Photographer Peter Sutherland has made a new short film.
It’s called Curb Heads and follows a group of listless teenagers from Colorado as they do the things listless teenagers from Colorado do. It’s a really unique film, which is no surprise when you look at Pete’s photography, which is and always has been completely different from anyone else’s. Anyway, I had a super-quick chat with him about the film and whether or not the kids are alright.
Hey dude, I just watched Curb Heads—it’s awesome!
How do you know the kids in the vid?
I met a good friend in 7th grade. His name is Robert; the two brothers in the film are his teenage sons. I wanted to try something with scripted lines. Prior to this, I’d only shot documentary stuff, so I found it much easier to work with people that I had a connection to via Robert.
Wait, it was scripted?
Yeah. So, all of the lines are loosely scripted and improvised. Then there are little interviews mixed in.
Did you grow up in the same places the kids are hanging out in?
Yeah. Most of the stuff was shot in Colorado Springs or Manitou Springs, Colorado. These were spots I hung out in in the late 80s, early 90s, so it makes it that much more special and personal.
My favourite thing about the video was discovering that kids still go out and smash bottles under bridges and explore stuff. I assumed they all sat around staring at their phones. Or was that scripted?
That is actually scripted, but that one kid was pretty good at throwing bottles in the air and smashing another one on it. Which might make you assume they still do that [laughs].
Are teenagers the same as they were when you and I were teenagers?
Yes and no. They’re definitely more optimistic. Even with everything going on in the world today, I think teenagers seem more optimistic than 90s teens.
Their music is certainly more optimistic… How far away is your first feature film?
Well, I love films, so I would love to do one.
Can I be in it?
Yeah, I was actually gonna ask if you would be down to star in it.
Are you actually working on another thing, though?
Yeah, I’m working on another thing to shoot here in Colorado. It might be even more DIY than Curb Heads, which is very DIY. Anyway, I’ll keep ya posted.