On the computer screen is an image of the late artist
This scene will be one of many included in Seufert's upcoming documentary about Gorey, a project that, after 18 years in the making, will soon be gracing the silver screen.
"It's hard to find Edward the person, himself, and that's what this is about," Seufert said. From 1996 until Gorey's death in 2000, Seufert filmed the artist on a regular basis, capturing his daily routines and the occasional interview.
Over the four years of filming, Seufert forged a close bond with Gorey, gaining access to the life of the innovative, and often reclusive, bohemian.
Seufert first started shooting the documentary when he was a young filmmaker in his late 20s. With a background in anthropological filmmaking, Seufert was inspired by observational cinema and the use of unedited film to showcase a subject's true form. While he originally intended to film scenes of Gorey performing different tasks and then have interviews of him reflecting on said tasks, the plans quickly changed.
"I would ask him about the significance of his work, and he would start talking about
Although the documentary is coming together, it is not the same film that Seufert set out to make. Gorey's sudden death from heart failure at age 75 came as a surprise to Seufert, and was nothing like what he had prepared for.
"For me, those four years were really just test footage," Seufert said, "In a parallel universe, I'm still shooting and Edward's 88. If he was still alive I wouldn't finish the film, I would keep shooting as an excuse to hang out with him probably."
To balance the film, Seufert combines his footage and interviews of Gorey with animation and interviews of the artist's friends and colleagues. "I want it to feel like you spent a day with Edward," Seufert said.
Seufert hopes to gain interviews from award-winning filmmaker
For an award-winning author, illustrator, and playwright, Gorey was often misunderstood by the public, according to director and curator of the Edward Gorey House,
"People always thought that he was both British and dead; at least now they're half right," Jones said.
Gorey was not fond of being called "macabre" or "sinister" either, according to
As a person and artist, Gorey never took himself too seriously, according to Seufert, and maintaining Gorey's sense of humor in the documentary is a major interest. "I hope that I keep it honest and unrefined enough to be fun," Seufert said. "I hope he would laugh, and he would laugh at himself."
Gorey was exceptionally humble and never sought out fame with his works, according to Seufert. "I think he is one of the greatest documentary subjects who ever lived, and he would hate that."
In September, Seufert plans to submit the finished documentary to the
"Showing the project in its raw, ugly, unfinished state has been really good for the project. I've been able to see how the stuff goes over," Seufert said.
The screenings also help set deadlines, according to Seufert, that keep the project moving toward its upcoming Sundance entry.
Rough-cut premieres have proven effective in fundraising for the untitled film as well, Seufert said. Between screenings and a campaign on the fundraising website Kickstarter, Seufert has raised more than
Now, after 18 years, Seufert is almost ready to say goodbye to the subject that has been by his side for almost his entire filmmaking career. While Seufert gets ready to put the film to rest, he plans to take with him a lesson that Gorey taught him in their days of filming.
"He taught me to follow my bliss. When you do that, the world opens for you."
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