Views from the Bay began as a different project entirely. When setting out to create a feature documentary, the objective was to tell the stories of a few different families that were struggling to get by in the Bay Area. Finding subjects willing to let even a small film crew into their lives is never easy, and though there was interest and there were families who agreed to participate, it became apparent that capturing the lives of even one Bay Area family might prove difficult.
The idea for this Experience Archive came about as a way to both promote the intended feature documentary, talk to people interested in participating, and most importantly, as a method to document more stories than would have been possible in a single feature. The interviews conducted for Views from the Bay were filmed towards the end of 2014 and early 2015. Since then, the lives of our subjects have changed and the Bay Area has changed, however, the views expressed in these interviews still hold relevance.
The issues that Bay Area residents face, such as housing, cost of living, commutes, unemployment, the list goes on, are brought to light in our subjects' interviews and some even express doubt regarding whether they will be able to keep the Bay Area as their home. But one of the most striking aspects of these interviews, from my perspective, is the hope, positivity, and determination that our participants expressed despite the problems that living in the Bay Area holds.
To say that publishing these interviews is crossing the finish line would not be entirely correct. One of my hopes for this archive is to extend it to include follow-up interviews with those who have already participated and to interview new participants, because a lot has changed since filming began two years ago. If you would like to see this project expanded or know someone who would make a valuable interview subject, please feel free to leave feedback using our contact form.
With that said, I would like to give a special thanks to our Bay Area participants, Sustainable San Mateo, HIP Housing, and to you, our audience.
Thanks for watching,
Naomi Takata Shepherd
Director of Views from the Bay