A written profile and a filmic profile have a lot of similarities. The profiler talks to the profilee, finds the most important things they say, and cuts it together, bestrewing the profilee’s words with some representation of candid moments and the world the profilee inhabits.
So when asked about trends in documentary making, it was a bit concerning when Sean Dunne said he sees a lot of, “Bullshit profiles of fuckin’ some asshole in Maine making some goddamn type of shoes. It seems so polished and cutesy to the point of where it’s a movement against the raw and the real and towards the perfect music cue, and the perfect bite. It’s taking the viewer out of the moment, and shoving your agenda down their throat.”
Would the same be true of written profiles? That a written profile of a creator can’t be “real”?
Dunne of course made his comments about “bullshit profiles” to someone who was doing a “bullshit profile” on Dunne himself. The goal of the profile was to paint a positive picture of Dunne — the director of internet-favorite documentary American Juggalo — as a creator and documentarian. The “agenda” of the profile was “hey, look, this guy is good at making documentaries.”
We asked Dunne about his films, and his philosophy of documenting. The concept of being asked about your philosophy on something is weird; why should your opinion matter? When you document someone’s philosophy of something, you’re lending legitimacy to that philosophy, or as Dunne said about his experience on American Juggalo, “Something about having a camera around elevates them [people] in their own head to just the point where they’re able to tell their story in a compelling way.”
Check out Dunne’s thoughts, where we’ve profiled the profiler, on these next few pages…