Girl Next Door

videoart, everydaylife

Format: SD video
Duration: 19 minutes & 59 seconds
Year: 2010

I moved to Portland in 2007 knowing only two people in town. I scrambled to find work and build community. I lived alone in an apartment in North Portland, one of a little cluster of one-bedroom apartments in a compound of seven units. I needed connection with other people. I reached out to my six neighbors to see if they would allow me to interview them for a documentary about our compound that would then circulate just among us.

Two neighbors were friendly and immediately said yes to this idea. I had a harder time connecting with the other six neighbors, so I fabricated interviews for these camera-shy folks in two ways: (1) I interviewed two people whose “life circumstances might be like my neighbors” and (2) I wrote scripts and hired actors to perform the roles for the remaining two neighbors. The documentary includes shots of our apartment building and shared spaces, edited rhythmically, providing a sense of place. This experimental documentary is a big mix of fact and fiction, public and private, intimacy and distance.