THE YEAR PROJECT
In 2020, Nathan started a 12-part series based on Wisconsin and the months of the year. Inspired by the works of Sufjan Stevens and Mike Leigh, the series is a look at 12 different families and characters all sharing the same fictional town in Wisconsin. Over the years their stories will interlap and interact, as well as jump across different periods of Wisconsin history and culture.
Explore the links below for the current films available.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. America maybe changing, small towns maybe shrinking, community maybe dividing into unrecognizable fractals from only a generation ago, but our experiences and our common humanity will always unite us and be unchanged from the generations before us - a need for belonging and fitting in, the passing of the seasons, and the inevitable march of time.
Wisconsin is a beautiful, incredible state rich in history and more diversity than people typically give it credit for. Even in a small town like Wispecki (the setting for these films), a Mexican immigrant is struggling to fit into America while an aging church volunteer is quietly keeping a shrinking church from completely falling apart (without getting much credit). Kids are stealing cars and running away, and mammoth bones are lurking under the surface waiting to be discovered.
Leo Purman (AFI, class of '19) and Joel Shaeffer (AFI, class of '19) frame up a shot of David Duran for "February" while shooting in Wisconsin
The Amish live next door to farm kids recording TikTok videos, and a graduating senior is only two doors down from a woman grieving the loss of an old church friend who has no kids to go through her belongings and sell a house that belonged in their family for generations (the farmland around is now a strip mall for Hardee's and McDonalds.). There even might be an eccentric billionaire leaving a will with plans for the city to install a subway system with stops from Main Street to Wal-Mart.
This project is my main passion project, whatever else happens in my film career, and I hope to return to these month installments as often as I can.
Stay tuned for more...