After being featured on Calvin College’s television interview program “Inner Compass,” Jim Southerland, professor of art at Montreat College, was chosen to be the subject of a documentary by Brian Fuller, associate professor of communication arts and sciences at Calvin College. The documentary is to be entitled “Camera Obscura” after a device which was a predecessor to the camera—one of which Southerland built in 1977 from a design he saw in a magazine. He endearingly refers to his creation by the name “art-to-thee-too.” A camera obscura presents an image through multiple lenses onto a small plate of glass upon which an artist can draw, rendering the image as they see it.
According to Fuller, Southerland was chosen for the documentary through the friendship they began at Montreat College “discussing the intersection of faith, content, and form.” When asked what the focus of the documentary would be, Fuller responded “Filmmakers often say ‘You don’t make a documentary, you discover it.’ In some sense, then I won’t know what the film is about until I’m in the editing suite.”
The film isn’t expected to be completed for at least two years. In response to the length of time until the movie will be released, Fuller stated “I’m in this for the long haul… Such is often the fate of artists with grand schemes.” Fuller plans to host a screening of his film in Montreat upon its completion.