Making “The Gab” short documentary of disability humor goodness

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Making a documentary is a chance for the filmmaker to expand their viewpoints as they learn about other people’s experiences.  Even if you already know about the people or topic, you shouldn’t go in like an expert and just take people’s stories. You’re there to be curious, to witness and to craft stories into film form. So it’s a little weird when you’re in the documentary you’re making, as I was with my newest short doc, “Making ‘The Gab’.” I had to interview myself! And the times when I was in the scene, well, the camera just had to boringly operate itself. Yet I appreciated the chance to be on camera alongside my delightful and glorious co-stars Caitlin Wood and Lavaun Heaster. It gave me the chance to reflect on what I really think about the subject matter, which I’ll tell you about in a minute.

Not so side note:  I produced this piece in the Take 2 documentary class at NW Documentary with Courtney Hermann. I can’t recommend their classes enough. Amazing! The small seminar format gives you the chance to talk about all the students’ films as you go. I’ve learned in my classes there that every film has its own audience, and that every type of audience is valid and important no matter how small or distinct or niche.

So this film is a cross between a making-of documentary and a promo piece. It’s a humorous look behind the scenes of three of us local disabled artists creating and rehearsing for our upcoming web and cable access satirical talk show called “The Gab.” This satire will be joining a number of other short films to create a collection called “Criptiques On Film.” The collection takes its name from the anthology Caitlin edited recently called “Criptiques.” The book was created to explore the provocative sides of disability and is based on the notion of “Nothing About Us, Without Us.” It gives disabled people a place to write our own essays and stories instead of having them told by non-disabled experts. Our short films and documentaries will do the same. Our purpose with filmmaking here:  to make fantastic art from within disability communities.

Visit to watch the collection of films grow and to see episodes of “The Gab” as we start recording at Portland Community Media in summer 2014.