Sunday, June 1, 2008

Doug Pray

Doug Pray is a documentary film director, cinematographer, and editor whose films explore subcultures and more importantly the psychology of the protagonists and especially getting people to be brutally honest in their assessments of themselves and their set.

Some of you will probably know him for Scratch, a documentary about turntablism and DJ culture that is easily the defining film on the subject matter and in addition he has made Hype! a documentary about the Seattle grunge scene of the early '90s, which is also quite easily the defining work in a sea of films made on the subject matter. I just finished watching Infamy which is a documentary about graffiti culture told entirely from the viewpoint of the artists with very little criticism of the scene coming from anyone bar the artists and their families. He also made Big Rig which uses truck drivers as his subject matter and it's next on the list of must see films.

His new projects are Surfwise about the nomadic, 11-member Paskowitz family who are often referred to as the 'first family of surfing' and a film that I hope to see in the coming week as well as The Alchemists, which is a film featuring five creative people and their creating processes. Doug Pray is quite easily the best documentary film-maker out there for the sheer reason that his films are refreshingly all about his subject matter and not just mere vehicles for the film-makers' egos, a trap that a lot of documentarians seem to fall into.

This is an interview with Doug Pray.

Here is a bit of Infamy.

This is the trailer to Surfwise.

I implore you to watch all of his films.

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