If there’s one concern that weighs heavy on me with regards to automotive media, it’s that the art of crafting intricate, long form content is slowly dying.
I’ve briefly wrote about this in past editorials, and about the constant tightrope walk between trying to balance quantity and quality. The stark reality is that most people today either don’t have the time or want to give the time to immerse themselves in a carefully crafted piece of content. They want an attractive headline to lure them into something with instant gratification before they move on to the next thing. The problem is that by the time they’ve moved on to the third or fourth piece, they’ve already forgotten about the first one. This is literally disposable content.
Some people still do care about creating their art – be it words, photos, videos or whatever – and this is a perfect example of that. Between The Lines is a feature length documentary created by Jan Lim & Jose Valdez which examines the tight knit Subaru community. It’s far more than just a film about Subarus, too. It’s a look at what makes our automotive community so special, something which we often forget, and it goes much deeper than being just about the cars.
With a runtime of some 66 minutes, it’s something that you should take the time to sit down and appreciate properly, rather than trying to consume it in bite size pieces. It’s an absolute labour of love for both of the main people involved with it, and they both recall the sacrifices and motivation required to see this across the line.
Jan Lim (Creator): I wish I could say that I had a long history of Subarus being in my life but I don’t. However, I was always into cars and driving. Driving gave me this feeling of freedom. It let’s me feel alive and in control of my life. Our lives are literally in our own hands if you think about it, so I made a documentary. The more I said I was going to film it the more I believed in myself.
I would like to think that energy started bringing the right people around to work on this. We traveled, shot, talked creative, met people, traveled some more, work on our craft, and started dreaming about the completion and future of this little baby that we raised.
Thinking about this whole experience and reminiscing over the images, I think the best part about it all was meeting so many amazing people. S/O to my family, my fiancé, my friends, and everyone who has in some way touched this film.
Jose Valdez (Producer): There were numerous sacrifices we had to make to complete this. More filming, more editing, losing sleep, constantly driving between San Diego and Los Angeles setting up editing stations at each other’s houses. Looking back, it was all an experience. It expanded my creative ability, test of endurance, and test of motivation to keep going. It was more than a film for me, it was hard to keep going when there were bills to be paid, time with my family and girlfriend lost but when I sat there and edited, I felt the need to give these special people that light. Because of what they do and the sacrifices they make. That is how we grow.
I know family was worried that I was making this commitment knowing there was no money involved making this project. The sacrifices is the money, it was knowledge, it was meeting all these amazing people and the experiences that came along with it. To create freely and expand yourself is the money. Being a filmmaker, I never felt connected with a project where I was able to fully push my creative box. To create, is priceless. Like painting, making music or whatever your knit is. The purpose of filmmaking for me is to create, document, and develop something that actually has purpose.
Regardless of your allegiances, it’s hard not to admire both what they’ve created and the Subaru community itself. It’s also a reminder, because one is always required, that cars, like people, exist in the real world.
And that without the people, the cars wouldn’t exist.
Behind the Scenes