: Douglas J. Sloan
Official Film Festival Selection
: Woodstock Film Festival; 2008 Syracuse International Film Festival; Avignon Film Festival 2008
William Klein is an artist, photographer and filmmaker who rarely grants interviews. Klein was born in NYC in 1928, moved to Paris at a young age and still calls Paris home. He studied with Fernand Leger, worked for Vogue, made a documentary film on Muhammad Ali, but is probably most well known for pushing photographic technique to its limits. His groundbreaking book “Life Is Good For You In New York” (1956) became a legend for its radical photography. Klein’s photographs have been exhibited throughout the world. In 2006, the Centre Georges Pompidou presented a major retrospective of Klein’s work. This film provides rare insight into Klein’s images.
Douglas J. Sloan is the founder of Icontent, a highly acclaimed NYC-based company that produces short films, TV commercials and internet content. Sloan has directed, interviewed and collaborated with numerous notable artists, musicians and celebrity talent: Lance Armstrong, Eric Bogosian, Gabriel Byrne, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Ellen Degeneres, David Dinkins, Ken Griffey, Jr., Elizabeth Hurley, Jewel, Bill T. Jones, Nicole Kidman, Maya Lin, Robert Longo, Loretta Lux, Mary Ellen Mark, Wynton Marsalis, Helmut Newton, Gordon Parks, Paloma Picasso, David Remnick, Isabella Rossellini, Todd Rundgren, Cindy Sherman, Sharon Stone, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Hilary Swank, John Travolta, Donald Trump, Deborah Turbeville, Dr. Andrew Weil, Oprah Winfrey, Catherine Zeta-Jones. Mr. Sloan is the recipient of over one hundred production awards including fourteen CINE awards for directorial excellence in film. He lives in NYC with his wife Diane and two children, Maxwell and Mica.
What inspired you to make this piece?
The film was commissioned by ICP (the International Center of Photography Museum) as part of their ongoing Infinity Awards program. I have been a long time fan of Mr. Klein’s work and encouraged the museum to fund the necessary travel to Paris in order to insure Mr. Klein’s participation in the project – he rarely grants interviews.
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?
We filmed on-location at Mr. Klein’s home in Paris. The interview was videotaped using a Panasonic DVX 100 mini DV camera. Additional cinematography of Mr. Klein and the still photography was filmed using a 16mm Bolex camera.
Do you have any interesting behind-the-scenes stories about the making of this particular work?
Mr. Klein interviewed me for about twenty minutes before allowing us to set up our equipment and interview him.
What we expected to be a twenty minute interview turned out to be a three hour session with no breaks.
My very pretty 17 year old daughter Mica was with us and I believe that it was Mr. Klein’s infatuation with her that helped create an ambience that allowed for a very open, candid discussion about his life and work.
What is the relationship between your work as a video/filmmaker and life in the New York metropolitan area?
I was born and raised in NYC. My inspiration, motivation and ability to “see” I greatly attribute to the fact that I live here.
What films/videos and makers have inspired you or influenced your work? And why?
William Klein, Errol Morris, Chris Marker, Jean-Pierre Melville for all of the obvious reasons