In the internet age, a picture can still be worth a thousand words — unfortunately, sometimes those words are hateful comments. But when the right person takes a look at the picture, they can help tell the story in a new way.
That’s how the new short film, The Roving Typist, came to be. When C.D. Hermelin moved to New York City and had trouble finding work, he bought a typewriter, sat in parks, and wrote stories for people who passed by and paid what they could.
One day, someone snapped a photo of him and posted it online. The “hipster” tag — and jokes, threats, and more — quickly followed. But nobody seemed to care about the actual story: Why exactly was this guy sitting in a park with a typewriter?
“I just wanted people to dig a little deeper, to seek context,” C.D. says in a bonus feature for the short film, “not just to look at a picture and be like ‘I hate him.’”
A year later he wrote an article on The Awl, and posted to Reddit, to tell his side of the story. He received a very positive reaction — and the notice of Park Slope neighbor and filmmaker Mark Cersosimo. It had been about a year and a half since Mark had released a short film, and it wasn’t until he read C.D.’s tale that a story really grabbed him.
“This was like the subject had jumped out at me, slapped me in the face, and told me to make this or else I’m going to regret it,” Mark says. “And so I did! I contacted C.D. on Twitter, told him about my interest to follow him around with a camera for a couple of days, and thankfully he was really into the idea, so we did it!”
Check out the resulting film above, and if you’re looking for more, head over to the film’s site for some bonus footage. And keep an eye out for C.D. when you’re in a city park!