of a Video Artist: Crazy Things We Will Do For Art
films and photos on a small budget can be a challenge. Sometimes
it means luring your friends over for a nice dinner and then
persuading them to be in your film or photo shoot. Casting
calls and auditions take time and money, but if you have some
good-looking friends, why not just use the free resources?
I have matured as an artist, I no longer have to trick my
friends. Now, people actually volunteer! But I am continually
grateful to those who did demanding and often dangerous things
for little or no pay, only for the sake of my art. Here are
a few of my all time favorite moments.
Feet - I decided to go make a Super 8 film with a couple
friends in a Washington State forest in the middle of winter.
We got completely naked and ran through a giant corridor of
snow. It was probably the most tortuous thing I had ever done.
After a minute of screaming at the tops of my lungs, I put
my boots back on, but kept shooting. After a few swigs of
Johnny Walker, things got a little easier.
or Plastic - I once dared my friend to act in a film I
was making where he would be naked and dragged through an
alley in a giant plastic bag. To my surprise and delight he
responded, "Okay, I'll do it for $40. " Interestingly
enough, the nudity was the easy part. It was the handling
of raw cow hearts dripping in fake blood that involved a good
bit of coaxing on my part (he was vegan). My neighbors' faces
were plastered to their windows as I wrapped this naked guy
in a big plastic bag. (Note to self: When making abstract
and gory experimental films, do it in someone else's neighborhood.)
Shower - The first film I made that involved public nudity
was with a dear friend in a public park in Seattle. The film
ended with her aggressively breaking a pomegranate open with
her bare hands and devouring it voraciously while the juice
dripped down her face and naked body. Of course since I was
a newbie, I had not thought to bring paper towels and I had
no car or cab money. Let's just say it was an interesting
bus ride home.
- I asked my friend if she would strip down and get into a
trashcan in the middle of winter for a photo shoot. Without
any hesitation, she got in a Hefty trash bag and laid down
next to the overflowing trashcan. Looking back, I think it
was easy for her because she was an avid dumpster diver. But,
I doubt she ever dumpster dived in the nude.
- Years ago, I asked some lady friends to come to my house.
Some of them invited their friends, who had NO idea I was
planning a photo shoot After what seemed liked 10 years worth
of cajoling, but was probably more like an hour and a half,
I had twelve naked women posing for a picture with fake blood
dripping from their mouths, toasting a glass of red wine,
which was definitely a key negotiating tool.
am eternally grateful for the fun and brave people who have
done crazy things for my art. CPM
Roxo is a filmmaker and artist living in Brooklyn,
NY. Her award winning feature film Mary
Marie is currently playing at festivals and has been featured
in Variety Magazine, New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal
and Huffington Post. She also directs fashion films for designers
and magazines and enjoys taking photos.
latest project, which will be part of the Seattle City Arts
Festival, involves a very brave actress performing live via
Skype for the gallery-goers in a private peep show booth.
Check out her website