Tag Archives: art

Derek Griffith’s Little Plastic Disk: A Filmmaker on His Film

17 Sep

We’ve shown you two scenes from Derek Griffith’s D*I*Y. Here are his words about what went on behind those clips and the rest of the film as it was being made. D*I*Y wasn’t exactly DIY. Here’s Derek’s explanation.


Zoom in: we reveal a high school senior holding a boom-mic above his head. Pan left: a Pima Student dims a 2,000 watt light. Tilt Down: High-top Chucks are strapped tightly to the feet of a Theater Arts student. Dolly Out: A 13-year-old actress stands next to him. Pull Focus: A 60-year-old grandfather claps the slate. More exposure on the audio guy! Bring down the levels on the 8-year-old kid sister. Elementary. Middle School. High School. College. Amateur. Professional. Retired. So what’s missing on this movie set? Answer: DIY.

There is no such thing as DIY (the acronym for “Do It Yourself”) when it comes to success in filmmaking, and the Summer of 2009 was testament to that. A quick glance around the room reveals a movie being shot about the story of a kid who goes about life doing it all alone–but that’s only through the eye of the lens. Behind that lens, however, is a High Definition camera, and behind that camera is something bigger than the movie itself: relationships. We come into focus on our HD monitor and we see many walks of life coming together with the goal of producing a 90 minute film called D*I*Y . But was that really the goal?

On the exterior, yes . In April we set forth with the concept of plowing through a no budget feature film with the idea of possibly creating something ingenious, new, and ripe. A sweet 4-3/4 inch plastic and aluminum DVD to be available on Amazon.com!

On the interior (and in retrospect) no , a shiny disc containing a simple coming-of-age teen drama was not the finite goal. A DVD is actually a tangible representation of relationships being built while on-set, while off-set, and while on the inside-out of an upside down set. If we fade into a bloody crime scene, we must fade out with a happy resolution, right? Well, that’s yet to be determined, but the set on D*I*Y was definitely that of a bloody crime scene at times.

With the chaos that ensues when your audio engineer fills the role of a lifeguard by night, balance easily falls out of whack during the course of three months. Maybe that’s what is so cool about it all. Similar to the landscaper who could double as a producer, the lifeguard could sew. Literally. He came to the rescue repeatedly, just like the piano master did when he stayed behind to wrap audio cables. People came together with swarms of talent. That’s what each and every day was like while filming this little indie flick.

When examining relationships closer, one can spot gems in a crowd. Unique gems. Like the barista who had a knack for maintaining positive moral. Or the Taekwondo teacher who whip-kicked the uninspired. Or the lab technician who could skate backward. Well, she never skated backward on the set of D*I*Y, but she definitely did a whole lot of bending over backward to keep the crew fed. The relationships built blatantly put it all into focus: that DIY is simply an excuse for failure. Do it yourself? Really?

It couldn’t be any clearer that the people and the relationships that made D*I*Y a success. A deleted scene from the movie probably summarizes it best when a crowd of teenage punks chants in unison: “Do it together! Do it together! Do it together!”

Maybe the scene was deleted because the crowd was too robotic, but the bubblegum chewer and the kid who walked through glass and the mannequin thief and the water fight kids and the lurking shadow-walkers and even the annoying little know-it-all brought to life the essence of the little plastic disc.


Dove&Snake Video: Tucson Grid Project 2.0

1 Jun

Here’s a look at the Tucson Grid Project 2.0 photography show from April. In this video, we hear from John Weatherford (the man with the TGP plan), Nate Edwards (who photographed Weariness), and the duo of Jenn Spohn and Sara Babler (who sought out images of Zest). Check out the photos and the buzz of people enjoying the photos at the show.

15 Minutes: A Day in the Life of a Design Student

22 May

On Wednesday, April 29, Alisa Wilhelm took a photograph every fifteen minutes during the entirety of her marathon day of design classes at the University of Arizona. Here’s her photojournal:

I am usually rushed in the mornings. Class starts at 8:00 and I wake up at 7:15 (it takes exactly seven minutes to walk to the art building at UofA from my house). On this day my first class started an hour later than it normally does, so I had time to relax, make art and drink tea. It was splendid but went downhill from there.

In the morning I was shooting photos effortlessly, and they are the type that I always want to take but am never quite sure how. However, around 11:00am, I lost that touch. In the evening I tried to think back over the day and figure out what went wrong, and I think that other people’s demands on my time is what did it. Other people taking my time is really unavoidable, I suppose, unless I become a hermit, but you can tell that I’m an introvert by how drained I become by the end of the day.

– Alisa






































































Tucson Grid Project 2.0: Interview with John Weatherford

21 Apr

Tucson Grid Project 2.0 is this Friday night. We caught up with John Weatherford, the mind where TGP originated, to find out what we can expect to see on the walls at 7:00 pm at 785 S. Columbus.n63901456405_7347

Dove&Snake: I know the basic idea for the TGP came from the Portland Grid Project. Where did the idea for adding in the emotions come from?

