Cavedigger Documentary
May 30

Edited in Santa Monica by Erin Nordstom, and now playing in festivals around the world, Cavedigger follows the passions of artist Ra Paulette who builds sculptural caves in Northern New Mexico.


Watch the trailer below, and read an interview with Erin about how she got involved with the documentary and about the kinship she feels for the artist from working through the footage.


How did you become involved with this project?

Cori Cooperider from Backyard sent an email on director Jeffrey Karoff‘s behalf.  He had shot about  8TB of material and was looking for an editor to take on a passion project.  He had already cut a spec spot out of the footage and it was very beautifully shot.  I immediately told [EP/Managing Director Therese Hunsberger] that I was interested and we contacted Jeffrey.  We had a few conversations and he decided that we would be a good fit.


What did you learn about the subject (Ra) from working with the raw footage?

Ra is a very unique character in some ways (most definitely in his art form) but I also saw that he is just like you or I.   The simple act of balancing ones dreams with the realities of life is something that everyone must make choices about and Ra is no exception.  This basic commonality is what draws me to Ra and allows me to feel invested in his success and failures.



What are the challenges of working in non-fiction/longform vs. commercial work?

I like the challenge of documentary work because it allows me to exercise my muscles as a writer.  In commercial work, everything is so planned out ahead of time so that when you get the footage, there is already a solid structure that you have to work within.  In documentaries, you get to create the structure in the edit.  There is no script or pre-known outcome.  The filmmaker captures whatever happens in the moment and then we figure out the most engaging story within the moments that were filmed.  It’s a much more collaborative process.


For audiences unfamiliar with this artist, what should they know before viewing the doc?

I don’t think they should know anything beforehand!  Everyone will take away something slightly different from the film and I’m not here to convey just one message.  I like all the subtleties and complexities that exist in real life and want to include those things in my films.  I think the audience will learn a lot more about the subject and themselves when allowed to make their own opinions about the subject matter.  All I ask is that viewers go in with an open mind.  :)




What other projects are you working on?  Does a project like Cavedigger inform other work?

I do think Cavedigger informs subsequent work.  I learn so much during every project…and it all influences how I see things in the future.  I think that is why I like doing what I do.  I am currently working on two other documentaries and I have a commercial coming up mid month.  Every project is different and presents me with new and exciting challenges.  I’m so glad that my job isn’t boring!   ha!


More Information:

– includes information about the filmmakers, upcoming screenings, user reviews, and more.


Cavedigger Facebook Page

– go ahead, Like it!



Winner, Best Documentary (Non European) at ECU – The European Independent Film Festival.

Official Selection:  Brooklyn Film Festival, Newport Beach Film Festival, Maui Film Festival