I went to film school. That’s no secret about me. I LOVED working on films in college. I was the laborious production designer and/or editor on many films during my time at Northwestern…. There is a nice stash of VHS tapes next to my TV to proove it. Too bad the VHS may not even work anymore!
The first actual “film” I made was a collaboration with my friends John Randono and Abbey Rothstein. The assignment was to shoot on a Bolex an in camera edit which would be processed and then screened in front of class to a song of our choosing. The catch was that this screening would be the first time we would be seeing the film so there was some pressure. Long story short, our group decided on “I am a Cinematographer” by Palace to be the song and it was so perfectly in sync that I took it upon myself to contact Will Oldham (Palace, Bonnie Prince Billy) to ask him if we could actually use his song in conjunction with the film with his official permission. Shortly I received a phone call and a yes (this was 11 years ago).
Next thing I know, by a strange pattern of coincidence, I have made two videos for Will’s “The Letting Go” record (Ebb Tide and Strange Form of Life) which were shot and edited very very very cheaply and consumerly… mostly because I believe it is the skills and the quality of the work that speaks strongest about a piece of art…. Quality doesn’t rest in the medium. does that make sense??
When Will asked me about doing a third video for his latest record “Beware”, I was excited to once again do a music video for just fun… It’s great to have a break from letterpress and print and to be able to use my eyeballs for a moving form of art… (though technically, stationery does move through the mail, right?). I pointed Will’s attention towards another college friend/filmmaker – Leif Johnson – who frequently positions his eyeballs behind lenses of film and video cameras.
I wasn’t present, but I hear that the wrap party was longer than the shoot since they only had a fraction of daylight left to get the singing and walking in…. Leif gave me the footage and about a week later, I had put this little ditty together on Final Cut Express. Just a little exercise of my college education!
That film school really is paying off…. yup… I got really good at syncing Mr. Bonny while he chomped on chewing gum singing along with himself in harmony…. I am putting THAT on my resume… Enjoy!