Q: You’re known for focusing your lens on such divisive topics as terrorist networks and the failure of technology to create an ideal society. Why do a film about fog?
A: I wanted to do something local that didn’t require a lot of wrangling. I thought it would be easy—that was delusional. Fog is like depression: When you’re in it, you feel like you’ll never get out of it, but when you’re watching it, it’s glamorous and kind of romantic. It’s like reading Hemingway. We wanted something that transcends the cliché beauty shot—more than just the national geographic screen saver. But fog is totally unpredictable. We’d get somebody to agree to an interview, but when it came time to shoot, it’d be a beautiful, clear day. Sometimes we’d have fog, but it would disappear as soon as we got to the location. It’s a natural force marauding through the city, a reminder that this is a somewhat inhospitable place for a city and that nature can’t just be shunted off.
Check it out at the Oakland Museum of California, Nov. 9
Originally published in the November 2013 issue of San Francisco