Thursday, 14 June 2018

Interview with filmmaker David Cartwright


Five nights of Waking Dreams & The Life of a Planet will be screening at the Straight Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

How did you get into making films? 
I have had a camera of one sort or another strapped to my hip or shoulder since i was about 13 - 14. i would gather my friends together with my beta cam and make goofy parodies. but i found that what i really enjoyed were the gags cause i loved to edit, and reedit.

What inspired you to make your movie?
I had not endeavoured to make films in a while. in the early 2000's all of my equipment had been stolen, so i feel back on photography as an outlet. then everyone had a camera when they became standard on a phone. I attempted to redefine the art of photography by layering and melding photos. Five nights of waking dreams came on the heels of a piece that would become epic a couple years later (the life cycle of the proletariat) . at the time i thought i was done with it and ready to move on, and the next film was "five nights of waking dreams." Five nights" would explore my struggles dealing with a disabling pain disorder that disrupted my life for about three quarters of a year with tons of doctor visits and needless medication that turned me into someone not myself and caused long term insomnia. trying to make lemon aide from lemons i decided that i would spend a certain amount of time every day dedicated to being creative. using stock of my life i have been accumulating over the years to create films like "trapped (aka: the life between cigarettes)" that i like to call ambient films, and stock that would help create the fantasy waking dream moments the film speaks to the feeling of inadequacy, self doubt, spirituality, and hopelessness by accentuating the dull mundane existence of a life plagued by periods of extreme fatigue and pain. the hope was to reach an audience who may feel the same way sometime and you are not alone, while educating people on the emotional effects of this debilitating pain disorder. while trying to apply the techniques that i had developed while exploring new ways of presenting photography. it is the film that helped me to realise that the narrative film genre has become so formulaic that it has committed suicide and that a new dialog should be explored. one that speaks in raw emotive transference, making you feel a movie as opposed to seeing a movie.
The film "life of a Planet" is an extension of a previous film "the life cycle of the proletariat" which were created as abstracted social commentaries meant to reflect the world as it is and present the cold harshness of our existence in hopes to motivate people to create change in our behaviour and our world. the 'proletariat' film explores our social violence through economy, industrial food production, commercialisation and exploitation of every facade of our lives and the lives around us. "life of the planet" examines the life of the sphere called a planet and the life it has given birth to. the film starts with the big bang and lends examples of how the constant evolution and destruction of life on mass through catastrophes that created dramatic climate change and extinction. it shows how we evolved in a violent and amoral world to create an intelligent species that turns that violence on each other and then the planet it's self and exposes how we could be the next extinction event in hopes that people will be ready to change the predicted out come of the film. the film was inspired by science and climate deniers and the onset of a new dark ages brought forth by bad politics and crude oil. The films are produced and presented as art as an excuse to be gutter-ally visceral an as art not as offensive to the viewer and were intended to be viewed with Chroma depth 3 - d glasses.

How has your style evolved?
My style has changed in an organic evolution from early beta, to video poetry (like "no salvation" from the mid 1990's) as technology has made many more editing techniques available to the kitchen table studio. my goals have always remained the same. produce films with free software and available materials with no budget. To prove that anyone can make a film, and if we do there is no need to watch another four franchise film again. Though now my works seem to sometimes border ambiguity of image and focus on colour and light.

Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film?
While creating five nights i scored the film with classical music from the masters. But i knew obtaining a good score would be difficult and you certainly can not market a film with someone else's copy written performances. so i reached out. first to Alex Ferris and the orchestra who appear in the film then i managed to touch base with an amazing composer i had produced music videos for in the 90's Steve Kusaba. we had not talked for many years. now we talk to one another two - three times a week. and we have collaborated on every film since "five nights of waking dreams" and in exchange i have produced a mountain of music videos with him. we are now very good friends who for years 'almost' knew each other and now it seems as though we always did know each other.

The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind?
I can honestly say that i was not familiar with either until now. However now having looked over the manifesto i can admit that this is the way i have always worked. no budgets, no scripts,etc. matter a fact the sale line for the film "the life cycle of the proletariat"  is ' no lights, no actors, just real life and the film is compromised of 100% stock. i have never written a script in my life and i gave up on writing synopsis in 1995. so it seems fitting we should having a q&a. when i managed a cable cast studio in the early to mid nineties, no budget - low fi films were what i loved t seek out and broadcast with out the approval of the conservative board. but being a punk i did it anyway all the time and became known locally for being the guy that would help market your avante, underground, bizarre, or unusual film. 

What can we expect from your next film?
I am currently collaborating with Steve Kusaba to create a film about the evil ways of the ruling class that will feature commentaries interjected with music video i have produced in coordination with Steve based on his 48 hour rock opera "centrifugal Satz Clock" and i am simultaneously producing several shorts and gearing up to begin converting some vhs to create the third instalment of my film series 'memoirs in vhs'