Ulto, Melissa

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Melissa Ulto
is a video and media artist based in New York

  • detailled artist biography
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    Interview: 10 questions

    1.
    Question:
    Tell me something about your life and the educational background
    Answer:
    I’m a self-educated, self-made woman. I tried the college route – wasn’t for me. Been an artist since I was little kid – started with a black and white Polaroid camera and crayons.

    2.
    Question:
    When, how and why started you filming?
    Answer:
    I started with a video camera as a teen, and graduated to full-blown obsession by the time I was in my early twenties. I’ve been shooting now for a good 15 years.

    3.
    Question:
    What kind of subjects have your films?
    Answer:
    I shoot documentaries mostly, or experimental art pieces. My documentaries focus on social justice and urban issues, and my experimental art pieces are created out of pure need to express myself in color and light.

    4.
    Question:
    How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
    Answer:
    I have my own style and methods. I think every good artist does. But the basics always apply – prepare, plan, produce and practice – daily. My methods are about amassing chaos (AKA – raw clip sorting), and making sense of it all. It’s a puzzle that has a non-linear answer.

    5.
    Question:
    Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
    Answer:
    I use a Canon XL1, a G5 with Final Cut Pro, Artmatic, After Effects, and all sorts of animation, editing and processing software. I also use an Edirol video mixer and an Apple laptop when I mix video live at events and galleries.

    6.
    Question:
    What are the chances of new media for the genre film/video in general and you personally?
    Answer:
    Video is becoming modular for the first time – you can carry an entire film on an iPod and share it with people on the street, on the train, on the bus. Making, sharing and working with video is cheaper and easier than it has been in a long time. The only thing to watch for is quality – quality always counts.

    7.
    Question:
    How do you finance your films?
    Answer:
    Self-financed via massive debt and divorce settlement. Hahaha… Otherwise, I get hired to work on the films as part of team. Always looking for funding and/or a patron.

    8.
    Question:
    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?
    Answer:
    I’ve worked both solo and as a team member. You can’t make films alone, but you can make art films alone. Hahaha… I prefer working as a team, but with the right kind of people – hard working, focused, friendly and open minded. The team dynamic itself can be a work of art.

    9.
    Question:
    Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
    Answer:
    Bill Viola, Peter Greenaway, John Ford, Frank Capra, Miranda July, Mira Nair – those are some of the image makers that have influenced my work. What has a lasting influence is quality, integrity, persistence, peace and beauty. If a work contains a good measure of any of those, its inspiring to view.

    10.
    Question:
    What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
    Answer:
    I hope to have my own multimedia empire that focuses on art for social justice and peace. Short term, I’ve moved into a new office and will be cranking out the projects this fall from a new home.

    View also some new films:
    http://www.multo.com/vlog/wp-content/multocast/russiandoll216by9.m4v

    http://www.multo.com/vlog/wp-content/multocast/russiandoll116by9.m4v

    http://www.multo.com/vlog/wp-content/multocast/djgoldmusicvideo.m4v