Every Speed

2012, TRT 12:07- Co-directed with Julia Fuller

Every Speed is a short experimental documentary that explores perspectives on body movement, transportation, and dependence for people with and without physical disabilities. Historically, people with disabilities have been denied accommodations based on arguments of cost, yet able‐bodied people take for granted their reliance on vast and expensive transportation systems designed to facilitate movement. Using voice‐over interviews with both disabled and able-bodied individuals as opposed to talking heads, the film explores how movement technology/transportation both differentiates and unites people with diverse physical abilities. Interview subjects speak about how public and individual transportation shapes ideas of temporality, in terms of distance and waiting, and how it can be a communal or personal experience that can shape identity. These themes are depicted visually through the technique of rotoscoping – tracing individual frames of video and creating an animated sequence. The imagery consists of several types of movement technologies, such as people riding bicycles, rowing boats, pushing wheelchairs, riding escalators, and boarding trains. In the animated sequences the people are separated from the technology. It is a visual device to emphasize the bodies’ movements in relation to the apparatus but without it physically present, and to see the apparatus moving without its operator/function. The simple outlines of body movement create an organic, hand-drawn visual contrast to the man‐made technology depicted on video.

In one rotoscoped sequence, people are walking and biking along the river and the bike is removed from the cyclist in the drawings to emphasize the movement of his body while riding and his interactions and responses to the walkers. The effect of the rotoscoping also leads the viewer to hone in on the micro movements of the walkers and to perceive a familiar scene in a new way. In the animated escalator scene, the escalator is removed from the drawings. A man carries his bike down the escalator, a blind man rides down with his cane, people carry large shopping bags, and individuals stare off into space while being effortlessly transported to a different level in a building. The sequence highlights the minuscule movements of the people’s hands on the escalator ledge and their slight shifts in body weight—movements that are routine and subconscious and that are often taken for granted. It appears as though people are being moved around in an empty white space, unaware and without moving their legs, by an invisible force. Body movement is presented as fluid and anatomical in contrast to the linear, mechanical movement of public transportation, but simultaneously an interviewee describes it as an inherent, microcosmic piece of larger transportation infrastructures.

Every Speed considers the design and accessibility of cities and transportation as well as the personal experience of movement. It analyzes the importance our culture places on independence and physical ability and how these ideas affect meanings of movement for both people with disabilities and the able-bodied. The film has screened at over 30 film festivals and conferences nationally and internationally.

Educational Distribution

Educational Distribution