“Undocumented” is a short documentary about an undocumented filmmaker in Los Angeles traversing his surroundings - his neighborhood, the mall at which he works, a film set - in order to come to terms with the ugliness and beauty of his world. It was conceptualized at the height of anti-Latinx rhetoric in American culture as an exploration of an underrepresented perspective. As with many of our films, “immersion” was a key component of the creative process; our team operated under the conviction that the only way to truly create a meaningful conversation was to use the cinematic language to place the audience in the shoes of someone with whom they would otherwise never empathize.
Due to the subject’s immigration status, we decided at the outset that we would not reveal his face. This led to the most important creative choice of all: to film the subject from behind. Because the camera was often following the subject as he spoke, the key creative concept of “Undocumented” became movement through space. There isn’t a still moment in the six minute runtime, nor are there any traditional “talking head” interviews. The film’s sense of immersion comes from the fact that it consistently puts the viewer in close proximity to the subject as he walks through his surroundings, something that is bolstered by the sound and music.