Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"moments from Chances Dances: Summoning A New Queer Reality (MCA, 12-06-13)" documentary footage


I had the pleasure of doing some videography for a Chances Dances event recently--to document some of the fun.

Watch "moments from Chances Dances:  Summoning A New Queer Reality (MCA, 12-06-13)" right HERE.

Extended footage of performances by Mister Junior and Darling Shear can be seen HERE and HERE, respectively.

"moments from Chances Dances:  Summoning A New Queer Reality (MCA, 12-06-13)" footage shot and edited by Derek Quint.

Very Special Thanks to Mister Junior, Latham Zearfoss, Kiam Marcelo Junio, Darling Shear, MCA, and Chances Dances.
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It was a very nice, very inspired group of people creating beautiful and meaningful performances, images, and memories in a dance party setting at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.  I showed up with my camera, pushed the record button, and did my best to capture the magic.

The footage turned out great:  gorgeous performances, people, music, and art.


The "moments from Chances Dances:  Summoning A New Queer Reality (MCA, 12-06-13)" footage is done in a classic documentary style but given a surreal, flowing twist in which beats, voices, and melodies from within the party dominate the audio while visual sequences politely tumble over each other, creating a loose narrative.  My editing ques were inspired by the documentaries "Paris Is Burning" (1990) and "La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet" (2009) and, also, the casual, gritty, early films by Andy Warhol such as "The Chelsea Girls" (1966) and "Empire" (1964).

This turned out to be a terrific, enjoyable project that emerged from out-of-the-blue for me (thanks, Mister Junior!); a perfect way to end the year.
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www.chancesdances.org

www.mcachicago.org

Chances Dances:  Summoning A New Queer Reality

December 6th, 2013 presented with Event Creative

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

The MCA presented a night of dancing, performance, and radical potential, cocurated by Chances Dances, a queer dance party and collective dedicated to building safer spaces for the varied LGBTIQ communities in Chicago through collectively shared moments of pleasure, inquiry, and resistance.


All Chances parties recognize the power of consent, welcome all gender expressions, and feature gender-neutral bathrooms.

Experiences for that evening included:

Claire Arctander, Cake Ritual with Robert Smithson
an edible sculpture based on a work by Smithson, who inspired many artists in The Way of the Shovel exhibition.  At the end of the night, Arctander served pieces of cake.

B!TCH3Z Drinking Project, Premium Optionz
B!TCH3Z, the conceptual post-bar drinking project for tomorrow's neosexualle, offered up non-alcoholic body shots.

Myles Cooper, Tuscany
In this video work, Cooper explores the faux-architectural forms of a Tuscan-style casino in Reno, Nevada, in relation to the artist's generated sculptures made of hotel towels, buffet leftovers, and various hotel freebies.

Nicole Garneau, Deer Remedies #1
A video document in which the artist explores the boundaries of the grotesque and the beautiful by communing with the earth and animals through song and ritual performance.

Rami George, Untitled (an attempted utopia is never a failed utopia)
George explored the theme of a new queer reality through a series of discreet takaway ephemera.

GNAT, Glitter-Kink Bondage Gear:
Go-Go fashionz and queer bondage gear, made by queer clothing designer Gnat Brillmeyer, were worn by Go-Go dancers Dirty Girls, Jay Vanity, Stevie Hnilicka, and Cer Vixen.

Erica Gressman, Nested Core
In this durational performance, a body removed layers of skin while enveloped in a soft, protective light.

Darrell Jones, Excerpts from Hoo-Hah
Jones presented a dance performance that explores the racial and gender politics through an homage to ball culture.  The femme warriors conducted a fierce dance-off in collaboration with Chances Dances' Justin Mitchell.

Kiam Marcelo Junio, Jerry Blossom Brigade
Junio organized a military-style march throughout the museum in a collaborative performance that functioned as a ritual circle marking a safe space for queer expression.  The march culminated in a runway walk on the second floor where each participant's performance revealed a personal queer aesthetic.

Meg Leary
Leary is a classically trained opera singer who combined vocal inflection with electronic effects to create a musical performance that shifted among different emotional and psychological states such as beauty, failure, virtuosity, and discomfort.
Mister Junior, Allusion Illusion:  The Mythology of Mister J
Mister Junior is one of Chicago's premier burlesque performers.  In Mister Junior's Epic, the artist prepared for and then performed a burlesque ballet in three acts that represented Mister Junior's birth, death, and divine rebirth as an incarnation of la Virgen de Guadalupe, a patron saint of the utopian world of queerdom.

