Stay the Same is about our relationship to the passage of time and our desire to capture and record our experiences. It was not easy to make as Sam could not leave the peninsular, only accesible by boat, for more than a day and the film is a record of what was at times quite a difficult process.
It is the third in a series of three short films each exploring different forms of autobiographical film making and follows on from I.D. and The Worm Inside Sam’s first two films.
The concept came about partly from making these two films and ideas Sam started to explore about the way we use film to document our lives and create narratives of events, but it was also in response to Sam’s experience of discovering illness and a sense of her own mortality.
By documenting our lives with film and photographs we try to cheat time; wanting to capture, slow down and replay the moments. But capturing everything is an impossibility; like chasing snow flakes – each moment you capture another is gone. Time cannot be cheated.
Sam was also interested in making in film in which documents the results of its own process. The film charts Sam’s emotional response to the rigid routine of filming every day; a routine constrained by the limitations of place and time, as all of our lives are.
Sam started filming on 21st June 2011 and finished in June 2012 so that she would capture a whole year from start too finish.
She filmed at 8.30am GMT (Sam switched to 9.30am British summer time) so that the film would go through a period of darkness.
Sam used a Sony Z1 and the film is made using DVCAM.
The film took several months to edit, as sixty hours of original footage eventually became a fourteen minute film. Sam edited the film on her own using musical composition as inspiration.
The score was almost entirely to the final edit and also took several months to complete. It is the result of an intensely collaborative and positive relationship that has developed between Fraya Thomsen and Sam over her last two films.
It was performed on one cello played by Louise McMonagle and comprised of at least sixteen different parts all recorded in one day.
This website has been an integral part of the project. Sam describes it as a virtual notebook for the project.
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