Director, cinematography, editing: Aaron Dylan Kearns
Featuring: Seth W. Cohen, E. A. Atkinson, Charlie Mehefee, "Spartain Mouse", Yan Mastin, Peter Mastin, Taylor Patterson
Music: Martin Kearns
Genre: Documentary (video nonfiction)
Release Date: December 20, 2017. The release date of the first cut was January 23, 2016.
Tree People was filmed in 2015 but because of complications ended up not being released until December 20, 1017.
The documentary, which I call "video nonfiction", follows individuals around as they run a Christmas tree lot.
Every year that I could remember, from when I was a small child, we had gotten our Winter Solstice tree from a Christmas tree lot at Ansley Mall. Picking out the tree, taking it back to the apartment, decorating it while we listened to Christmas music, was unfailingly a happy, celebratory time, even the year I had my wisdom teeth removed on the day we selected our tree. Those who worked at the lot had watched me grow up, year to year, and always remembered us. When I was 17, it occurred to me that I wanted to make a film of what their day was like, selling trees. I asked if I could film them. They said yes.
Filming was done in December of 2015, then after the holidays, when I got down to editing the film, I realized i couldn't put together and release the movie I wanted without release forms. I had neglected to bring release forms with me when I was shooting, then later I was unable to get in contact with individuals who had appeared in the film. Not having release forms, I instead prepared an initial cut of the film that would be entirely different from what what I'd planned. Color and 10:28 in length, it was composed of activities on the lot without focusing in on any individuals.
Completely unsatisfied with the first version, despite not having the release forms, over the summer of 2016 I worked on editing the film I had originally wanted to make. I planned to get the necessary release forms signed in November/December of 2016 when the Christmas tree lot was opened again, but life events got in the way, those life events also necessitating I speedily complete the filming of what would become Weightless Bird in a Falling Cage. By the time we got around to the lot, it had already closed for the year. It wasn't until 2017 that I finally got the required release forms signed and was able to release, on December 20, 2017, the film I'd initially conceived.