Saturday, May 29, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Pictured above are stills from the in-progress set for 4PLAY: TAMPA, designed and constructed by Heyd Fontenot. Intrepid and versatile producer Jason Wehling, also multi-hyphenated, picture above working as a construction assistant! Below is the second installment of my interview w/ Heyd concerning sex and its filmic representation. In the first installment, I asked Heyd how he thought 4PLAY: TAMPA differs from both "mainstream" cinema and pornography's representation of the "act". For me, bathroom sex (aka known as "tea rooms" in the queer community) has been going on since the dawn of time, especially in repressive communities where queers have to find furtive, anonymous places to act out their desire. I wonder if the repression were eliminated, if queers were integrated fully into the body politic, would tea rooms still exist? - Kyle
4) You've worked for many years now on films in various art department positions, what advice would you give to anyone interested in a career doing that kind of work? Any tips on how to creatively around budgetary limitations on low budget films?
Filmmaking exists on so many different scales. Everyone has budgetary limits, even James Cameron. Of course, having the proper funding makes things so much easier to produce. But if you have a challenging budget, you really have to communicate with your production team. You have to answer as honestly as you can, what can you achieve within your given budget? And eventually, it does have to add up. You have to deliver. Suggest alternative ways of doing something, if you don't have the budget to spend freely. I think these negotiations can save you a lot of heartache and wasted resources. It's difficult sometimes, because you're put in a position to either pull something out of your ass or to say "No, you can't have that." And if you're a designer, that's really a difficult thing to tell a director - and they generally don't want to hear it. You're supposed to perform miracles - that's your job. But I think a really important part of your job too, is to reflect the reality of accomplishing a request. Generally, you're in store for a lot of stress and hand-wringing and trying to figure it out.Consider your assets. If they are insufficient, ask yourself "What can I trade, what can I borrow, what can I get for free?" The idea of creativity and what it means to "be creative" is sometimes confused with drawing skills or singing ability. Creativity is problem-solving and navigating around obstacles.
5) Any question you'd like to answer that I haven't asked?
I wear a size 11, and I need arch-support.
Friday, May 14, 2010
When trying to decide who could possibly get the right tone of our gang-bang Florida mall bathroom set for TAMPA, Heyd Fontenot (filmmaker, painter, artist, performer, provocateur, et al) was the one and only choice to do the job. Check out the video of his studio walkthrough (I love his laugh!) and will post photos of his amazing set with the next interview installment. - Kyle
1) How did you first become involved with FOURPLAY? (e.g. your experience acting in AUSTIN)
The director, Kyle Henry approached me about a couple of other projects before this one. I was excited to work with Kyle, because he's so smart and I feel like we may share an enthusiasm about particular things, or at least we have some common reactions to art and social politics. Kyle had referenced Ken Russell's film, The Boyfriend, when we were discussing an earlier project - and that's one of my favorite films and directors. When this project came closer to production, and my schedule coincided with the production's - I took it an an sign that Jesus wanted me to work with Kyle.
2) What personal connection, if you any, do you have with the FOURPLAY shorts?
In my own work as a filmmaker and artist, I wrestle with similar subjects of sexuality. I was raised Catholic, in a somewhat sexually-repressed environment, but a VERY sexually-repressed environment if you happen to be gay, which I was/am. I feel a personal responsibility as an artist to work on projects that promote an enlightened and progressive view of sexuality. The chances that Carlos takes with his script are daring, and I appreciate that. I get really pissed off about "movies" that don't try very hard to be original or honest or to elevate the art form. And this film is making an attempt to break some boundaries.
3) You're a respected artist who has worked in many media, what thoughts do you have about the typical representations we see of human sexuality and sexual expression? Anything you'd like to see more of?
I think we've got a lot of main-stream porn and advertising (and that's really and truly interchangable - porn and advertising) that dictate standards of beauty to the public. So much so that many people don't even try to develop their own tastes, they just adopt notions of "what is attractive." Personally, I like the idea of individuals who are less "processed", more natural. Less airbrush. More personality. Maybe I'm missing the entire point of porn, BUT I think it's become this product that could have developed in so many other ways. I'm not satisfied to just let "the Man" control the entirety of Erotica. I'm still hoping for a revolution.
So, I'd like to see much more variation in body types and erotic acts. That's something fantastic about Xtube - of course porn producers have their product on, but there's this huge contingent of home-made porn. And it's fascinating, though not always stimulating, to get a glimpse of what people are into. And as long as no one is being hurt, then I say - "Let that freak flag fly!"
Friday, May 7, 2010
Pre-production is underway on 4PLAY: TAMPA, thanks to generous donations to our Kickstarter drive. I can't recommend Kickstarter enough, especially if you have only a relatively low amount of money (under $5K) you need for a specific project and broad enough base of supporters to aggregate with the drive. Also, if you're working with a community of artists, as we are on 4PLAY, having the whole community involved with the drive certainly helps too! Thanks to screenwriter Carlos Treviño, producer Jason Wehling, and cinematographer PJ Raval's extended family of friends, as well as generous donations on the part of artists Ivan Lozano and Heyd Fontenot, who also designed the 4PLAY: TAMPA set, we made our goal and are busily building the set as I type this entry! - Kyle
PS - And thank you Rebecca Havemeyer, wherever you are!
PS - And thank you Rebecca Havemeyer, wherever you are!