It’s not often we’ll invite a filmmaker onto DN twice to talk about the same film, but since Sean Dunne’s work ethic seems to revolve around always breaking with expectations, we thought why not. Now, I could lie, I said I planned to do the interview in part because I wanted to follow the film from pre-production to post, but in all honesty while that did enter my thinking, really I just enjoy talking to the director. In our last interview I waxed lyrical about my appreciation for his interview style and there’s no change this time around. With his latest feature documentary Cam Girlz currently in the editing suite, edging closer to completion, Dunne joins us once again to talk about no regrets, his new lease on life and taking psychedelics:
The plan was to wrap the shoot on June 12th and spend the summer “editing and fucking with music” – how’d that work out? Everything go to plan?
Yeah, we had a great time. The rest of the shoot really immersed us in that world. I’m basically a cam girl now. We ended up shooting in 7 or 8 different cities and meeting so many inspiring women. After that we took this wild beast back to my editor Kathy Gatto and we started the post. Kathy’s great, she dove right in headfirst and didn’t let the subject matter or the sheer amount of material intimidate her. Once we found a loose structure we brought in the composers and everything began to take shape. I’m really proud of what we’ve done with Cam Girlz, the music, the edit, honoring the subject, the muh fucken cinematography MAMITA…everything came together. Everyone got what I was trying to do, so it worked out. So psyched for people to see it.
When I questioned you about how making Oxyana would impact the production of Cam Girlz you seemed intent on living and enjoying the process and digging deeper? Do you think your experience on Oxyana impacted how you went about making Cam Girlz? And did you make sure you enjoyed the Cam Girlz production?
Oxyana impacted everything in my life. It opened up a new world for me and certainly influenced the way we made Cam Girlz, mainly that we wanted to approach it differently. I didn’t want to dread any part of it, I wanted to be more patient and present throughout.
I’m filled with gratitude and awe and that’s made every facet of the process more fun for me.
I think that sentiment of living the process has not only impacted Cam Girlz but also the way I live my day-to-day life. Shit has just been better since I’ve been committed to always living in the moment and appreciating the beauty and perfection in everything. More so than ever these films are a natural extension of my personality. I think the work I’m doing on myself is going to reflect in my films. It might be subtle, but I see it. Cam Girlz was the first film I made with this, at the risk of sound corny, new lease on life.
Looking back at the shoot, now that you have a bit of distance from it, would you have done anything different?
Nope, no regrets.
You described Cam Girlz as being “as raw and real as anything I’ve put my name on” – how is this going to be reflected in the edit? And have you tried anything new in post this time round?
It’s a very intimate film. The women didn’t hold back, they represented themselves well and didn’t pull and punches. That’s where the rawness comes from, their voices. The idea once we got back to the edit was to build a world where they all felt like one, a mosaic, like they belong together even though we shot with a large diversity of women. That took a good amount of playing around in the edit room. This edit was different mainly because I never “interviewed” anyone on camera, the camera just observed. I did one on one audio only conversations with each girl, kept the stakes low and tried to get the most honest version of them that I could. The post process was driven mostly by those audio only conversations. We had messed with that idea on a couple commercial projects but this was our first attempt at applying it to a bigger project. I loved it.
They are to porn what I am to film.
As is often the case with your work, Cam Girlz takes us on a journey into a particular sub-culture of America, one not-often covered by mass media. I’m always intrigued to know if the people you meet whilst filming have any impact on your life and I suppose with Cam Girlz in particular, what did you take from your time with these women who challenge the establishment?
Really good question. The cam girls we filmed with had a great deal of impact on me. I learned so much from them. I think we have a lot in common, they are to porn what I am to film, threatening the establishment, creating and distributing their own stuff and most importantly, not asking permission to do so. The only difference is they don’t have society’s blessing and I do, because I have clothes on. Seems silly.
What’s the plan for the film now? Have you got a distribution route planned?
We’re not dealing with gatekeepers any more. We’ll put it out ourselves with support from partners to help spread the word. We just pictured locked so now we’re going to sound mix it and start the process of marketing. A lot more will be revealed in the next month or so, depending on who wants to get behind a film like this, my guess is that the establishment are too big of pussies to work with people like us. Regardless, you’ll see Cam Girlz on a computer screen near you early next year.
We saw on Twitter the other day that you were already thinking about your next project and were on the lookout for anyone describing themselves as an ‘angel investigator’ and ‘psychonaut’ – what can you tell us about the next film?
About a year ago I got into taking psychedelics and it completely changed me. I’m shocked that it’s not the only thing anyone ever talks about. So I’m going to make a film called On Psychedelics that explores that stuff in my way. I need money to get it started. Do you know any rich people who understand the importance of psychedelics? That’s what I need.
Sean and his team have been providing updates throughout the production process over on their Twitter account @camgirlzdoc