What compelled you to make this piece? How does this work address issues that are important to you or close to your heart?
When I moved to New York in '93 I had a strong desire to be working on a
new film in which I could explore film form, but I didn't have the money
for film or lab costs. I began going through what materials I already had
and gathered together some out-takes, clear film leader, paints, scissors
and tape. THE GIRL'S NERVY became a study of the single frame in the 24
frames per second context. I spent many hours painting, cutting, and taping
together pieces or individual frames of film. Though these techniques have
been used for years by other filmmakers, it was an engaging experiment for
me in film form and optical rhythm. I wanted to see what different moods
might be created by different variations of frame rhythm, shape, and color.
How does living in the New York metropolitan area affect your work?
| From THE GIRL'S NERVY.
Living in New York has been great for my work, particularly when I had
funding for my last completed film CHRONIC (1996). The funding issue is a
big one because living in New York is a huge financial strain, as is
independent filmmaking. Basically, with funding I was able to benefit more
from what New York has to offer a filmmaker. I could make this film longer
and more challenging than my previous ones, and I had the support from
talented and generous people to do it. Equally important was my proximity
to "inspiration": observing as other filmmakers were creating work and
seeing new and old experimental films at places like Millennium, Anthology,
and Context Studios (when Mark McElhatten was curating there).
In including your work in REEL NEW YORK, do you think your piece in any way pushes the medium of television, or the viewing audiences' expectations of that medium?
I'm excited to hear THE GIRL'S NERVY will show on REEL NEW YORK. I
never pushed it towards television, quite precisely because it is not a
very TV kind of piece. It's an experimental film work, which the majority
of the television audience doesn't have a chance to see. It might confuse a few people as it is not obvious what the
film is ABOUT, unlike most mainstream television programs. But I think
THE GIRL'S NERVY is quite accessible and fun to watch, so I hope it
sparks some curiosity out there about experimental film.
What about access to the tools of production and post-production?
The accessibility of film production equipment and post-production
facilities continually gets more scarce. The trend seems to be that video
facilities are growing and pushing out the remaining film facilities. This
may be "the '90s," but it's a real tragedy. I was recently shocked and
saddened at how difficult it was to find a Steenbeck editing table to work on
for a couple of weekends. A bunch of places had closed down that had been
open a year, or even months, ago. Luckily, a kind individual in the
experimental film community let me and a colleague use an editing table in
Why did you become a film/video artist/maker?
| From THE GIRL'S NERVY.
Basically, I remain a film artist because films and filmmaking continue
to hold my interest and fascination like nothing else, except maybe
psychology and human relations. But these are some of the many things one
can express and explore through the film medium.
Do you feel the New York independent film/video community has changed in recent years? Do you find support living and working in such a large community of artists?
I have found a lot of support and I've run into a lot of brick walls.
Millennium Film Workshop on East Fourth Street, though under-funded, has
been the most important institutional support for my filmmaking since
moving to New York. They have editing tables, an optical printer,
screening facilities, and some production equipment. The support of
individuals has been equally essential to my ability to function as a film
artist in New York.