17 going on 80mph

Personal Documentaries

I’ve always found it easier to make documentaries about people I don’t really know. There’s a kind of separation; a freedom to poke fun, be critical, support, or agree with. Making a film about someone you know, especially someone your extremely close to is more difficult. The way you portray anything can make or ruin your relationship. For me there’s a fundamental internal conflict, the filmmaker/artist side of me wants to stay pure to the film and criticize or support the person as much as is required but the other side is a person that lives in the reality I’m are trying to capture, and my actions have consequences.


The film you make will affect those who you make the film about. I did this in 17 going on 80mph when I lightly jested at my brother’s love of video games and the somewhat loaded topic of motorcycles. There’s a huge rider culture that I don’t know much about so I decided to tread carefully and not fall into any serious stereotypes about the subject. This however somewhat restricted me on a conceptual level because I was in essence, censoring certain facets about my brother and his rather fast decision to purchase and ride his motorcycle at the age of 17. I tried to capture everything while shooting and decided what I was going to show and how I wanted to portray him in the edit. In the end I didn’t exclude much and let his personality and opinions shine through and I realized he knew a lot about the bike and I wanted to show that. the result I believe is a very endearing portrait of my little brother and his excitement and passion about the biggest decision of his life so far.

This film was extremely fun and challenging to capture and edit. I hope you enjoy this personal look into my relationship with my brother.

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