Dark Days is an inspiring documentary by Marc Singer about a group of homeless people living in abandoned subway tunnels under the beating heart of New York City.
Apart from the vagabond vagrants whose stories are told in shocking detail throughout I’m inspired by the fact that, before he made this film, Singer had never even picked up a camera – much less knew how to use one.
Driven simply by the desire to highlight their plight and move them up the housing ladder, Singer originally intended to shoot on Super 8 but was persuaded to rent a 16mm camera instead.
He planned to shoot for a week but two and a half years later he still had free use of the camera and when he ran out of film Kodak supplied damaged stock, at no cost, for the continuation of the project.
The film’s crew consisted of the subjects themselves, who rigged up makeshift lighting by tapping into the mains supply and improvised steadicam dollies for tracking shots from supermarket shopping trollies.
Dark Days is an amazing collaboration which proves that the most important aspect of film making is integrity, a genuine belief and passion for what you’re doing. and, as Singer himself says, ‘not to be afraid to fail’.
In today’s crazy celebrity driven world where endorsement of equipment is often more important than the actual content of the movie, I found this this film both thought provoking and enlightening.