photos by Angelina Aragon; Douglas Proce

Douglas Proce

Written by Wayne Michael Reich Category: Arts Issue: March 2016
Group Free
Pin It

ARTIST OF THE MONTH: Sometimes, filmmaker Douglas Proce’s camera captures First Friday artwalks on Roosevelt Row in atmospheric, time-lapsed collages of colorful street scenes. Other times, he shoots documentary subjects talking against a stark, gray wall.

The Chicago-born filmmaker, 50, also captures a spirit of connection. In his office at Phoenix’s MonOrchid Gallery, Proce waxes altruistic: “The camera is voice, the camera has power. Taking risks and having a positive impact on people is important, but so are the personal relationships you form while putting in the hours that help you learn your craft.”

Proce has crafted more than 50 films, ranging from vivid vignettes featuring Phoenix creatives showcasing their art to full-length documentaries, a format he regards as “the last pure form of journalism.”

Proce’s current project is a documentary tentatively titled Inconvenient Youth, about employees of Arizona’s child-welfare system, whose workload is three times the national average. The subject strikes particularly close to home for former foster-child Proce.

The self-taught auteur uses Sony HD cameras exclusively, and while he’d like to see more monetary success to offset the price of equipment, he doesn’t want it to come at the cost of his artistic vision. “Money cannot be allowed to force compromise, and you cannot put a price on people saying nice things about you,” Proce says. “Kindness costs nothing.”

To see the work of Douglas Proce, visit

still image from "Birds"