Saturday, October 30, 2010

Editing Rooms

I find contrast in the two creative spaces I have established for myself. One in the city, the other in a remote desert sanctuary.  I'm aware at a conscious level the contradiction they represent; because these environments symbolize themes that shadow most of my films: Humans/technology and digital/analog.

Phoenix, Arizona- 2010

Digital: The city conveys the omnipresence of technology, the power of digital technology and the efficiency in production that machines can bring. When I sit at my editing suite in the city, I know I can apply ideas and get things done.

Looking out at this modern city, I can't help but think my life inside an modern-day empire and its place in history.  I always find myself scanning the landscape and observing: All with the hope that from my perch I can watch everything play itself out and adjust as necessary.

As the city illuminates the darkness, I think of the meaning of our place at this moment..... That perception of reality is what my films are all about.
 Psychotrpic Films Studio - Downtown Phoenix

The Outskirts of Arivaca, Arizona
Anasazi inspired 'kiva' editing room (under construction) - adobe, Arivaca , Arizona builder - Bart Santello, creator of Psychotropic Films.
Analog: In another place will be an editing room like no other.  A space literally rooted in the earth - inspired by ancient peoples that made due for centuries in a harsh climate. This space symbolizes transcending back to that time by recreating their architecture, then being able to immerse myself in it.  While constructing this building, now in its fourth year, I want to translate that sense of craftsmanship into my films.  But also I believe that being in that natural structure proven by ancient-engineering, will allow myself to connect with something more transcendental.  I can't think of a better environment to develop new ideas in digital film making.

I like to keep one eye looking toward the future, the other eye back into the past.  Each approach is a balance.  For good reason.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Humans, Technology & Early Space Travel

Left-to-right: Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, Chief Designer Sergei Korolëv, Comonauts Yuri Gagarin and Valery Bykovsky. Image sourced from: Energia, Russia

The conceptual aspects of crafting my film "Valentina Tereshkova", continues my thinking into the dilemma humans face with our advances in technology.  Valentina Tereshkova was a young woman who's desire for adventure lead her to be the (former) Soviet Union's first woman Cosmonaut in space in 1963. Juxtaposed to Valentina was Sergei Korolëv the (secret) "Chief Designer" who lead a team of dedicated scientists and engineers into history with the first working machines of space travel. My film is about the moment in time when their histories intersected.
Having two characters of interest in the same 'story' has really opened both a fantastic opportunity and creative challenge to apply my perception of history on digital film. So far I'm finding that my previous films are providing me a map of sorts - like building blocks of filmic elements, that when combined (like in chemistry) create a pattern which will be the story that emerges from the fragments of film available on the topic. 

While examining scenes of the film completed to date, I'm finding a framework for speculation, of where this film wants to go artistically from this point forward.  Bart

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Editing The Unknown

Scott Hellon (back left) / Bart Santello (front right) at the post-production studio of Psychotropic Films, downtown Phoenix

It was a fantastic past 7-days.  Scott Hellon of Point of View Pictures came up from Tucson and in a week of what I would call a video-editing jam session.  We were able to motivate each other and to collaborate on our current film projects.  We also watched some of our own work and provided each other background on the filmic thought process behind our ideas for film.

We did a really cool experiment converting 16mm film to digital using a telescene method of filming and recording digitally.  The film was an old industrial film - the look was beautiful meaning it contained a lot of artistic elements.  It was a great feeling to realize what was just a hunch, is now the basis for a possible new film.

I enjoyed helping Scott evaluate the editing of his feature "Decision to Ask Why".  The film's ambitious independent effort, that is now what I'm beginning to see as Scott's unique filmmaking style.

All week I kept thinking "....I'm having a good time."

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Screening the future

Filmmakers gathered at Psychotropic Films 'post' studio this past weekend in Phoenix  to screen several shorts and preview progresss on 'Valentina Tereshkova' a film under development by Bart Santello.