Miniature – The Documentary

“A world with it’s own set of rules…”

I open with an assessment, one similar to the one I gave to Simon Garfield’s In Miniature, this documentary doesn’t say enough.

Miniature, by Tiny Goat Films, is a look at the various forms of miniatures and those that create them. It features creators and researchers such as Louis Kranowitz, Salvator Sabatini, Lauren George, Michael Paul Smith, Phil Robinson, Jimmy Cauty, Tim Dunn, Slinkachu, Pan Ohman and others. And asserts that miniatures, as toys in childhood, help us frame our worlds. I fully agree, but as it opens with the above quote, I wanted to learn what those rules were and I did not.

My eyes were opened to the Naples Nativity Scene festival, Presepe, that I hope to attend one day, and to Tim Dunn’s research, that I hope to delve into. But it didn’t make any other revolutionary statement, or really a statement at all. It simply showed some miniatures and a bit of the back story of the creators. And if that’s what you’re looking for, which is interesting in its own right, then great, but I suppose I went into it with the wrong expectations.

“for once the world is not chaotic”

The miniature world is about control. It literally brings the world down to scale. This documentary hints at this, like in the quote above, but I feel like the miniature community is afraid to say it. It’s become a faux pas thought. Something that offends certain miniaturist, seeing control as negative. Where as a controlled life, not spinning in chaos, can be quite positive and if miniatures, a typically positive hobby or trade, can assist with this then why not let them? If the documentary had not beat around the bush on this topic, it may very well have felt like it had more substance.

The one place I felt that hit this topic straight on was the profile on Jimmy Caughty – “the chaos of the real world has been represented in this controlled world.” An artist who brings chaos back into miniatures as a form of social commentary. This juxtaposition directly confronts what miniatures are, and subverts it.

I did however thoroughly enjoyed the claymation b-roll with text overlay that said “re-creation” and “dramatization.”

If you’d like to watch the documentary you can rent or buy it here.

Let me know what you think if you watch it.

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