When my friends in Echo Courts released a new album, I offered to make a video for the single. I captured them playing the song in the studio and intercut it with footage of our friends looking through a hole in a tree. The concept was silly and the video was not as clean as it could be, yet I look back on this fondly.
I don't think I'll ever make a perfect video, whatever that means. But I can identify my weaknesses and make my worst work still pretty good work. After making this project, I thought a lot about my creative process and what I can do to make more quality work. That's what projects like this are all about. Plus, it was a lot of fun to make.
I set up a green screen in my apartment with all the intention of creating one of those vlogs, like a real Youtuber. I have to admit, as much as I wanted to be Casey Neistat, I just don't have as much going on in my life. I want to tell stories on the screen but I don't want to come off as a babbling jock with nothing to say. So as I sat down to write, I thought, "let's start with that."
I'm a huge fan of "The Charlie Rose Show." I love the infinity-black background, I love the intimate interview style, the table — everything. And what better way of dragging my Youtubing-anxiety out into the open and crushing it than by interviewing my anxiety Charlie Rose-style?
I know it sounds delusional, and I definitely felt like a psychopath as I recorded myself monologuing one direction, stopping to put on a suit, and doing it the other way. But I tried to have fun with it. I tried to tell a story and I tried to belittle my anxiety to the point that I could just be myself and not full of Youtuber self-doubt.
Created during my undergraduate studies at UNCG, Donut Selfie sits somewhere between arthouse and drama. As my first real video project, Donut Selfie is both a testament to the playful power of collaboration and a personal milestone.
As I added characters and built a crew, the final script ended up being entirely different than my original treatment. Collaborators brought with them a sense of willingness and excitement that make Donut Selfie a joy to watch. I hope you agree.
A collaboration between members of Elsewhere Art Museum, "Alive in the Kitchen" is a web series created for ACRE TV's Psychedelicatessen Special.
I contributed to the series in various capacities: as a writer, actor, gaffer and lighting director. You can find more episodes at the Alive in the Kitchen website.