Cat Del Buono
Interview: 10 questions
1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background.
I was always drawing and writing as a child and was voted Class Artist from Grade School to High School. As children of Italian immigrant parents, my siblings and I were not allowed to have fancy toys so we became very imaginative and created our own games and entertainment. I attended Boston College and immediate fell in love with studio art classes: painting, sculpture, drawing. Then I moved into photography and film eventually attending NYU’s graduate film program and receiving an MFA at the School of Visual Arts.
2. When, how and why started you filming?
My very first film was when I was 11 years old – on Super 8! My mother had a camera and let me use it. The film was a parody of Little House on the Prairie. My next film was also Super 8 but in college and it was black & white and very experimental. I was influenced by the short films of Maya Deren and knew this is what I wanted to do in life.
3. What kinds of topics have your films?
My recent films have focused on social issues such as gender and inequality. I try to use humor to discuss difficult topics such as rape culture and society’s obsession with unattainable “beauty” and with gender roles. With all my works, I feel a strong desire to influence change.
4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
Not really. I no longer use film since digital is more accessible and cheaper, which I never thought I would do. My styles vary with each project.
5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
My equipment is embarrassing. I just use whatever I can to create my works. At the moment I am using a pro-sumer HD video camera and desperately need to buy a real HD video camera. I have no interest in switching to a DSLR camera, though. I have the crappiest tripod I bought at a yard sale in Brooklyn for $15. And I edit with Final Cut Pro, which I like and refuse to change though I’m afraid I will have to at some point like all my other equipment.
6. These days digital technology is dominating also video as a medium. In which way the digital aspect is entering the creation of your videos, technologically and/or conceptually?
I have been taking newer tech items and using them for video purposes but I’d like to keep it a secret. I have also been thinking of what I can do with future projects using motion sensors, small directional speakers, and short-throw projectors. The technology we have now is making it easier to create works that I’ve had on the backburner for quite some time now.
7. How do you finance your films?
Mostly, I pay for them out of pocket. But I have gotten a couple small grants for specific projects, like “Voices” – my video installation on domestic violence.
8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team?
if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
I mostly work alone, but I have also collaborated. In collaborations, I tend to be the leader of the project since I can’t help myself as an organizer and manager. I find it fun trying to integrate film/video with painting or sculpture or other mediums. But I do prefer working on my own time schedule and on my own ideas, though I’m always open to suggestions and advice on those projects.
9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
Maya Deren was my very first influence, but more recently, the works of Bill Viola, Pipilotti Rist, and Banksy are a big influence on how I think about my projects.
10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
I want to have my hands in many projects that range from video installation to documentary and narrative and even a television series. My big dream is to have a company where I can employ all my talented friends to create projects that are important and that will influence society for the better. In the meantime, I will continue taking my socially-minded ideas and turning them into actual projects regardless of form.
Can works of yours viewed online besides on the CologneOFF platform? Where? List some links & resources.
You Tube and Vimeo:
“How to Not Get Raped,”2014. Video satire.
“Voices,” 2014. 20-monitor installation.
“Swimming Upstream,” 2014. Video installation.
“Equal/Unequal,” 2012. Hand drawn animation.
“Face Lift,” 2012. Video.
“American Female,” 2012. Video.
“Now I’m Beautiful,” 2011. Video
“Tears,” 2011. Video installation.
“Take My Hair,” 2009. Documentary.