“I’m trying to get the stories that aren’t told and the feelings that aren’t exposed. ” The “I” is Steven Loring, a 40-something-year-old fledgling filmmaker who is making his first full-length documentary film.
The “You” is a succession of seniors in the Rochester area whom Loring is contacting in the hope they will become subjects in his film.
And, like any good reality show, it involves raw emotional drama and comedic touches – the stuff of speed dating. Try thinking back to high school dances – then add steroids.
They’ve all signed up for a senior speed dating event that Loring has picked as the locus for his exploration of love and how it changes – or doesn’t – as we age.
Many interviews and hours of filming later, when “The Age of Love” premiered in April 2014 at the Newport Beach Film Festival in California, one audience member called it “the best reality show I have ever seen.” That might be because the film is an immensely honest look at ordinary people who find themselves unexpectedly looking for love later in life.
No contact information is exchanged on the spot, but if there is chemistry, both people are notified by mail and take it from there.
According to Loring, senior speed dating is on the rise; he first came across an event in Florida, where it’s a popular activity among retirees.
Speed dating is a structured event that gathers singles in a central location – the Rochester event was held at a local restaurant – and pairs them with one another in quick, five minute mini-dates, until everyone has had a chance to chat.
Participants keep notes on one another, which they later submit to the organizer.
The site lists senior speed dating events by state – and there’s no shortage of them.
“The Age of Love” follows eight of the 70- to 90-year old speed daters whom Loring contacted as they prepare for their event with all the nervousness of a high schooler on a first date – some of them incredulous that they are participating in such a thing at their stage in life.
“These are people who thought they would be married to one person for the rest of their lives,” Loring says in reference to the generation of seniors that “The Age of Love” features.
“They didn’t expect to end up speed dating.” And that’s what interests him.