20th annual Dallas Video Festival - congratulations!

From: Bryan Konefsky (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Aug 06 2007 - 10:31:13 PDT

For the Dallas Video Festival on the occasion of their
20th anniversary.

As I sit here, editing a new project, I can see the
foothills of the Sandia Mountains from my window. The
foothills are located one mile south of my home in
Albuquerque on the Kirtland Air Force Base. Carved into
these mountains are bunkers that house the largest
stockpile of nuclear warheads in the world.

A VHS tape sits on my desk titled “The Atomic Filmmakers.”
 This 1997 documentary chronicles the design and
production of special cinematic equipment made
specifically to record atomic blasts.

I’m thinking about the equipment I use (cameras/computers)
and their relationship to the long and complicated history
of military invention. I wonder how I have come to expect
creative results from equipment that is so embedded in
these complex and problematic histories.

How is it possible for me to find my own cinematic voice
amongst the historic cacophony of this technological
tyranny? I think about the bankrupt sense of entitlement
suggested by “record” and “stop” buttons and imagine the
kind of movies that might be made with equipment whose
buttons simply said “please” and “thank you.”

And I’m thinking about Lisa Gill who, in her book
“French,” wrote about making a movie that sidestepped the
“black and whiteness” of our digital filmmaking world -
the ones and zeroes of digital code that leave no room for
anything in between.

In Lisa’s book she wrote about a dream in which she made a
movie with Orson Wells. In the dream there were no
cameras so, instead of recording to tape, Lisa simply
carved the movie into her forearm. Who needs a camera
when you have a sharp box cutter?

To Bart and Laura, and everyone else who continues to make
the Dallas Video Festival possible - Thanks for 20 years
of inspiration, and for showing us all how to carve our
own ways through the history(s) of motion pictures.

Bryan Konefsky
Artistic Director, Experiments in Cinema
Vice President, Basement Films
Lecturer, Department of Cinematic Arts, University of New

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