The idea originated from a sound piece Gunduz made several years ago in which he asked the couple next door to remember an important event involving them both, then got them to recount it individually.
Kat & Dom follows similar lines only this time the couples talk directly to camera. The rules are: they talk separately and are not allowed to discuss how they recall each experience. The result is fascinating and endearing: two intimate portraits emerging as different accounts of the same event surface.
Making Kat & Dom then led to a series of short documentaries called Double Vision commissioned by Channel 4 that feature other couples recounting first dates, break-ups and even childbirth.
Gunduz tells Londonist: “ I never prep my contributors with the kinds of questions I am going to ask – and mostly I don't prep myself either. The whole thing is very spontaneous. I would have some idea of the story but the important thing is that they never discussed any of it with me before the shoot. When you engage like that, you both forget the camera as the conversation becomes more exciting.”
“There were drawbacks to this process however. I wanted them to look directly into the lens so that meant sitting directly behind the camera with my eye-line sitting creepily above it. But the relaxed atmosphere, which I make paramount on set, really helps diffuse the draw-backs. It's also important that I meet and greet them outside the studio to really get them ready to talk openly.”
Gunduz's interest in real people's lives is at the heart of his work: "I love stories about ordinary people and I’m saddened by the fact that we are largely uninterested in anyone who isn't spectacular in some way."
Gunduz proves with Kat & Dom, and the Double Vision series, that real people are hugely engaging and worthy of the big screen treatment. His next series, Circus Girls, will feature female circus performers and show just how spectacular real people can be.
Want to be featured? If you have a London-themed short film that you’d like us to consider for this series, send an email with the subject “London Shorts” to Stu Black and Ioanna Karavela via our email: email@example.com
To see other London Shorts click here.