York University film graduate Nadia Tan was one of the directors on hand at the NFB with this afternoon’s screening of the Blinded By Goodness series — a compilation program of short works that included humorous fiction pieces, a spoof of the Maltese Falcon, animation and personal accounts of identity to name a few.
Her film Secrets is a collection of audio recordings of anonymous but real secrets illustrated through concrete and abstract images.
“The basis of the film was collecting these secrets and finding a way to illustrate them that I felt honoured the secrets rather than exploiting them,” says Tan before the screening.
“In my mind as I approached these people, I really wanted it to be a cathartic experience. I wanted it not only to be a cathartic experience for the secret tellers but also for the audience because a lot of these secrets could be anybody’s secrets.”
She started working on the film in university putting posters up and allowing people to come to the sound recording studio to spill the heartwrenching accounts to the funny, icky and weird.
“I started sitting down and talking with people. The sound recording quality actually gets worse and worse because I’m in these random places with people. But the content becomes so much better because they’re actual conversations.”
At first, she felt that due to the formal set up in the beginning that the secrets she was getting were brief and not very personal. But after a while they started to take a life on its own.
“Some of them are half hour conversations where we were really talking and I just cut out my voice later. It became much more personal and revealing and much more intimate.”