Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Luddite's Lament

Before I begin a film project, I usually see the images first in my head and then go to work to figure out how to execute them and many times that includes developing a story to go along with the images (if a direct story is needed).
For KICK, I had visualized a woman running through the woods, the images were so saturated in my mind that I had to look behind them and see what I could develop to define them. At the same time I was going through some interesting feelings about my video camera. Years ago I bought my first three chip video camera. It was a very, very expensive purchase for me at the time and probably my first "adult" purchase. When I was finally able to buy it, the feelings I had for it were greater than proud ownership. The pride I had for it was more precious. I wanted to protect it and keep it close. I was in my early twenties and as with some artists and professionals at that age, I was not interested in having children. I felt no instincts and was unsure as to if I ever would want to have kids. But I knew women my age were starting families. My passions lay with my potential as an artist and instead of a baby I had a brand new camera (which was basically the size of a newborn). I remember those conflicted feelings and I wondered if I had refocused my maternal sentiments into art work and cinema. I wanted to touch on these ideas someday in my work and then they showed up in KICK.
I have always approached things through an emotivity. Even as I go through a myriad of technical steps, I know I rely on my instincts and emotions. I came from a performance background before my interest began with cinema. When you are in theater or singing there is nothing separating you from the audience. When I got into film I was aware of the distance and objects between myself and the viewer. When making a video, even the most basic project, there are various instruments of production and post production that are used. So it's not just me and my body; there are machines, wires and computers that separate me from the viewer. I have always thought of creativity as being organic and if I think I am creating with a machine I feel disconnected and less in control. But control is the important part. Initially I believe that a part of myself firstly sees the the complexities of the machines I am using and not an inanimate tool that I can control. I subtely remind myself that the camera is in my hands and soon the camera integrates into the organic process that is natural to me.

photo by Larissa Zageris

Monday, December 21, 2009


I thought of the idea for KICK a few years ago.

I had a vision of a woman dreaming about another woman running through the woods. The woman in the woods was pregnant with a machine. The women could "sense" each other and share physical symptoms.
Over time I pieced together a story to go with the images. The story concerns two luddites, Joselyn and Josephine. Josephine is the woman running through the woods and Joselyn has a recurring dream about her. Without having ever met, both women go to see the same psychiatrist. Joselyn and Josephine have a fear of computers and machines and they seek treatment to address anxieties with technology. Through therapy, the psychiatrist, Dr. Griffin, finds that both women are particularly maternal. In an attempt to help the women adapt to a world that depends on appliances and gadgets, Dr. Griffin secretly impregnates them with a baby that is part machine. Many other things happen but that is the central thread-

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009


For the better part of this year I have been working on a narrative short. The piece is called KICK and deals with two women who are terrified of contemporary technology. The title references a pregnancy in the story as well as an allusion to the creative spark or "kick". This was the first narrative film I've made in a long time. I've been involved with experimental work for the last few years and going back into a narrative framework felt welcome. What I have known and am learning about myself is that Surrealism (which can mean so many things...), may be the truest place for me. I only need the basic frame of a story, solid character and practically everything else can be pulled with, played with, turned over and examined. With KICK I like to refer to it as Science-Fiction Melodrama. The women follow a story throughout but their the universe is enchanted and undefined. I will be discussing KICK for the next few posts.
We finished shooting the film this past week and here is a preview.

Kick Preview from Clara Alcott on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"Is this cinema? Am I right to go on trying?"

Hello. This blog goes along with the website I am currently building. It is my hope to use this as an informal place to share and catalog creative elements that affect me. I am in different stages on a few different projects and I would also like to chart my progress here. There are many interests, passions, delightful distractions, ambitions, dreams, loves--but my attentions will almost always come back to cinema. The overwrought quote is from JLG, 1968.

Special thanks to JoeHahn and Andrea Park.