September feels like several lifetimes ago. In the time since we began this film, the world has taken on a vastly different hue. And even if the light hasn't shifted dramatically from your window, at the very least, you might see the strange man there up on the light pole, about to screw in a wholly different kind of bulb. Things will look very different a year from now. And the parallels between the socio-political climate of today and much of the historical material we have been documenting in this film are striking.
My time chasing Burk around with a camera has been one of the most profound times of my life. It is a very surreal experience to compose shots around a person who is responsible for some of the 20th century's most iconic photographs. The responsibility I feel at times is great, and it would be a lot more difficult to capture something as timeless and as beautiful if it were not for who Burk is as a human being, and who he is as an artist. Not a lot of people have seen and documented our world the way Burk has. There are even fewer who have done it so meticulously, on such a vast scale, and with so much grace. I'm astounded time and again at his willingness to reveal his entire world for this film - the unparalleled beauty, the utter darkness, the fun and the despair, without a single flinching reflex to hide or protect any of it. We've traveled through contemporary portraiture, the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, tenant farms of the 1950s, Cambodia, Woodstock, Vietnam, Daytona Beach, Eastern NC, Europe, Japan - we've visited color slides of Robin Williams, Hunter S. Thompson, Vollis Simpson, and Burk's own adventures with his family - along with countless other physical and spiritual photographic destinations. We've traveled the medium of photography from Burk's first camera, through 35mm and medium format cameras, large format cameras, and into the contemporary world of digital medium format.
Witnessing the perseverance and breadth of this artist, while simultaneously directing a film around him, is an experience unlike anything I could have imagined.