Pig Film
Pig Film, directed by Josh Gibson, is a post-apocalyptic opera about hog farming. At least, that's my favorite theory.

It is probably fitting that a film so unique in conception was so eccentric in the making. Josh invited me to shoot with him in 2014. At first we believed we were making something like a documentary about hog farming, but Josh eventually realized what the project really wanted was to break into song. He brought on John Supko to score and Julianna Tauschinger-Dempsey to sing.

For a while, whenever Josh came up with a new scene to shoot, sometimes after an interval of a year or so, he’d call the hog farm to see when we could come visit. Because of North Carolina politics and the nature of the hog farming industry, this invitation demanded considerable courage for a local farmer, and we were lucky to find a particularly brave one in Tom Butler. Josh would go on eBay to buy film, I’d call around for friends who owed me favors, and we’d pile into our cars and caravan to the location with a collection of temperamental Russian cameras, wonky square-front anamorphic lenses, and a wide variety of film stock, some of it long since expired. We did that for a while, then Josh wrote a scene for which he demolished the first floor of his house and cooked a crown roast, and it got stranger from there. And so on, for about four years.

We had no video tap, and for some reason my analog meter always read a half stop under Josh’s digital, not that we had any way of knowing the effective ISO of the film in the magazine anyway. A strategy of low-key, relaxed guessing seemed to work pretty well ,and in the end we agreed about almost everything. The cameras contributed an array of beautiful malfunctions, which for the most part we adopted as our own. An irresponsible proportion of the shots used are the only take we rolled, but fortune smiled, mostly.

The film is premiering at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June 2018—today, in fact, as I type this. You should be through the first reel or so about now, hope you like it!

Steve Milligan