Director: D. A. Pennebaker
D.A. Pennebaker has been making films for over 50 years, amongst them the Bob Dylan classic DON’T LOOK BACK (1967). He is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of cinema verité, a style that revolutionized the documentary genre by using uninterrupted observation, creating a fly-on-the-wall sense of immediacy.
Set to a Duke Ellington track of the same name, his early short film, DAYBREAK EXPRESS, takes the audience from one end of a New York subway route to the other, propelling us through the mid-20th century metropolis.
“I didn’t know much about film editing, or in fact about shooting, so I bought a couple of rolls of Kodachrome at the drugstore, and figured that since the record was about three minutes long, by shooting carefully I could fit the whole thing onto one roll of film. Of course that didn’t work since I couldn’t start and stop my hand-wound camera that easily so I ended up shooting both rolls and even a few more before I was through. It took about three days to film, and then sat in a closet for several years until I figured out how to edit it and make a print that I could show on a projector.” D.A. Pennebaker
Courtesy of Pennebaker Hegedus Films
Commentary with D.A. Pennebaker recorded in New York City