so, yeah...super busy...more news about my own creative work can be found here.
as busy and stressful as all of this has been, it's also been the most creatively fulfilling year of my life. 2019 is already looking to be even more action-packed...besides the narrative short, I'm gonna be cranking out a new video art piece in the next month and a half, filming a legendary band at irving plaza, figuring out distribution plans for the LPC doc, and hopefully curating a show by a ground-breaking visual artist that I can't yet discuss...fingers crossed that there'll be more on that soon.
as I continue to refine my literary and visual practices, I know that my best work is still ahead of me and that, more than anything else, is what makes me excited for the future...and in this day and age, we have to draw excitement and satisfaction from whatever we can despite the world looking more and more hopeless and dysfunctional every day.
a few of my favorite albums are below. they're probably not as underground as you all might like, but it is what it is.
these last three months has been one of the most mentally taxing creative periods I've ever experienced.
confronting the inner workings of my mind and bringing them to life via abstracted visuals is a process that I've become increasingly comfortable with, but putting myself out into the world has never been an easy task.
over the last three months, we've been preparing to launch a crowdfunding campaign, which went live yesterday.
this short film, which you can read more about over at our seed & spark page, is just the first thread in a larger storyline that will eventually encompass an episodic series, a feature film, and an immersive experience.
let's face it, the world in which we currently find ourselves feels hopeless much of the time. society feels like it's inching closer and closer to a breaking point - political, economic, and social instability is all around, no matter what side of the political spectrum any one individual might align with.
but we have to hope for something better, and we can all play a part in that if we so choose.
that's what this film is really about.
the storyline follows subject zero, a young woman who takes it upon herself to make a last-ditch effort to do whatever she can to cure the world of a fatal form of insomnia that's afflicted every living creature on earth ever since a visitation by an otherworldly force.
mysterious communications guide her every move, helping her navigate an ever-branching path fraught with potential destruction at every turn.
she is us, and we are her. desperate to escape the predicament we've found ourselves mired in, she doesn't know why she's important - just that she is, and she forces this knowledge to galvanize her so that she can walk a path that's hers alone.
I've dealt with depression for about two-thirds of my life, and I know how hard it can be to forge ahead and fight against every ounce of your being telling you that you're not capable and not wanted. but with the right help and the right people by your side, anything is possible, and it's that sense of hope that I want this film to inspire in others.
it's been close to ten years since I last made a traditional narrative film, but I've never stopped honing my skills, and I'm so excited for the opportunity to bring this world and this story to life. part of what excited me about this adventure is the chance to infuse a (relatively) traditional narrative with the abstract visual methodology I've established over the last few years with my video art.
we're just starting to build our team, and one of the cornerstones is josh graham, who will be composing the music.
he's been making ambient electronic music as IIVII for a few years now and I knew that the sounds being created under the moniker would be a perfect fit for the world I'm attempting to conjure.
I couldn't possibly be more excited about having him on board. be sure to check out our incentives...josh has generously agreed to lend his time to consult with a few select backers, so jump on that incentive before it's gone.
but even if you can't afford a fancy incentive, anything that you're able to contribute would mean the world to me. and if you can't contribute anything, please share the project with your friends and help get the word out...that's the most important part.
please help us out and be a part of the world we're bringing to life.
about a year ago, I was contacted to shoot some some footage for what was supposed to be a video for a well-known australian death metal band.
unfortunately, the video didn't get approved and the footage sat around for a while before I began to retool and repurpose it, but I had no direction. this was going to be my first video in a while that wasn't a commission, wasn't going to have a budget, and wasn't going to have a concrete theme around which to center my mind.
"digitally ascendant" had moments of harshness, but I wanted to push everything further. the visuals and the audio needed to be more harsh, anxiety-inducing, and destructive than ever before.
I reached out to the owner and operator of contradiction tapes who, as GRVD, is a purveyor of some of the most enthralling noise I had heard in a long time. he agreed to let me use whatever tracks I wanted off of revenge, so I had my sound.
and although I played around with the visual aspect for months, I still felt lost.
when being creative, I love to have rules and restrictions. they serve as guidelines, inviting me to play along at times and transgress at others, and they help me know where to focus my energy in order to tell a relevant story.
but without a curator and pre-established theme or concept to work from, I hadn't yet devised a story to tell.
I was wandering, grasping, desperate for something hold on to. and then I looked at the ghostly image on the screen and thought of her wandering through worlds of visual brutality and inexplicable forms, desperately pleading with others to join together and see what they might be able to find on the other side.
that was a start.
but the story needed structure, a narrative arc to hold it together.
I thought back to high school. I took a philosophy class called "death and dying," and as my final project, I did my first bit of screen writing that would actually get turned into a film. not a good film, not a film anyone will ever see anywhere ever, but one that fit the assignment: to explore the five stages of grief.
these characters inhabiting this new world, maybe they're mourning their own deaths. maybe they need to travel through that grief in order to find a place, mental or otherwise, where they can exist without fear.
this is that journey.
to visualize this world, I manipulated the original footage using trapcode mir to create expansive wireframe models, and then keyframed particular animations by controlling the various parameters of the plugin. those were then loaded into premiere, colored, mirrored, and blended with additional clips to create something that's (in my opinion) at once ominous and oddly comforting.