John Weatherford: Well basically, I just didn’t want the concept to get stale. In addition, I was trying to find a way for people to connect with the city more than just take a journalistic look at it. It is one thing for someone to wander the city in search of something that catches their eye and to take an “artistic” photo. It takes photography to an entirely different plane when you ask someone to look around them, to look for sorrow, and then be bold enough to photograph it. Couple that with the fact that there are almost no people participating that consider themselves photographers or artists, and we are really asking people to take a substantial risk.

D&S: Did you always plan to continue the project year to year? Did you always plan to evolve it?

JW: I guess I always assumed that it would catch on and that we would continue it. Then, after last year’s photographs and the bigger than expected turn out, it seemed like we had no choice but to keep it going. I think this is something that will be around for quite a while. We are already talking about next year and possible themes for following years. One thing we would like to see is more community involvement. I don’t want this to be a Second Mile thing. I want to see us own the event but I want to see the whole of Tucson walking the streets with cameras. I have already talked to a few parents about getting their children involved next year. I feel like there are a bunch of perspectives that are not yet being seen.

D&S: How are you planning to set up this year’s show?

JW: It will look very similar to last year. This year, however, instead of the photos being hung based on content of the actual image (i.e. graffiti, signs, traffic, landmarks) each emotion will occupy its own area of the room. So depending on the artist you may have 3 or 4 pictures that seem to be related or they may at first glance have nothing in common. This is why many people have included summaries of their photos. I am looking forward to seeing what the contributors thought of when they heard anguish or joy or passion.

D&S: Can you give us a sense of the photographers who are taking part in the show? Who are they?

JW: In a short description they are just normal people. Some are photographers, some are artists, some are mothers. We have students, teachers, bus drivers. People in their teens, twenties, thirties all the way through their sixties. We have representatives of downtown, campus, Vail, Marana, Oro Valley. It is a cross section of Tucson. We have some gaps but I feel very good about the diversity that is represented in the photographers. There are a few I haven’t even met yet. Part of the artistic ethos of Second Mile is a belief that we are all creative because we were created by the most creative being ever, and since we are created in His image we bear some of that creativity. I think you will see what I mean at the show.

D&S: You’ve been selecting photos for the show for the past week or so. What are your initial impressions of what we’ll see?

JW: I think from a quick glance the critic would say that this year’s pictures are “less artistic” than last year’s. I was careful to say critic because this experience is not about criticism–it isn’t even about art. It is about being in your city and loving your city. The thing I am loving about this year’s photos is the fact that they are incredibly well thought out, and they tell a story. What are we as a community if we cannot tell the story of our city? Last year the pictures were great, some were even incredible. This year, however, the participants were asked to do more than frame a beautiful or unique image of their surroundings. They were asked to process an emotion and convey it though a lens. That is not an easy thing to do. That being said, from what I have seen so far no one will be disappointed. There is an obvious intentionality to the photographs I have seen so far. The photographers took the emotions they were given and interpreted that through the city they live in. I would rather look at that than really well composed photographs of graffiti any day.

Dove&Snake Video: Check2Check Art Opening

9 Apr

What was that? You didn’t get to go to Keegan Rider’s Check2Check Art Opening? Why, yes, we can help you out. We went. Yes, Dove&Snake went. We even made a video. Yes, John DeSoto–the John DeSoto, uh huh–put together a video of the art show. Here it is.

Check2Check Art Opening

27 Mar

Tonight from 7-10pm, The Living Room (4th Ave & 5th St) is hosting Keegan Rider’s Check2Check Art Opening, featuring art by Josh Flood, Keegan Rider, Pat Foley, Iner, Balley Hill, K-Beth, Goner, Grader, John-Paul Olson, Ray Roy OE, S. Scuzzin, Andy Stiembrink, Token, Prime Suspect Trevor, Jesse Vasquez, Matt Wade, James Walterson and selected pieces from the Kai One Inc art collection. The show is free, but you can donate a few bucks to The Living Room at the door.

We hoped to sit down with Keegan before the show and conduct a proper, full-fledged interview about what he calls his “best project/art party yet,” but he had scheduled a road trip to “go to California and see big trees,” so we did a quick mini-interview over email this week. check2check1

DOVE&SNAKE: What’s up with the upcoming art show? That’s a big list of artists on the Facebook event page, and I saw something about spray paint. Is it a graffiti show?

KEEGAN RIDER: Yeah, it’s graffiti, street art and pop art. It’s my best project/art party yet.

D&S: What will you have in the show?

KR: I’m doing a reflexive piece on drug addiction that I have created a Jesus stencil for.

D&S: How did you choose the artists for the show?

KR: The theme of the show is street art, pop art and graffiti writing as fine art. The artists are mostly from Tucson and are between the ages of 20 to 30. Many are known for street art and graffiti writing around Arizona and the West Coast.

D&S: Is the street art scene growing in Tucson?

KR: I believe so. We hope to create street art that is more than “graffiti.” It should be art that opens minds and leads to thinking about the world we live in. Street art is created to be temporary, which means it is art in its true form. The message and process of creating the work becomes the purpose of the piece.