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The Film:

"Welcome Home: Living at Burning Man" is a documentary film project by Nick Topolos and Paul D. Carey that will explore the ideas of home and how people create a home in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, during the annual Burning Man event. The film will be structured into five segments, with each segment exploring a different aspect of home. These segments will be separated by engaging images of the event, emphasizing the artistic and celebratory sides of Burning Man.

The film will consist of a number of elements. It will contain interviews with people that create a home at Burning Man, providing different points of view on what makes a home and what makes a home at Burning Man. Participants will be interviewed on how they feel at home with themselves and the community that they have helped to create. The film will also contain scenes of the homes that people create, how they decorate their homes, and how they share their creativity with the community. There will also be images of the artistic and celebratory nature of Burning Man — images of art installations, fire celebrations, and of the vast nature of creativity that people bring with them.

The opening sequence will consist of greeters welcoming people home as they arrive on the playa. We will have a sequence on the night life in Black Rock City — truly one of the most vibrant night life settings anywhere in the world. We will contrast the night time images with the images of the city during the day. We will have images of the bare desert before the citizens of Black Rock city arrive and images of the full city once built.

Chapter 1: Home Sweet Home
  • Physical shelter and resting place (tents, RVs, other structures)
  • Elements of home: sleeping quarters, closet, kitchen, family/living room
  • Concepts: Protection, Shelter, Comfort
Sequences:
  • Preparing for the trip — what do you bring to make this your home
  • Protection from the elements or a storm
  • Follow the building of a theme camp
  • Interviews with people about the homes that they have created
Interview questions:
  • What is your Black Rock City address?
  • What makes a home for you?
  • What did you bring to Burning Man to make your home here?


Chapter 2: There's No Place Like Home
  • Our homes are an expression of ourselves, of what is important to us
  • Elements of home: decoration, furnishings, art
  • Concepts: Creativity, Self Expression, Giving
Sequences:
  • Film people decorating their camps
  • Images of camps, art installations
  • Interviews with people about the homes they have decorated and the art that they have created
Questions:
  • What have you created?
  • How have you expressed yourself through your home?
  • What are you able to express here at Burning Man that you have not been able to express elsewhere?


Chapter 3: Home Is Where The Heart Is
  • People come from various locations to form a family/tribe/community — some last for a few days, and some last for life
  • Elements of home: Camps have a defined "family"; camps have continuous "open houses"
  • Concepts: Family, Tribe, Community, Acceptance, Love
Sequences:
  • Follow a tribe interacting within the city
  • Tribal rituals — how people become a part of the tribe
  • Interviews with people on how they have become a part of a community in Black Rock City
Questions:
  • To where do you come home?
  • How have you developed a sense of community?
  • Who have you met? What kind of relationship do you have with that person? How long do you expect this relationship to last? Why?


Chapter 4: At Home With Yourself
  • Introspective: Being at home with yourself and understanding who you are
    • The Burn, a modern tribal ritual, helps you become both a member of a larger community and an aware individual
    • The Burn can be cathartic as well as celebratory
  • Elements of home: Finding your place with yourself and your community
  • Concepts: Peace, Self Awareness, Growing/Learning
Sequences:
  • The Burn
  • Interviews with people on what they got out of the experience
Questions:
  • What have you learned about yourself at Burning Man?
  • How has creating a home in Black Rock City helped you to become more at home with yourself?
  • How has the experience of Burning Man affected you personally? How has it affected your relationship with others?


Chapter 5: You Can't Go Home, or Can You?
  • Epilogue: How do you take Black Rock City back home with you?
  • Elements of home: Finding your way between homes
  • Concepts: Rejuvenation, A New Perspective
Sequences:
  • Taking down the camp
  • Leaving Black Rock City
  • Interviews with people on how they have captured the spirit of Burning Man, and how they will take that to their year-round home.
  • Interviews with people who make the Black Rock Desert their home year-round.
Questions:
  • How do you take Black Rock City back home with you?
  • What will you do differently when you are off the playa?

The Vision »