In 2017, with a commission from the High Museum in Atlanta, Harris set out to immerse himself in the world of southern fiction filmmakers. Since that time, he has photographed a wide variety of 41 different films including historical, contemporary, horror, experimental, long and short form, low budget and multi-million-dollar productions. His pictures are now published in a new book with Margaret Sartor: Our Strange New Land: Narrative Movie Sets in the American South (Yoffy Press 2021).
“Photographing behind the scenes on fiction film sets across the south, I began to notice that it was difficult to see the difference between my pictures of actors in front of the filmmaker’s lens, of crew behind the scenes, and of people living in communities around the set. Preparing for this talk, I looked back at earlier, documentary and family photographs I’ve made over the years, and was struck by the ways many seem to predict my more recent movie set pictures. …I have come to think of my photographs from this project as documenting an idea that’s long been celebrated in literature, that’s been explored in science, and conveyed by philosophers, that is, the ways in which we’re all actors in our own lives, creating our sets, practicing our lines, refining our characters, playing ourselves. “