A celebration of water and people in it.
Jeff Scher is a painter who makes experimental films and an experimental filmmaker who paints. His work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and the Hirschhorn Museum, and has been screened at the Guggenheim Museum, the Pompidou Center in Paris, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and at many film festivals around the world, including opening night at the New York Film Festival. Mr. Scher has also had two solo shows of his paintings, which have also been included in many group shows in New York galleries. Additionally, he has created commissioned work for HBO, HBO Family, PBS, the Sundance Channel and more. Mr. Scher teaches graduate courses at the School of Visual Arts. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two sons.
What inspired you to make this piece?
"L'eau Life" is a celebration of water and people in it. I wanted to try and animate how it feels as well as how it looks.
Briefly tell us about how you made your film or video: what camera and format did you use to shoot your piece, and what system did you use to edit it? What is your working process? Did you use any special techniques to make this work?
Using 16mm home movie footage, I used a home made roto-scope (a coffee can with a projection lens and a light bulb) to make about three thousand small water color paintings. These paintings were then photographed with a Sony DCR-VX200 camera into a Mac G5 using Boinx i-stop motion . The film was cut with i-movie. Shay Lynch wrote the music while I was painting.
Do you have any interesting behind-the-scenes stories about the making of this particular work?
The arch with the fountain is Washington Square Park. "L'eau Life" was made for my June blog on the NYTIMES.COM
What is the relationship between your work as a video/filmmaker and life in the New York metropolitan area?
The city is like one gigantic non stop, almost infinite montage of human activity. Life in the city is the best movie in town. A walk down any street is filled with enough material for a dozen movies. I find the city to be an inspirational cornucopia. I also love living in a place where it's endless pictorialness make it almost impossible to take a bad picture.
What films/videos and makers have inspired you or influenced your work? And why?
Francis Thompson is a big influence. He made films that convey the joy of life in a profound and lucid way. I saw his three screen documentary "To Be Alive" at the New York Worlds Fair in 1965 at the age of ten. The film remains a cornerstone in my concept of what cinema can be.
If viewers are interested in obtaining copies of your work for rental or purchase, whom should they contact and at what address and phone number?