Akio Suzuki 1
Audio Visual Arts [AVA] hired me to shoot this outdoor performance by Akio Suzuki and his partner. I single-handedly operated two cameras on this solo shoot.
Andrew Maillet / BCI experiment
I shot and edited this video for Andrew Maillet during an experiment he did at Dartmouth reading Beckett's Watt while looping it back into his ear through a patch controlled by his brainwaves.
Akio Suzuki 2
Audio Visual Arts [AVA] hired me to make a second video of Akio Suzuki - this time to document his experimental instrument which incorporated a hollow metal tube and a long metal spring.
Process in/out of Context
I took a break from designing video to be used in the show and started to document rehearsals and create behind-the-scenes videos. [shot and edited for TWG Dailies]
fight rehearsal with Felix Ivanov
Felix Ivanov, TWG's fight coach shows how to build a movement - in this case a drunken fall from a chair. The quick repetition of the shot shows the steps of breaking down and practicing the move. The video becomes in itself, an absurd movement piece that both elucidates and entertains.
backstage - Casey Spooner
This video focuses on Casey Spooner's part in Hamlet, which consisted of an almost technical role in which he animated the set to impulses taken from the source video. The video also shows the context in which the theatre is set - a faux classical garden.
piano track with portraits
This video documents Richard Maxwell's use of song - based on Eugene O'neill text - with the performers' creation of characters. The rough song recording is cut together with screen-test style portraits of the performers, who can be seen still developing their characters in front of the camera.
Interviews with Performers
Improvising on the Dailies created a lot of footage, so I decided to add structure, and create a section called "Z asks," which utilized written questions to provoke members of the experimental theatre group. [shot and edited for TWG Dailies]
Were your grandparents racist?
I asked the artists at The Wooster Group how they felt about the racism of their ancestors. An impromptu question, I found it an effective way to get people to reflect.
Have you ever said f*** you to your dad?
I continued to gauge the audacity and subversiveness of members of the experimental acting troupe by asking them whether they verbally rebelled against their fathers.
Poo or pinkie?
Would you rather...
Always interested in the hypothetical as a provocation, I introduced a childish game that my friend, the writer Amie Barrodale used to play and was surprised with some unexpected answers.
In an attempt to free the viewer of the bias created by the editor when cross-cutting interviews, I decided to build a 4 channel live video set-up, placing the subjects directly across from one another with cameras pointing frontally, beyond the frame of my camera - shooting their images from classic SONY cube PVM-2030 CRT monitors. This way, the viewer selects which shot to look at - or can try to watch both subjects simultaneously. [built/shot/edited for TWG Dailies]
This was the first time that I built this set-up. The interaction is unprompted - the only instruction was that I asked the non-performers to give their names. Since the non-performers did not know each other and were plugged into the sound board through headphones, they started to perfom an interview and ask each other generic interview questions.
Elizabeth LeCompte, the director of The Wooster Group, asked that I set-up the questionator after showings of Cry Trojans at St. Ann's Warehouse. I invited audience members to discuss the show in this format and the machine changed names. The video shows a three-way discussionator session, featuring the performers AndrewAndrew and their friend.
I asked Wooster Group founders Elizabeth LeCompte and Kate Valk to reminisce about their first meeting on this session of the 4 channel live interview machine. I asked one of the video techs to mix live video from the web on the other two screens. I manipulated this video in post - changing the layout. Formally, this video is unsuccessful, but the content is document-worthy.
Vlog/ Performer diary entries
A selection of videos from the TWG Dailies in which I address the viewer. [shot/edited for TWG Dailies]
In A Pink Chair (In Place of A Fake Antique) I play a ready-made Tadeusz Kantor, but also a stand-in for The Wooster Group's director Elizabeth LeCompte. In this video, I introduce the new [at the time] idea of having me receive live direction through the in-ear, becoming a sort of puppet or mole onstage. I experiment with out-of-sync audio - an allusion to the dis-integration of the remote-controlled human.
dash oh dash neill
This is one of the earliest videos in which I address the viewer. I try to speak with my writing, which I feel is often more thought-out than my speaking. There is a dystopic quality to this video, in which I try to find the birthplace of the playwright Eugene O'neill and discover that it is a Starbucks in Times Square.
The tape so far
Video is materialistic, I realized in film school. The amount of objects or material depicted is somehow directly proportional to the amount of ideas or thoughts expressed in motion pictures. Here I find a material measure for the amount of rehearsing that we've been doing in A Pink Chair (In Place of A Fake Antique).
Virginia - the state of things
The first videos of this series were made in Airlie, Virginia. TWG was invited to a retreat intended to help the experimental theatre company market itself more effectively. I was brought along as a "content expert." I had a film script that I wanted to workshop with the group. This was the first video, in which we noticed that the performers automatically started "narrativizing" a meta-film.
prologue was yesterday
As I was asked to direct my film without any pre-production or prep-work, things immediately got a bit tense for me. I started to project my frustration outward towards TWG members. This created a natural cinematic tension that brought with it the auto-thematic film atmosphere found in many meta-films of the 1970's encouraging company members to play "meta-characters" based on themselves.
In this video, I invent a morbid acting exercise to see if people will take directions from me - after instigating fights. Since almost none of these performers are trained actors, I felt that I had to use this brutalist exercise to trick them into making the facial expressions that I wanted to record. At the time of these experiments, there was not a lot of trust between myself and members of the group.
As performers and company members catch on to the mode of the meta-film, which company director Elizabeth LeCompte decides to make her main focus at the retreat, things get theoretical. In this episode I shoot the crew and ask them to record a swan, swimming in the artificial pond at the government conference facility where we are staying. Edited with music from the meta-film The State of Things, we go deep into a meta-meta-mode.
the two things are the same
Director Elizabeth LeCompte is asked to record an artist statement at the retreat. She attempts to update her interviewers about the state of the company - she mentions the death of Kate Valk's father. In this video, I use LeCompte's audio and some B-roll to continue a meditative/reflective mode.
In another attempt to show the present situation - I display the company members as human material. In this video I use the basic Warholvian screen test form, asking performers to look into the camera and "be themselves." The video is edited for the web, however - the actual sitting time is not included in the cut - instead I show the arrival and adjustments of of the perfomers. In another twist on the form, I juxtapose two portraits in every frame - in an attempt to show abstract potential relation.
Future Real Moments
An accidental experimental series on TWG DAILIES in which I created videos with an improvisation imperative - asking people to interact with the camera as if it was "one year from now." These videos mix provocation with improvisation in an imagined hypothetical reality - where everyone is a product of what, at the time, I called "self-styling" - a concept somewhat similar to what David Foster Wallace calls "cosmetic psychology."