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Suwanee man films short documentaries in Hall County

POSTED: December 29, 2010 11:15 p.m.

Meet Rob Tiffin, a filmmaker operating out of Suwanee who does it all; produces, writes and directs features for his company, Downtime Movies.

Tiffin, who feels making movies "is a fun way to kill an afternoon (for myself)," is looking for new subjects for his shorts "People Are Neat."

"People Are Neat" is a series of documentaries profiling everyday people. The first two films are available to view for free at Tiffin's website, downtimemovies.com.

"It is my belief that we do not have to escape to the far away worlds of television, movies and literature to find interesting characters," Tiffin said. "We see them every day at the grocery store, at work, when we walk our dog ... interesting people are everywhere, and it is about time we recognize and appreciate them."

People have always fascinated him, Tiffin said, and he has kept a journal of those who have made an impression. "I wrote ‘people are neat' in giant letters on the first page."

While he was working in Vermont on a film with Larry Holden, (who is best known for his roles in "Memento," "Insomnia" and "Batman Begins") Tiffin met a man from Norway who told him stories each night as they sat together on a porch.

"The way he told them is what I loved. His voice, accent ... stuff that my journal could not recreate," Tiffin wrote in an e-mail interview. "So I filmed him telling a bunch of these stories."

And the idea for the "People Are Neat" documentaries came to life.

The "People Are Neat" short called, "Let Her Pray About," will be shown at Slamdance, an annual international Independent Film festival in Park City, Utah, this year Tiffin said.

A native of Cumming, Tiffin has shot a great deal of his films in the Hall County area.

Growing up, he spent time with a friend who lived on Lake Lanier. "It has always held a (special) place in my heart," Tiffin wrote. "I am willing to go out of my way to shoot at a location that has some sort of emotional significance to me."

Tiffin will be in the Hilton Head, S.C., area for a few months shooting a new installment in the film series that will highlight some of the "interesting characters" he has met there.

He plans to be back in Gainesville in April, where he hopes to have his next round of subjects lined up to film their stories.

If you ever meet Rob Tiffin on the street, make sure you tell him your story. It just might find its way onto film as his next great endeavor.



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