Dan Paz, KODAK 2013
Paz's video, KODAK 2013, responded to Kodak's famous, recently rediscovered 1922 film tests, which only featured white actresses.  In Paz's version, subjects of various genders and skin tones performed their identities for the camera.  The artist projected KODAK 2013 on a loop in tandem with a live-streamed video of audience members enacting their own performances.

Macon Reed, Team Spirit
Reed collaborated with members of the UIC Flames gymnastics team for a durational performance.  Dressed in matching leotards and high femme makeup, members of the team created various configurations drawing on gymnastic routines.



Darling Shear, Baby You Know Me Out/Clap Yo' Hands/Just one of Those Things performances

Mariana Milhorat: Hair Flips, Mariah Version (film) featuring Mark Aguhar

Latham Zearfoss, Myth of Ancestors (film)

Rami George, Dan Paz, Oli Rodriguez, and Latham Zearfoss, For Chances Dances on her 8th Birthday (film)

[Experiences descriptions and credit details are transcribed from the Chances Dances:  Summoning A New Queer Reality event program.]

DJ Sets:

The members of Chances Dances performed individual DJ sets throughout the night, including--

- Rita Bacon
- Nina Ramone and Lady Speedstick
- Swaquerrilla
- CQQCHIFRUIT

Sponsors for the evening included:

- The Reader
- Room and Board Home Furnishings
- 93XRT
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The exhibitions on display at the MCA during the shooting of "moments from Chances Dances:  Summoning A New Queer Reality (MCA, 12-06-13)" included:

- MCA Chicago Plaza Project:  Amanda Ross-Ho
- CITY SELF
- Paul Sietsema
- MCA DNA:  Warhol and Marisol
- The Way of the Shovel:  Art as Archeology
- MCA DNA:  Alexander Calder

Featured Project


The Featured Project for right now is "moments from Chances Dances:  Summoning A New Queer Reality (MCA, 12-06-13)".

Read about it and watch it right HERE.

Enjoy!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Secretly Crazy" feature film



"Secretly Crazy" is an independent feature film being shot in 2014 with a Valentine's Day 2015 release date.

The story has been revamped a whole bunch of times but this will give you a basic idea of what to look forward to/dread:

Eccentric, sheltered heiress Pam Zigglesworth loses her fortune and must deal with poverty, family troubles, diabetes, aliens, and conspiracies.  Luckily, she has a passive-aggressive peacock named Reginald, the Catholic Church, and her cocaine-dealing daughter to help her out.

"Secretly Crazy" is a weird comedy.

Key terms:

- unhinged
- bonkers
- wtf
- why?
- strangely poignant
- creepy

The filmmakers are currently listening to a lot of 80's synthpop while watching "Strangers with Candy", the "Anchorman" movies, "Naked Gun", "Grease", "Grease 2" (especially "Grease 2"), Adult Swim, "The Electric Grandmother", "Julie and Julia", the National Lampoon "Vacation" movies, "Napoleon Dynamite", and "Heathers".

We have an "inspiration board" right HERE.

Upcoming Projects


2014

- shooting "Secretly Crazy" feature film

- retroactive promoting of some older projects

- release and promotion of "The 21st" short film (late November)

2015

- release and promotion of "Secretly Crazy" feature film (Valentine's Day)

end of the year thoughts


drama, drama, drama....

You can have 2013.  It wasn't a complete shit show but it wasn't exactly a Sunday drive either.  Yep, I'm ready to move on, that's for sure.

Okay, actually, yeah it was kind of a shit show.  Let's admit it.

Was most of it my own fault?  Well, yes, of course.  Nothing new there.

indecision.  a bit of writer's block.  some more (serious) indecision.  and so on.....

No wonder independent "creative types" are such flakes.  The older I get the more I respect doctors, lawyers, bankers, and insurance salespeople.

I pride myself on being the most hardcore decision-maker/task-master out of all the "artsy-fartsy" people that I know so what the hell is wrong with me lately?

Anyway, now I'm a bit more enlightened.  I know that I was exhausted and that I needed a break.  Not that that's an excuse but it shouldn't be that difficult to reach such a conclusion.

