“As The Dust Settles” Brings First Person Perspective

The most refreshing aspect of “As The Dust Settles” is the lack of glamor shots. This is not another documentary full of beautiful women and even more breath taking landscapes. It is more true to form, allowing five burners to intimately share their own personal experiences. We meet each of them before they get to the Playa as they video themselves full of pre-Burn jitters. Through the self gazing lens, we journey with Roger, Jamie, Katheryn, Tarynn and Jeremy as they teach us, first hand, about their respective Burning Man experiences.

Using tiny hand held cameras the cast of 'As The Dust Settles' records their Burning Man experience. All photos by Mike Hedge.
Using tiny hand held cameras the cast of ‘As The Dust Settles’ records their Burning Man experience.
All photos by Mike Hedge.

The use of first person cameras creates a totally different feeling to this film. There are moments when we are dancing in a crowd or waiting out a dust storm in our tent on Tuesday while Jamie says “Already I feel I need to surrender”. But always we have the companionship of one of the five filmmakers. The viewer is right there with them and this makes it a much more accurate account of the Burn experience as a whole, especially while watching the emotional highs and lows of these participants who sometimes spend long moments exalting or lamenting into the camera.Not everyone goes through this cycle either. Some, instead, experience a more existential realization that helps to reshape their world view. In some ways, this film is much more about the impacts of the Playa on the human psyche than it is a film just about Burning Man.

This film was shot at Burning Man 2008 ‘American Dream’ but time doesn’t seem to have a noticeable effect here. It’s still five people experiencing the Black Rock City. Peter Hudson’s art installations are featured which almost jumps the time gap since he brought the same works out of storage for Burning Man 2013 ‘Cargo Cult’.

The Man at American Dream '08.
The Man at American Dream ’08.

This documentary will make you homesick. Not because it glorifies Burning Man, making it look like one of the most beautiful, amazing place on earth which surely the Burn can be but that is just a fraction of what makes Burning Man so special. “As The Dust Settles” has the perfect mix of day-to-day trials and heart opening moments that make it such an incredible experience. “As The Dust Settles” is now available to view on Amazon Instant.


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