Every once in a while, the forces of good gather together to regale us with all that is possible when creators gather together. Tonight is one of those times. Head on over to Industry Lab, a gallery and artist working center, in Inman Square for a glorious evening of comedy, film, and music. Hosted by our friends and regular collaborators Union Square Round Table / The Tardy Eagle as well as Park Slug Booking, Industry Lab Night promises to be a raucous and celebratory event.
288 Norfolk Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
5/10 – 8:30PM
$5 – 10
THE EVENT FEATURES:
Will Brierly, creator of Soda Drinker Pro and My Girl the Game
Nick Ortolani, comedian
Luxardo, songs written by Guerilla Toss member Simon Hanes
Film Premiere of “Fecund Blessings”
by A.V. Carraway with live performance of the original soundtrack by Ladybird/Johnson
I was fortunate to get an interview with Ashleigh Carraway about her work with film and this premiere. Here’s what she told me:
BH: What is FECUND BLESSINGS? What is PLANCHETTE?
AC: FECUND BLESSINGS, is a short, silent movie presented with an original musical score by LADYBIRD/JOHNSON performed live. It’s the story of a young couple whose love is so perfect, it attracts the attention of a pair of wood nymphs. Inspired by a line from Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons, it’s a play on a mechanic in Greco-Roman mythology wherein deities bestow supernatural gifts upon mortals. The traditions of ancient mythology are not as action/consequence/justice oriented as our modern story traditions. Things happen, “because shit.” It’s a fun format to play with. And it was fun to put plush maggot shoulder pads on Chris Braiotta.
The movie stars Hayley Thompson-King (Banditas, Hard to Kill Records), Mac Carroll (Big Digits, Planet of Adventure), Chris Braiotta (Planet of Adventure, Tardy Eagle), Candace Clement (Bunny’s A Swine, TinyRadars), Molly Maltezos, and Katie McCarthy (Tardy Eagle).
Based in Providence, Rhode Island, PLANCHETTE is a collective of artists and musicians. Our goal is to foster and promote women in filmmaking, from writing and directing, to acting and music composition/performance. Originally myself, artists Joan Wyand and J.M. Karlinsky, and my long-time collaborator Luke Boggia, we are ever expanding our group of participants. It was especially great to work with Boston musician Hayley Thompson-King, who co-produced FECUND BLESSINGS and co-wrote the score with Chris Braiotta and Mac Carroll. I am often asked, “why are there so many men in your collective?” Because feminism is for everyone, bro.
It’s early days yet for us. We have two films under our belt and a third in pre-production. Someday, we hope to organize a youth workshop for girls interested in DIY filmmaking.
BH: What drives you to make movies?
AC: I can’t imagine being satisfied with only consuming things. Books, movies, music, ideas. I want to contribute. Maybe my contributions aren’t wanted or needed, but I am compelled to make them. I think the artists I work with feel the same way, and that is why they let me cover them with goo and dirt and sit sweating under shop lights for hours while I make a time-lapse exposure.
BH: What do you think Boston has already and/or desperately needs to create a culture of creativity?
AC: I think a culture of creativity is already very much alive in Boston. I don’t live there, but some of my favorite collaborators do. I’ve found the community in Boston to be largely receptive to alternative approaches to art-making. And I’ve presented them with some freaky shit. Obviously, more art-centric venues would be welcome. Rock clubs are great, and some of the only places willing to take risks, but hanging a sheet to project your video onto gets old. It’d be nice for the community to have more access to facilities.
BH: What advice would you give young filmmakers who don’t know where/how to start making work?
AC: Don’t let your lack of money stop you. We certainly don’t have any money and it has never stopped us. If you have a job, and can put away $100 per month, in eight months, you’ll have enough for everything you need. I shoot with a consumer-grade DSLR and shop lights from the hardware store. Most cities have community resources for editing and processing video. Unless you have access to pro equipment, don’t try to make a feature-length film starring Cinematography as the main character. Start with something small that will thrive within your limitations.
Find a community. Film is an obligate collaborator. I know how to shoot and I know how to edit. I have no idea how to make particle animations, but I know someone who does. I have no idea how to make giant cupcake costumes, but I know someone who does.
When people generously offer you negative, unconstructive criticism, thank them. Say, “I appreciate your thoughtful consideration of my piece!” Then, never think about them or what they said again. But if someone offers you criticism that is genuinely thoughtful, but suggests that your work might be improved, don’t get discouraged. Listen. Put it away in your brain-house. Take it out in a few weeks and look at it. Maybe it is just a pile of word-trash, after all. But maybe it’s a little nugget of truth that will inspire your next project.
And most importantly, have fun! I make scrappy, junky, dirt movies with cheap equipment and excellent friends and I always have a great time.
BH: What projects are you thinking about next?
AC: We enjoyed working with the cast of FECUND BLESSINGS so much that we are planning to produce another film with them this summer. This time, it’ll be a talkie! Loosely based on The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson, it’s the story of a paranormal investigator who embarks on a sexual relationship with the haunted house he has been tasked to research. Prepare for some of the hottest man-on-wainscoting love scenes in cinema history!