Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I'd like to thank...
Jason Villemarette of Fire on the Bayou for being a true collaborator. The "Unearthed" video that we made for my solo show last year received the award for Best of Show last Saturday night at the local Addy Awards. The film was my directorial debut and was shot and edited entirely by Jason. It began as just an idea, and I went to Jason with that idea and painted a verbal picture. He was on board from day one. We filmed in Bayou Lacombe and New Orleans on many break of dawns last summer. I really did let those red ants bite my feet while Jason filmed, knowing he only had one chance to get the shot. I had those scars for months. Most days it was just me and Jason, a camera and some hand-written notes on paper. I storyboarded the film on index cards which .I communicated to Jason with my built-in laptop camera. When I say what I want, he just gets it. And that's when making something from nothing feels like making something grand.
The film features Mathilda Jane Mayer as the young girl floating in the water. For years people noted our resemblance and this film was the perfect opportunity to use that resemblance to tell silent narrative of the piece. We filmed early one morning in her backyard pool. Even I was impressed with the energy and sophistication she brought to the shoot. She was eager to help get the shot, over and over again until we got it right. Always with a smile. Between shots I sat back and realized that she was embodying exactly the role I had cast her in. She is hope and energy and seeing the world anew. And I am thankful for that too.
The narrative is set to the lyrical music of young composer Carina Pearson of Nashville. I met Carina just a few years ago through a mutual friend and what began as brunch became a budding and beautiful friendship between two creative women. Upon her last visit, she revealed to me that she had begun composing and recording, and when I picked her up in my car for a night on the town, she carried with her a burned cd scribbled with her name. We put it in the player and drive around tthe city with the windows down, and the soundtrack of her voice and piano. I was enchanted. It was then that I knew that I wanted her music to continue to tell the story from which my idea began.
I am thankful for these creative people in my life and for this award, which helps me to continue to believe in the work I am making. I am also thankful for the people who chose an artful piece for the esteemed Best of Show award. We were up against the work of extremely creative people with much bigger budgets and resources. You can believe that when our names came up on the big screen, Jason and I looked and each other in awe. Happy, humbling awe.