Estate (2014)

Interview

Why was the film made? My friend and fellow filmmaker, Tyler Kinney, was making a comedy/reality-show with some other mutual friends of ours for fun. The concept of the show centered around a couple of sailors that would dock at various yard sales; the show was called 'Yard Sailors.' Tyler and I were spending a lot of time together at this time, talking about videos, our interests, comedy and creativity. I once proposed that an episode of 'Yard Sailors' should center around a competing group of pirates who mainly frequent estate sales and not yard sales. Pretty soon Tyler and I were talking about our genuine interest in estate sales, how the belongings are often the remaining consumer representation of a deceased individual, how those relics might have meant the world to the person or possibly meant nothing, how the act sometimes seemed ghoulish like a kettle of vultures picking over a corpse and so on.

I had frequented estate sales throughout the years leading up to this project. A former partner and I would frequent the estate sales of a lady named Jennie Krausse; Krausse is a character: a fast-talking, quick-witted, prone to poetic turns of phrase, and generally makes everyone feel welcome and tended to at her sales. She writes the most detailed descriptions of her sales, often injecting her prose with so much enthusiasm for her subject that you forget you're not reading Krausse's description of her friend's personality and belongings instead the estate sale of someone deceased. Fast-forward once more to Tyler and I talking about making a short piece on estate sales; Tyler asked who I thought our subject would be, and I immediately knew it had to be Jennie. And since I had often been present at her sales, I felt comfortable asking her if she wouldn't mind participating. Krausse was going to enlighten, not only us, but a general public that may have not considered the nuances of an estate sale.

After I had coordinated a shoot with Mrs. Krausse, we used two Canon t2i DSLRs to collect footage at one estate sale. Beforehand, we conducted an interview with Mrs. Krausse at her home.

What were you hoping to convey? The project was meant to explore the aforementioned curiosities Tyler and I held: What is it that happens to our belongings when we're no longer here? Tyler termed it "a documentary about your stuff without you!" I feel that's the most accurate description of the film. We were hoping to capture the act of shopping through someone else's belongings left behind, and what and how the conduit of these events thinks on what transpires before and after the sales.