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Still from “You Turn Yourself Around.” Courtesy Harry Perales.

You Turn Yourself Around: A Short Interview with Harry Perales

A new 15-minute film, “You Turn Yourself Around,” caught OffCite’s attention for the sense of place and the presence of Houston and Austin architecture. Lone Star College Professor Greg Oaks calls it a reminder “that life is really about the small moments, often when you’re alone.” The video is embedded below with an interview of the filmmaker, Harry Perales, by creative writer and critic Aaron Reynolds.

Aaron Reynolds: Can you describe the initial genesis of this project, how it started, and how it’s changed over time?

Harry Perales: My friend Patrick Stockwell asked me if I wanted to participate in his show The Short Fiction Soundtrack after he decided he wanted to add a Benshi video component. He was going to use a story that he’d been working on for several years and I happened to be in the writing workshop in which he’d first written it, so I was very familiar with it. However, I didn’t want to do an adaptation of the story. Instead the initial idea was to present a visual companion piece to work off of the narrative instead of commenting on it, but inspired by the emotional state of the lead character in the story. I had originally wanted to do a very simple visual narrative and I had thought up shots and where it was going to go, but Patrick thought it would be too confusing for the audience to have to focus on both. I had gathered the people I wanted to use and really just began filming them and really only directed them to do whatever it was they wanted. Unfortunately, the Short Fiction Soundtrack show for “You Turn Yourself Around” itself was cancelled and it never got screened. My writing mentor Greg Oaks had always been a fan of the footage I showed him, and he suggested that I re-edit it without the audio of the short story and suggested music by the jazz pianist Gonzales.

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