Every once in a while, a moment will unfold in front of me and, for whatever reason, I can’t not document what’s unfolding. It’s not always the most obvious or exciting moment, but there’s a truth in it that’s magnetic.
I started shooting before I had any concept of what I was doing, before I knew what “Know This” was. I wasn’t finding the film as I shot it, and didn’t even know I was making a film. Rather, it was an attempt to capture what I was experiencing in my body, being compelled to try and hang onto that brief instant in some way.
I would travel, go through life, and be compelled to capture what I was seeing. Then I would essentially forget it. Every few months, I’d dump the footage onto one of my hard drives and that would be that. The process went on like that for about six years.
At the beginning of 2015, I sold most of my belongings, moved out of my house and into my van to travel around the United States. While only a small portion of the footage in “Know This” came from that time, it was during this period that I edited the film. My friend, Taylor, and I had just spent three weeks driving around Canada. When I finally dropped her off in Seattle, it was she who inspired me to make the film. I felt I needed to produce something in response to a series of conversations we’d had while on the road, and so I started looking around at what I had to work with immediately in front of me.
When I watched all of the footage, I had the same nebulous feeling that drove me to capture these moments in the first place. I was drawn to certain pieces of clips as if by a magnet, without any logical reason. Once I had created this archive however I decided to be analytical about the whole project. I organized all of the clips categorically in a huge spreadsheet and started playing with structure and flow, making a rough edit of the movie film on paper.
Around this same time, I came across the song by Peter Broderick used in the film. This is the only song I ever seriously considered using, and am thankful he graciously allowed me to use it. That track really became the driving force for the tone of the piece and, ultimately, informed the overall structure.
When it came time to write the voiceover, everything I needed was in the footage. Seeing the clips, the moments I had experienced essentially wrote the words for me.
I followed what was already on the screen and created a letter to my unborn self of the past, a life yet to be lived. As if to say “Here is what you are in for.”