“Sooo, tonight’s the night…” she said, following a clip of the guy that she’s on the phone with in the “ADULT” section of a store. From the looks of the first 30 seconds of Cameron Granger‘s film, HOME MOVIES, the two characters have been getting ready for their big night all day long.
In the film below, we’re shown footage of a young guy and girl prepping for and pondering over what’s to come later that day. In just over 5 minutes, director Cameron Granger did an excellent job displaying emotions and building tension in his “attempt to show sex as sex”. See for yourself here
As soon as we reach the climax of HOME MOVIES, it feels like Cameron Granger sends us packing. Sometimes it’s good to be brief and let your audiences minds wander. Ours definitely did. Were they dating? Was this their first time? What happened afterwards?
Apparently, we weren’t the only ones left with a lot of questions. We gathered up some of the ones that viewers asked Cameron Granger, with responses from him, just in case any of you were left wandering as well.
So what’s the exact story between these two? Are they dating? Are they just friends?
Like a lot of films, the Home Movies you see now is a lot different from what it was when I was first writing it. In the original story, Tyler and Grace–those are the characters’ names if you’re wondering–were actually two people that were basically meeting up for a Tinder date. I ended up phasing out most references to it because I personally felt as if it was overshadowing the main goal of what I was trying to convey, but the essence of it still remains I think.
When you all meet Tyler and Grace in the film, these are not lovers, and they’re far from friends. They’re near strangers going into this entirely new world together–they’re two virgins losing their virginity man–that’s scary even when you’ve been dating someone for a year. When you realize that it adds a whole other awkward layer to scenes like the one in the van I think.
This film is a lot ‘quieter’ than previous ones, no narration, no overlayed music etc. Why?
While a lot of people have responded positively to those aspects of my work, for me, I started to feel like all of that [narration, background music] was turning into more of a crutch than a stylistic choice. With my work i’m trying to bring you into this entirely new world for five, six minutes at a time. Before Home Movies, it got to the point where I was looking at my old work and thinking to myself–was I really doing that? Or was I just telling you about this world I’m trying to bring you to?
I really like quiet, slow movies like Drive, The Conformist or Pulp Fiction. You watch those movies and you completely forget that you’re watching a two hour movie. You totally feel like you’re there. It’s the sounds, the slow cuts, the lack out outer interference that really bring you into these characters’ lives. You start to feel like you’re actually there with them. Like when I watch Drive, I feel like i’m in the passenger seat with Ryan Gosling. It’s great.
For Home Movies, I really wanted the moment in time to be the star of the film. I spent a lot of time on sound design. Every footstep, every weird creak my van would make, I wanted to make sure you heard that. This is such a personal time in these characters’ lives, I wanted to make you feel like you’re eavesdropping on them.
What’s with the make-up scenes?
So the first half of the film is very much about preparation. It’s like those scenes in movies before the character goes into the final battle. Tyler does his ‘thing’, while Grace does hers. I’m going to preface this with saying that I’m not saying anything negative on makeup itself–i’m not trying to open that can of worms.
Grace’s application of makeup in these early scenes is her putting up her guard. The makeup symbolizes protection, it’s her shield. In the phone call scene in the bathroom, where she’s wiping it all off we see Grace at her most vulnerable. She’s putting herself out there, and she’s visibly afraid of what might come from it. There was a scene in the film that got written out of Grace going to the corner store looking at contraceptive. I took it out for pacing, but I think you can still tell how unsure she is about all this through her body language.
In the last shot of the film, if you listen close, you can here more audio from the makeup tutorial playing. It call makeup something you can use to hide your imperfect, natural features. If that’s not a shield, I don’t know what is.
Ok, so what about the ending?
I had the ending in my head from the very beginning when I was putting this thing together. That shot of Grace outside the motel was it. No matter what happened, I wanted that shot. At the end of the story, you’re looking at two characters who are completely changed. Think of who you were before and after your first time. I’m sure you thought about a lot of things differently, especially depending on who it was you actually slept with.
In the hotel room, we see Tyler, covered in shadow, blatantly lying to his mother on the phone. On the tv, listen and you can hear the Twilight Zone intro, he’s going deep into this brand new world–and maybe he’s ready for it. For Tyler, sex is much more of a surface level desire. From the very beginning when we are introduced to him in the sex shop, he is completely mesmerized by it. Where Grace’s shield is makeup, Tyler’s is the condom.
Grace on the other hand, stands outside, physically separating herself from the room that changed her. The return of the make up tutorial is to bring back that idea of Grace’s shield, and that even with it, she can’t guard herself completely from life’s experiences.
These are two characters’ whose lives completely revolved around eachother’s for a very, very brief period of time. And whether they like it (Tyler?) or not (Grace?), that period of time is going to impact their lives forever. What happens after though is completely open, I’d like for you guys to decide that.
If I had the exact same people, and a lot more time on my hands, I’d love to expand this into a series. I feel like there’s a lot more stories to tell in this world, and that Tyler and Grace have a lot more to say.
BONUS: Why call it “HOME MOVIES”?
The name Home Movies is a play on the idea of a sex tape. A sex tape is a private recording, ‘home movie’, of a ridiculously intimate moment in time. I thought it was funny that I was making a VERY public recording of a simulated intimate moment of this moment I created. It’s kind of like my own version of a sex tape. I guess.
For more from Cameron Granger visit www.camgrangershoots.com