About the Film
“Collodion” is an old fashioned film. It is a documentary in the truest sense: a humble, deeply observational, examination of the human condition. But it didn’t begin that way. Over ten years ago, when professional photographer, Eric Overton, decided to close his gallery and enroll in medical school, Overton imagined, like many before him, that he might help save the world. He imagined that medicine might heal, where art could not. But the next decade brought more questions than answers, more disillusionment than enlightenment. Overton was a resident physician in training in Arizona and the location put him in easy proximity to many of the American West’s most monumental landscapes: Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Arches, Yellowstone, Zion. He escaped whenever he could. These extraordinary destinations, had bordered his childhood home in SLC, Utah, but like many who grew up in the West, they were nothing more than familiar mile markers, and lookout points. They were observed from a moving car always on the way to some other place.
This time was different. Overton took his camera and his son, and they walked in. Using a 170 year old photographic procedure called “wet plate collodion”, they began to capture these evocative spaces in the Yosemite Valley with the same tedious, painstaking attention that photographers like Carlton Watkins, had practiced more than a century before. The work was quiet, slow, and imprecise. It was everything medicine was not. The images had an ineluctable imprecision, a raw and haunting imperfection that seemed capable of saving more people than the prescriptions he scribbled a dozen times a day. Eric will be the first one to admit that Collodion saved him. This is where the documentary begins.
The film will be available to watch for free via pre-registration from September 25-27. Register here.