Interview: 10 questions
1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background.
I was born in the South East of the UK in a working class industrial town outside of London. It was not a place where art and music where not very prominent. As I got more into expressing myself creatively; I began to fit in less and less with my environment, this lead to a desire to explore this difference. I retreated into my own creative world more and more, developing a passion for an alternative music and art that challenged the culture and lifestyle I was surrounded by.
I have always been interested in sound, and began at the age of ten taping conversations, radio and television. As an early teenager I would go back to these recordings and transfer the glitches and other parts of the audio from one tape recorder to another, building up these layers of sound into early audio experiments. By 17 I had joined a band, and had bought a keyboard to further explore audio.
I studied a BA in fine art and media / film in Winchester, it was a very freeing experience. I was lucky to have a very flexible program which eventually led to my own exploration and investigation of sound and video. A few years later I completed a further BA in Multimedia at the University of Brighton.
2. When, how and why started you filming?
I started the degree in Winchester as a sculpture student; however I began to be more interested with the insides of the sculptures, the hidden areas, rather than the areas you were supposed to present. I began to think about how to present these insides to people. Not being pleased with the results from photographing the insides, the idea eventually developed to use miniature security cameras to film the interiors. This led to learning how to edit video and making this video’s interesting to watch. I returned to my interest in audio, and began to create soundscapes which would fit the particular materials and landscapes of the sculptures.
After making a few of these video’s, I began to make scale models of actual locations, and became interested in the psychology of space and geography.
3. What kind of subjects have your films?
The psychology of space and ruin. The anxiety of empty rooms, the Freudian notion of the ‘homely’ and the ‘un-homely’. The combination of audio and video to create harmonic and discordant environments.
4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
They all display a dark and metaphoric aesthetic; however the style is dependent on the location, or the scale model. I set out with an overall theme, based upon an idea, philosophy or a theoretical standpoint; however I try to film without creating an overall idea, and let the space present itself freely. The video is then shaped and manipulated through editing.
5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
I use a variety of different equipment, standard hand held camcorders, and also miniature security cameras, and miniature televisions. The small cameras ensure a grainy and voyeuristic aesthetic, which I like to use. I also use computer post production software for video, images and sound.
6. What are the chances of new media for the genre film/video in general and you personally?
I believe the chances are very good, new media is creating opportunities for access, and an avenue of protest for areas of the world previously hidden by oppressive regimes. Videos from these areas show a developing sense of hope and confidence. Also the developing integration of audio and video to create shared group experiences in the growing work of sound and video installation; is another area where new media can shine. It is my hope that new media technology will work towards a utopian rather than dystopian understanding of our place within it.
7. How do you finance your films?
All the films are financed myself, although this ensures a low budget aesthetic, this also ensures that the films maintain their desired look.
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 individually, although I have experience with working in small groups, I do prefer working individually however I have had very positive experiences working in groups. Having more than one voice in a project leads to very different works, also the process working in a group seems to have a greater journey and extends in more directions than intended.
9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
Silent films especially the Cabinet of Dr. Calligari, Jan Svankmajer, empty and desolated spaces, psychological and sociological writings on individualism and society.
10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
To be able to continue exploring the combination of audio and video, future plans include creating large scale sound and video installations, and large scale video installations with the inclusion of sculptural elements.
Can works of yours viewed online besides on VideoChannel? Where?