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.

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.



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 who performed individual DJ sets throughout the night included--

- Rita Bacon
- Nina Ramone and Lady Speedstick
- Swaquerrilla

Sponsors for the evening included:

- The Reader
- Room and Board Home Furnishings
- 93XRT

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
- Paul Sietsema
- MCA DNA:  Warhol and Marisol
- The Way of the Shovel:  Art as Archeology
- MCA DNA:  Alexander Calder

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.

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 unearth some of the local lore.  His short, 12-minute documentary, "The Spirits of Detroit", is now up on Youtube and can be watched for free by anyone online.  Simply Google "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 an enjoyable experience, 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 this project was really all about research.  Once you begin understanding the geography and background of this city, its legends start to make more sense," Quint said.

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

"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, or 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

Sunday, March 17, 2013

"Buckles and Bread Bowls: a Renaissance Faire in North America" short documentary

First of all, you can watch it right HERE.

I had no idea what I was doing.  That's probably pretty obvious when you watch it.

"Buckles and Bread Bowls" was shot a long time ago.  Something like....2009, maybe?

At any rate, it had been a while between when I actually shot the footage for it and when I finished the editing/uploaded it on Youtube.

Why so long?

Because I was just joking around when I brought the camera to the Bristol Renaissance Faire that day way back when.  I had another project to do coming up (it may have been "Danse Macabre" but I'm not sure....) and my camera had been acting weird ever since we had shot "Go Ask Alice In Wonderland".  During "Alice", we were out in some unpleasant conditions (a heavy rain storm, a dusty/buggy/dirty forest, etc. and according to my mom, the vengeful ghost of Lewis Carroll) and the camera was never quite the same after that; it was acting up in strange and random ways no matter how much it was cleaned.  I was stressed out about it and I wanted to make sure that the camera would (probably?) be able to survive another entire shoot.  So I brought it to the Renaissance Faire to see if it still had enough go-power to make it through.

It did.  I noticed that the tapes would, every once in a while, drop a frame or whatever and the mic would get wonky when loud, sudden audio shifts took place (like an old person, basically) but it seemed to be okay enough.  Another cleaning and it would suffice--that was my logic.  I must have been right since the "Danse" footage turned out fine in the long run.

Truthfully, "Buckles and Bread Bowls" was just a camera test and an editing exercise (I was trying to familiarize myself better with my editing software during that time too).  When watching the footage--which turned out to be very fun and interesting--I thought to myself:  "Well, hell, this would make a decent little documentary.  Might as well...."

And here we are.

But why did "Buckles" take so long to sign-seal-deliver?

I was working on other stuff.  There was always some other (more important) project popping up, cutting in line in front of it.  Other documentary projects, other short films, adventures with The Baby Magic.  Poor, neglected "Buckles and Bread Bowls".  Now, finally, it's online and thankfully I can clear all the raw footage from it out of my computer (good).

The amazing, talented people who were generous enough to give me a moment of their time deserve a big, fat THANK YOU for putting up with me and answering whatever (less than brilliant) questions that I threw at them.  They were all extremely cool, willing sports.  So, again, ladies and gentlemen who were in this silly documentary THANK YOU A BUNCH.  And thanks a bunch also to Lauren Hearter (who did a beautiful job narrating it and completely understood the tone that I was going for).

Fantasy is important.

As a documentarian, I'm really fortunate that there are enough imaginative, open-minded individuals around who are somehow able to merge their creative talents together in order to bring things like Renaissance Festivals to life.  These fantastic people--with their costumes, crafts, and performances--are truly inspiring and awe-striking.

"Buckles and Bread Bowls:  a Renaissance Faire in North America" premiered online Saint Patrick's Day 2013.

More images from this documentary are below.