Deciding on whether to do Kickstarter or not (I decided not to do crowdfunding) took a surprising amount of angst and energy from me.  Everyone had an opinion, everyone had good statements to make, clashing ideals, opposing viewpoints.  I spent a lot of time and other things creating presentations that I ended up tossing out.  Only Hollywood is that wasteful and I don't have an iota of the manpower and $ that they do, so what the fuck was I thinking?  Good Lord.

I've done a lot of film and video projects since 2009.  Maybe too many.

I really like some of those projects and I'm happy with how those turned out.  I don't have a big audience or anything (indie, avant-garde, gothic, semi-experimental filmmaking doesn't always have a large crowd latching onto it which isn't too shocking, guys and girls....) but some of the good ones got watched and continue to.  Which is a great thing.  And some of my other projects, no one ever watches.  Ever.  While some projects go on being enjoyed (oh good!), other films are completely ignored (ouch.).

I realize that maybe I shouldn't have done some of the films that I've made.  I could have avoided plenty of heartache, money pits, energy drains, and disappointments by simply skipping certain concepts.  [que other indie and ritzy filmmakers:  "We hear ya on that one, brother!"]

But I've learned a little something on every project and I've worked with a lot of super-talented people who've worked their asses off so maybe I shouldn't completely regret certain projects.

Very few of my films have been promoted properly, half-way properly, or even at all which is really an ignorant, naive, problematic way to approach things.  Learning experience.  Although we imagine that there's a lot of gray area when it comes to making art and promoting art, I now know that it's actually pretty straightforward.  You do have to pound the pavement and throw some money into it OR ELSE(!).  But use that money, however much that may be, wisely.....

Oh, well.  Moving forward.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Look n' See


Finally I figured out how to do this.

It's like someone snatched off my spotty glasses, gave them a good wipe-down, and stuck them back on my face.

Wala!  "I can see clearly now the rain is gone...."

And by "this", I'm referring to the upcoming "Secretly Crazy" film project and some other projects that will be coming up after that.

Everything is as bright and clear as can be....and what that clarity reveals are things both terrific and heart-breaking.....

Are you willing to be a realist?  Can you handle that?  Or do you need a bit of delusion and cuddling in order to help the medicine go down?

For better or for worse, I want to see things for what they are and what they, truthfully, can be.  Because my tolerance for nonsense is at an absolute 0 right now.

2013 has been an interesting year.....

I can't think of any other year where I've struggled with so much indecision and project-panic like I have this year.  That's not my personality at all.  If there's anyone who avoids indecision and murky stances, it's me.  2013 has been surprisingly out-of-character.  I have to confess that I'm a bit disgusted with myself for falling into that.

Who am I?  Why am I doing these projects?

Yuck.  Truthfully, I can't stand that type of navel-gazing, time-sucking bullshit but, for whatever reason(s), those kinds of questions kept popping up over and over this year.

Shuffling through differences in how to approach things (creatively and financially), how to aim things, various approaches to how/why/which way when it comes to what I do.

 
I know that I have to change my approaches in certain ways and I'm very aware of how I've fucked up in the past (especially when it comes to defining and publicizing projects).

Now, thankfully, the arrows are sharply revealing themselves and sometimes they lead you on paths that are rough but take you to very specific destinations.  If you're willing to be realistic, then you're good to go.  I'm choosing to be realistic, work within those limits, and I'm completely okay with that.  More so than I would have originally thought.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

"The Spirits of Detroit" press release



          "The Spirits of Detroit" promotional image       photo by Derek Quint

All information and photography on this page may be freely used by journalists, bloggers, periodicals, websites, etc. for featuring, mentioning, promoting, and/or critiquing of the Addovolt Productions short documentary "The Spirits of Detroit" by director Derek Quint.

The documentary is right HERE on Youtube.
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With its deep and unique history, it should come as no surprise that the Motor City supposedly has its fair share of things that go bump in the night.

Independent filmmaker, Derek Quint (a native of Detroit suburb, Allen Park), decided to investigate.  His short, 12-minute documentary, "The Spirits of Detroit", is now up on Youtube and can be watched for free by anyone online.  Simply web search "spirits of detroit documentary" and it pops up easily.

