that my parents are evangelical Christians, and my family received one of these cardboard record players in the mail when I was eight years old. I never forgot the record player and eventually became curious about its origin, which led to making the film.

POV: Have you been in touch with members of GRN since filming stopped?

Adele:I met with GRN to show them the fine cut of the film in the summer of 2005 and have been in touch with them fairly regularly. They have moved their offices to Temecula, California since the filming took place.

POV: This was your first feature as producer and director. As a first-timer, can you share any lessons learned regarding distribution and outreach for the film? The real work begins after you've finished the film, don't you think that's so?

Adele: There's definitely a lot of work to do to publicize and distribute a film, more than I ever realized! I wish I had started some of that earlier, while still making the film. But to me the most important work is the creative work that takes place before making the film: watching films, reading, thinking, and deciding on how to approach your film. I recently had the privilege of hearing the wonderful documentary filmmaker Vittorio De Seta speak about his work at the Flaherty Film Seminar. I was struck by the way he spoke about life and work being integrated. The work we produce reflects the values, outlook and quality of thought with which we live our daily lives. To make our best films, we must expand our own thinking and cultivate our ability to feel and perceive life.

POV: Can you tell us about your current projects? Has your subsequent work been influenced in a particular way because of your experiences (both stylistically and technically) from working on this film?

Adele: My current project is very different. It's an essay film titled "9 Experiments in Peripheral Vision." It's structured as a series of short explorations and approaches to thinking about how we perceive those things at the corner of our vision, those things we can't quite see. The project is a collaboration with filmmaker Paul Van De Carr and will be a 16mm film. Part of the pleasure of doing this project is that there are almost no logistics to arrange in order to shoot. I can focus more on the writing, making images, and editing. It's a good break from the labor-intensive work of making a full-length observational documentary. I have some longer observational projects in the works, but this is a delightful change of pace. I think the work of editing and writing "The Tailenders" has increased my facility with structuring work, and I see that reflected in this new project.