Thursday, April 16, 2015

Running and running and running and grading and reading and writing and running and teaching and more running and then The New Artists' Festival!

Last week, our student group, the Time Arts Vanguard, which I helped start this semester, got to present 3 new works as part of NAF. This event, presented by UNL's Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film student group, Theatrix was a collaboration of all the fine and performing arts, including students from dance, theatre, film, music, art, and architecture. Theatrix is basically a professional theatre run by students. They did a great job putting this production together and the Time Arts Vanguard was proud to be a part of it!

Here is the piece I created with dancers Dorsey Kaufmann and Phalin Strong and composer, Rachel Whelan. Go team!



And Cycles | New Artist's Festival 2015 | University of Nebraska-Lincoln from Lexi Bass on Vimeo.

And then, only seconds after posting this video... my hard drive slipped out of my hands and came apart. The files could not be recovered... and you know I didn't back it up because I "NEVER drop hard drives." Until now. :(

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Two Dreams

My love affair with craft beer might be coming to an end. Such a seemingly small amount gives me such a bad night. Two hours of hard sleeping followed by insomnia, weird pains, hypochondriac dreams and a pounding heart which is so intense it vibrates and rattles the springs in the mattress. All this for a few hours of "oak in the nose but finishes with nutty sweetness and cherry notes..." If I can't learn what moderation means for a person of my size and constitution, no matter what it looks like to other people, I will end up swearing off one of my passions forever. This is hard to reconcile.

However, the struggle produced two short dreams. In the first I was in a light place. The walls were a calming neutral with white floors and tall windows. If it was a hospital I didn't know at first. Strange humanoids were milling about, but they were not made of skin and bones, Instead they were loosely formed molecules of light that sort of fit into a human-shaped mold with legs and arms and a head. But the lights that composed these beings were constantly circulating with plenty of open space between them, such that they were somewhat transparent. I could see slightly more opaque glowing objects inside their bodies. They seemed to be organs, which were gloriously white.

These people passed through the light room as I watched, making so little noise, so ethereal. I could hear the gentle hum of chatting voices but their footsteps were soft and silent. One was in a rush and I watched it run through a doorway and into the adjacent hall. It ran almost in an energetic slow motion, again, feet barely touching the ground. I peered in at its gloriously white organs. However, something red caught my eye as she ran past. It was an organ in the middle right right of the torso. I suddenly feared for her. She was in such a hurry, she didn't seem to know something was wrong with her, but I was sluggish and she was gone before I could get up. I instantly awoke to a pain in my right side.

Somehow I went back to sleep in spite of the pain, but I awoke only 20 minutes later to this dream: I was still there in the bed, in my room and felt oddly disturbed. I got up, put a sweater on and left my room. I walked down the hallway, turning the corner down the stairs and as I reached the bottom, I thought to open the front door. At first I didn't and headed for the kitchen. I think I was looking for a mouse again, but something made me turn around and go back to the door. The next image was so realistic I can barely tell it apart from reality. As I opened the door, from my left a black cat tramped off the porch and down the front stairs. I had no idea it was there, but it gave me the sense that it was lurking to the left side of the front door and I'd caught it. When I awoke I suddenly had the impression that this cat was probably Death.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Thoughts on Cinema

As an artist, I'm supposed to have an Artist's Statement that explains, thematically or conceptually, what my work is about. When I then add that I'm a filmmaker, I'm expected to pitch film plots instead of concepts and theme. There's no one answer I can give that meets both expectations, so instead I'll explain my life philosophy, which is woven from an ongoing plot of recurrent and emergent conceptual themes.

Everything is in a constant state of transformation. You are not exactly the same person you were last year, last month or even last week. However, some tenuous webbing shape has taken you from point A to this room and will deliver you onward to other places. We are both constantly transforming into something else that is informed by the repetitions of the past as well as the chance meetings of the future. The labeling and identification of one individual as something specific to that individual is to name its essence. Like a nostalgic perfume, the essence resists capture and tangible classification. Sometimes it vanishes almost instantly, yet undeniably marks its identity on your memory as it transforms into something else. Both human joy and human suffering do the same thing.

For me, this nailing down of the essence, the personality, or the mood of an individual person, place, memory or dream comprises the poetics of cinema. Tarkovsky called it Sculpting in Time. Herzog called it Ecstatic Truth and when I'm older, I'll have a name for it too. As a practitioner of artistic time, I consider myself very lucky - because no matter how I spent it yesterday, tomorrow I'll wake up with a fresh supply of time.

Monday, June 16, 2014

"We Speak, Here" Film Fest Features "The Adytum"

Thank you again to everyone who helped me make my first feature film, The Adytum, especially Joey Crane and Megh Zahrndt.

Finally, The Adytum is part of an international festival. Beginning June 16, The Adytum will be featured in the We Speak, Here Festival presented by cultureunplugged.com.  Please view it, listen to Joey's amazing score with your headphones on, and leave comments. Your participation can help me to win a small award to help offset the costs of my current project and upcoming film, WAXING.

You can view the film ath the following address:

http://www.cultureunplugged.com/storyteller/lexibass#/myFilms


Thanks again to everyone who has helped me and will help me spread the love and continue making intellectually provocative and artistically unique films like The Adytum. I couldn't do it without the love, support and talent of my friends, family and Internet community of the world.



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

WAXING | Official Trailer

Without further adieu. The first public sights and sounds of my upcoming film, Waxing.



WAXING | Official Trailer from Lexi Bass on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Continued progress on WAXING, a new film


Working with my good friend Josh has yielded many pleasant artistic results throughout my creative endeavors in Nebraska. For not only is Josh an expert image-maker, technically adept, and well-organized, he's also well connected in Lincoln, and knows a lot of interesting locations. 


During a trip to DeSoto Wildlife Reserve we made several creative captures. We went with the purpose of photographing and/or filming the bald eagles, but a melting frozen lake also caught my eye and is now part of my upcoming film project, Waxing.


Rachel continues her chilly trek across Nebraska's windblown prairies carrying a mysterious box.


Time billows forth with the changing of the moon.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Nebraska!

This weekend I made a great discovery! 

I have friends!


Real Friends. The kind that get up before 7:00am on a Sunday to brave the sub-arctic temperatures and polar winds with you. These are things we have in Nebraska. But we also have talent! Although some of the equipment stopped working in the extreme cold weather, we made the most of it. A little audio overdub never hurt anyone, right?


We got good footage too! Then we drank coffee and cracked jokes at Village Inn. It was a pretty fun morning all things considered. I will remember it that way at least.




On a related note, these images are from one of two new films I'm working on. CALLISTO, so far features the music of Chemo Castronovo, and features composer, Rachel Whelan and Graphic Design Professor and Artist, Stacy Asher. Behind the scenes, Josh Fiedler, helped with sound and provided a second set of Photographer's eyes, while Dimitri Titov helped with the odds and ends that may go overlooked by some but which are pivotal to the making of something that requires so many people and so much detail.