"For a long time, I had wanted to do a project centered around Detroit and, on the other hand, I also wanted to do something along the lines of those paranormal documentaries that I enjoy watching on TV," said Quint, "so I decided to do a short paranormal documentary about Detroit.  My aim was to make something fun, informative, and easy to watch, like an old episode of 'Unsolved Mysteries'.  I grew up hearing and reading about Detroit ghosts and urban myths.  You can find all kinds of weird stories about this area."

Although exploring those spooky tales and shooting his film was enjoyable, Quint says that the most rewarding part of the project was learning about Detroit's rich history.  "Within the first few days of making this, it became pretty clear that it was really all about research.  Once you try understanding the geography and background of the city, it makes more sense as to why certain legends about this place continue on," Quint said.

"The Spirits of Detroit" is narrated by Chris Chavez and features original music compositions by Chad Nini.

"The Spirits of Detroit" promotional image       photo by Derek Quint

Chris Chavez does double-duty as the narrator of "The Spirits of Detroit" documentary while also portraying a member of the Purple Gang.     photo by Derek Quint

"The Spirits of Detroit" promotional image       photo by Derek Quint

Michael Marius Massett portrays Le Nain Rouge aka The Red Dwarf, an impish creature that supposedly brings mayhem to the Motor City.     photo by Derek Quint

Lauren Hearter portrays a mournful, symbolic figure in "The Spirits of Detroit" documentary.    photo by Derek Quint

"The Spirits of Detroit" promotional image          photo by Derek Quint

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Just Because

.....But is anything, ever, really "just because"?

No, of course not.

What we do in life is always a mixture of blatant, secretive, and semi-hidden motivations.  And the reasons behind those motivations are endless depending on the individual(s) involved.  I'm just a regular guy in that respect.  And, just like everyone else, I'm allowed to change plans, struggle with indecision, and have stormy philosophical battles inside my head.

Projects are difficult.  Time and money always bring issues.  When a company is dealing with big money and lots of time involved on a studio level, there are difficulties and risks.  Smaller groups of people, dealing with short spurts of time and bitty handfuls of lunch money, making independent projects--like the kind I make--deal with different kinds of difficulties.  The subjects of time and money, for everyone, are always touchy and sensitive.

Our feature-length film project, "Secretly Crazy", will start shooting soon.

We've already done some rehearsal footage--which I will have up next week--with a quick, narrated presentation gabbed by yours truly.

"Secretly Crazy" will be fun.  It will be an enjoyable guilty pleasure type of film created in a distinctively fast-and-gritty indie style (elements of mumblecore films in some ways).  Casual, colorful, campy, small, no fuss, no big deal.  Perfect for watching with your drunk friends at 2 in the morning.  A mixture of 80's, 90's, and current teen comedy/dark comedy genre sensibilities.  People of a certain temperament will enjoy it.

It will be my first feature film.  There will be bumps, there will be fuck-up's, and there will be experience (and Experience) that will be applied to upcoming projects further down the road.

Let's just go with it, make something funny and stupid, and have a good time.

I've included some rehearsal still shots, done with some of the actors, in this posting.

"Secretly Crazy" is about a teenage cocaine dealer named Connie who gets busted and sent to a program for at-risk youth.....but the lady who runs the program is dabbling in some seriously darksided endeavors.  It's up to Connie and her group of shady friends to stop the bad lady while being awful themselves.











Friday, May 3, 2013

"Secretly Crazy" Inspiration Board

The upcoming film project, "Secretly Crazy", springs from a diverse range of inspirations.

I really enjoy campy, slightly unhinged, pop culture.  A lot.  And this movie will reflect that.

So if someone were to ask:  "Hey, what is this movie about?", I'd be able to say:

"'Secretly Crazy' is a comedy about a girl named Connie who becomes a coke dealer during her senior year of high school, she gets caught, and then has to go through a Teen Esteem program run by a very shady religious lady named Katie who has some extremely dark secrets of her own.  It's up to Connie to stop Katie, save the kids in her program, get her business back, and deal with her complicated love life."

And what does the movie feel like?

Well....it kind of feels like what would happen if you blended up the stuff below, tossed it down an alley, shoved some Christmas lights in it, and left it to dry for a week in 90 degree weather.  It should be a nice, dark, entertaining, B-movie hot mess of an indie film.  That's what I'm aiming for.

Here are some of the main inspirations for "Secretly Crazy".....