One Day on Earth

The World's Story is Yours to Tell

Who are you and what is your profession?

I'm Sarah Weinstein and I'm a documentary filmmaker and director in Los Angeles.



 

One Day on Earth: Viva la Vida Argentina! from Sarah Weinstein on Vimeo.

 

Can you tell us a little about your background and upbringing?

I was raised in Champaign, Illinois with my twin sister, Elizabeth.  My mom was a reporter for our local newspaper and so I spent much of my childhood trekking through cornfields, sitting in courtrooms and even "helping" her cover the first Farm Aid concert ever.  The journalism life rubbed off, and after undergraduate school, I went to graduate school at the Columbia University School of Journalism.  After that, I spent two years in Hollywood exploring the fictional side of storytelling.  I interned at Silver Pictures and Wendy Finerman Productions and worked as a production assistant on the set of the WB drama "7th Heaven". I even crashed the set of "ER" and declared myself their new intern just so I could see how my favorite show was shot.  After two years, I went back to journalism and worked as a writer, producer and fill-in anchor at CNN and CNN Headline News.  CNN is where I learned to shoot and edit.  I left CNN in 2004 to go back to LA and produce my first feature-length documentary.  I also spent six months in the studio with Katy Perry and The Matrix shooting the making of The Matrix Record.  Since then, I've shot, produced, edited and directed short films, ads, EPKs music videos and behind the scenes videos for The Discovery Channel, Virgin Records (Korn), Capitol Records (Ferras EPK), the UK trance act Above and Beyond, pop artist Courtney Jones, pop/R&B artist Liam, Barclays Bank, Intercontinental Hotels, AOL, Panasonic, Gatorade, Too Faced Cosmetics and many others.  You can see my work at http://web.me.com/sarah4w

 

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Becoming a filmmaker developed directly from my love of my mom's career and my own work as a journalist.  Filmmaking -- and especially documentary filmmaking --  is a kind of creative extension of journalism.  I love observing and capturing human beings doing what they do -- whether that's good or bad.  It's also interesting to see how people change and act when they know they're being filmed (and they always do change).  I'm fascinated by life's details. I'm kind of an introvert, so I prefer being quiet and observing, which lends itself to being a documentary filmmaker.  Filmmaking combines my strengths with the dynamic, ever-changing and creative career I want.

 

Who or what do you most admire?

I admire people who inspire me to see life in a different way or to challenge my own way of living.  In college, I was an avid Oprah Winfrey fan because she is so great at getting women especially to reassess how they think or live.  As I've gotten older, I admire the not-so-famous people.  My friends Laura and Fernando, who are the subject of my "One Day on Earth" film, inspire me because they constantly remind me that life is supposed to be about the important stuff: loving each other, sharing quality time together, remembering the most important people in our lives and making time for fun and even good food. That's what really comes through in my film.  

 

What did you film on 10.10.10?

I was fortunate enough to be in Santa Fe, Argentina visiting my dear friends Laura and Fernando after an absence of 13 years.  Laura was a foreign exchange student my senior year of high school and we became very close friends on Day 1.  She became a part of our family that year, and we've considered each other family ever since.  But life, marriage, careers and kids got in the way and we didn't visit each other for 13 years.  Finally last year I decided to just go   My mom came with me and we spent three weeks with them.  10.10.10 was a Sunday, so I documented their normal Sunday routine.  I started filming when the kids woke up and didn't stop until the clock struck midnight. 

 

What are you planning on filming on 11.11.11?

That largely depends on where I'll be.  I'm not big on trying to make political, environmental or social statements with my work.  So I'll probably focus again on an interesting person or bring to life an event.  I know some fascinating people so maybe I'll focus on one of them.  Music will probably be involved.

 

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