7 years of Spinning Goat #3 – Spelling Bee-r!!

This was a fun project to work on!!! It was my first documentary project I completed in my first class in documentary video production at Pittsburgh Filmmakers in 2012. I was pretty happy with how it turned out, but it showed me that I had a lot to learn. I lost a whole night of great footage due to sound issues and it was more challenging than I expected to be “smooth” while operating a camera. But I learned a lot about storytelling, interviewing, and how to “be in the moment” when you are documenting footage.

This short documentary features Dave and Kumar, who hosted a weekly spelling bee at the Lava Lounge, a bar located in South Side, Pittsburgh. It was a novel concept and drew in the college crowds as well as really good spellers and Lava regulars. It was a challenge to figure out how to film in a low-lit place, but digital video cameras have an advantage over DSLRs in that respect.

Enjoy this blast from the past, and I hope it doesn’t conjure up any memories of junior high school or anything lol ~ Chris


7 Years of Spinning Goat #2: reverse/volverse

To follow up on my previous post, I am having some fun going through past digital videos I’ve made over the last 7 years.

I started part-time filmmaking classes at Pittsburgh Filmmakers in 2012, and in addition to documentaries I discovered my love of creating experimental videos. In addition to digitally manipulating images I’ve filmed myself, I have also created a number of videos where I digitally manipulate archive videos.

My favorite site to look for material is the Internet Archive. I can spend hours watching documentaries, government films, old commercials and amateur home movies. Check out their site and support them and their mission to provide Universal Access to All Knowledge. Right on!

This is a short video I made in 2014 called “reverse/volverse” using an archive film I found on the Internet Archive. I wanted to make a point about the “March of Progress,” but also just tried to match the imagery to the awesome dark techno piece by Bolivian DJ Kusillo.

7 years of Spinning Goat: a retrospective

Hello everyone!

It’s been a while since I posted on my blog. Pandemic and all…ya know…

I have been feeling a bit more inspired to work on films again soon. I even signed up for an Avant-Garde and Experimental Filmmaking course at Austin School of Film this fall.

As I move into a new chapter in my life – in Austin, after school, pre-career shift – I’ve been thinking about the work I’ve done in film, and thought it’d be a nice to review some of the works I’ve put out into the world since 2014 as “Spinning Goat.”

Speaking of which, I came up with that name since I’m a Capricorn (GOAT!) and when I danced a lot more, I spun a lot. Like a lot, lol. And somehow no one was using that combination and so Spinning Goat was born.

The first film I’m posting is my first experimental film called Licht Ex, which was also in my first official screening as a new filmmaker at the Harris Theater in downtown Pittsburgh in April 2014. For the soundtrack, I used portions of two songs by Lab Report, who graciously gave me permission to use their music. Yes!
I am proud of this work and how my imagination was being stimulated by images and sound. I got into filmmaking primarily to learn documentary filmmaking, but I was really intrigued by what I could do with experimental video works. It’s one of my favorite pieces I’ve worked on. ~ Chris