me me me
At the risk of sounding like one big ego, my topic tonight is a self-promotional project in the works--a 5-10 minute video of me in my studio. This idea was suggested by the folks at Darnell Fine Art
, my gallery in Santa Fe. They are exploring ways to better acquaint visitors with their artists, including a loop of videos which will play on a flat screen TV in the gallery.
Filming was planned for today. I've been sick all week and since I'm still a bit on the shaky side, I was hoping to change that. But my videographer friend, Wade Britzius, lives an hour or so away--and happened to be close by today, so we went ahead. Actually by mid morning I was feeling better, and ended up having a pretty normal day, if normal can include being in front of a video camera most of the afternoon.
But first, a little back story. On one of my more feverish days, with nothing else to occupy me, I came up with some pretty elaborate plans for the video, touching on just about every aspect of Me as Artist. My process, experiences, path of development, it was all there. This Video About Me played quite vividly in my poor sick brain..I got pretty fired up about it. When I felt up to it, I wrote everything down, and printed a bunch of stuff from my blog, website and other files as notes to have on hand.
So Wade and I sat down, me with my pages of notes, and I told him all my great ideas. Wade heard me out and then he said, "you know...I think the idea here, what the gallery is asking for, is just to speak from your heart--engage the viewer emotionally, talk about what you love about your work, and do some painting for the camera." He said that what I proposed would end up being at least a twenty minute film--maybe (was he joking?) a full length documentary unless it was so severely edited that it wouldn't even be worthwhile. That we ought to aim for the short side of 5-10 minutes in order to keep the viewer's attention in a situation (gallery hopping) in which they might have trouble settling in to watch. He said all that very kindly of course.
What was I thinking?? I had to admit he was right, and that the film I imagined was a bit of a fever dream...still it was kind of an interesting one...I'll put it away for some other time, I guess.
We went down to the studio, and I talked about various things with a bit of prompting and a few questions from Wade. He said I sounded quite natural doing that and it's true that I didn't feel especially self-conscious (to my surprise.) No script, just what came to my mind. I also did some work on a panel, with decent results. Painting in front of the camera was not in my original plan, since I thought I'd freeze up. But it was fine. Overall it was a very productive session, loose and easy, and we hope that Wade has all he needs now. He will edit and we'll figure out where to add still photos and music. I'm sure it will be weeks or months before it actually gets done, but one of these days I'll be able to post it here.
This process of sifting through ideas, and the collaborative aspect that came into play was really quite interesting. Starting with ideas that were elaborate, academic, complex and left-brained--and working towards those that were straightforward and honest, and somewhat spontaneous, that will convey some essence of me and my work. Stay tuned.