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Short Films in Focus: The Diamond | Features

Q&A with director Caitlyn Greene

How did you find out about this? What drew you to this idea?

I came across an article online about the field and learned it’s the only public diamond mine in the world. I love singular places that bring together people from all walks of life, and I was immediately hooked on the metaphor of this particular place. The search, the hope, the diamonds themselves. I was curious who I’d find there, what compelled them to search, and what they might truly be looking for in life.

How much time did you spend in that location?

We spent six days in the diamond field. Most interviews were around two hours.

Tell me about that shot near the end of the close-up of the diamond. How did you shoot that?

The park office has a microscope they use to examine diamonds found in the field. We filmed that shot through the microscope. The aqua part that reveals and then covers the diamond is the interior of the microscope tube as we pan across the eye piece.

The people here dive deep into very personal stories. How did they end up opening up to you? Were you a stranger to them at first?

Yes, we were total strangers at first — I essentially just walked up to people in the field and started a conversation. It took time to get to the personal stories you see in the film; we sat with people for quite a while. Certainly not everyone we met was so open, but I’m continually surprised and humbled by how generous many people are with their stories. Generally, I suspect almost everyone has something on their heart or mind they’d like to share and are sort of waiting, even if subconsciously, for someone to ask or simply offer to truly listen.

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