Saturday, January 24, 2009

fashion photography at the international center of photography

slideshow with captions

pyramid has now closed and been deinstalled. all in all, i think i will remember this experience fondly as a truly productive collaboration. dodes and i are very different as people and artists but it was great doing a piece together. it's funny: last fall we both had jill miller for tutorial, and she kept telling us we should be friends and collaborate. jill was one of the first professors at this school that really supported me. i palpably remember showing her the portfolio i applied with and her saying " i totally get what you were doing here", and how relieved i was, because i had had no real response to that work yet. she was actually a friend as well as a professor, and that's kind of unusual and wonderful. she has since moved on to a better job at carnegie mellon, which is also most likely the better school as well.

also, i did my first color correction, which i think went pretty well, and used some of the stuff i learned in the editing intensive to make the sound a more viable component of the piece. the opening was well-attended and i think we pulled the artist's talk off without a hitch.

two of the channels of the piece are available on my website. for the third channel, go to dodes' website. i'll have some installation shots ready eventually.

there is no rest for the wicked. next on the agenda is continued work with the navy doc under the tutelage of jay rosenblatt, and a series of videos based on the concepts explored in "if i was a man".

Saturday, January 17, 2009

the nile studies

i saw this while wading through rhizome as a procrastinating technique

and i could watch it for hours. i really shouldn't, though.

humbling moments

yesterday, i actually got to show the footage from my documentary project to one of the editors of apocalypse now! 

lisa fruchtman was assistant editor on that film until she cut the scene where the bunnies land to do the USO show, and after coppola saw her work with that scene, he hired her on as a full-fledged editor, and in 1979 she and the the three or four other editors were nominated for an academy award. she was twenty-fucking-four. my age. she spoke a little, at my request, about what it must have been like to work on that project, which was male-dominated and extremely intense, and be a woman, and so young. she also said she chose to cut "children of a lesser god" on her own because she knew she needed to establish herself as a talent in her own right. she also talked about her experience winning an editing academy award for "the right stuff". she clearly has a gift, and she is clearly a badass. i felt like kind of an asshole to show her a bunch of crap and be like "yeah so, what do i do?", but she gave me some really insightful concepts to consider and expressed a lot of interest in the topic. she also relieved by anxiety about finishing the project by graduation, by basically saying "may is five minutes from now, and GOOD documentaries take time to find form and focus. DO NOT RUSH THIS." well, i'm convinced.  

oh yeah, and she has this anecdote of meeting kurosawa: she was editing the end of apocalypse now, and was cursing at the film strips strewn around her and he and coppola walked in on her while she had a bunch of film tangled around her neck and he just burst out laughing at her. then he gave her a copy of one of his paintings. eeesh.

also this past week, dan olmstead, our sound editing professor, took us on a field trip to zaentz media center, where lots and lots of entertainment industry professionals, including sam green, my former professor and director of academy award nominated the weather underground, have offices. we met with a professional sound designer, chatted briefly with a documentary picture editor, and toured fantasy studios, where green day's dookie, blues traveler four, and many many others were recorded. the center was founded by saul zaentz, who has produced the english patient, one flew over the cuckoo's nest, etc. etc. the offices are utterly gorgeous. 

did all of this give me something concrete to aspire to? yes. my work hasn't even begun yet. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

the lots o'crap home stretch enterin' update, y'all

SO. i am attempting to resuscitate this blog after a bit of a hiatus in which i made another documentary short and then traveled home for the holidays. it was a nice respite, and i actually managed to get some filming in while i was sight-seeing and relaxing with my nearest/dearest.

back in san francisco, shit is as real as it ever is. i have a group show coming up at the end of the month in the diego rivera gallery at the san francisco art institute, with stephanie dodes and brittany mccall, two totally rad bitches that i am super excited to collaborate with. the show is called "the pyramid", and has cultish undertones. you can read our statement of intent here.

while busting my ass trying to get that shebang together, i am taking a two-week intensive on film editing taught by lisa fruchtman and dan olmstead. fruchtman edited apocalypse now and children of a lesser god among many, many others, and olmstead is a bay-area sound mixer and designer. i'm pretty stoked, and have already realized the need to start really activating my netflix account to serve my film education needs: today we watched and analyzed snippets of city of god and yojimbo, neither of which i have seen, as i am a philistine.

you know what i DID see during my vacation? forgetting sarah marshall (fucking hilarious if typically-apatowian sausage festy), a scanner darkly (can i have a little less linklater in my dick please?), and borat, finally, which made me REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE. i am not sure if using a racist, exploitative interpretation of one kind of person to expose the racism, anti-semitism, and generally nausea-inducing behavior of these divided states evens out. oh wait, yes i am, and IT DOESN'T. poor kazakhstan! yes, i got that spelling right on the first try. literally everything and everyone in this movie appalled me. then again, i'm probably being over-sensitive. millions of twenty-somethings yelling "it's niiice!" can't be wrong, can they? sigh.

in higher-art news, diana al-hadid, who was a visiting professor at my undergraduate college my last year, is featured in artnews' "artists to watch" issue! her work has become a lot more sinister but maintains the beauty and whimsy i so admired back in '05. she's now in the saatchi collection and everything. hot damn, diana, good on ya. i would love to curate a show with her and swoon.

i'll be trying to stay vigilant with posting to this, because i know you guys care so, so much.

here's to 2009: year of my future!