7 Years of Spinning Goat #5: 2 Minute #Films – an exercise in editing short pieces and the beauty of musical collaborations #videoart #music

Hello everyone and Happy Labor Day!

This next set of films were all produced for the Carnegie Museum of Art’s “2 Minute Film Festival” which began in 2013 in Pittsburgh. My first entry was in 2014, and I screened that year and in 2015 and 2016. I was even featured in the media write-up about the 2015 festival! https://archive.triblive.com/aande/movies-tv/2-minute-film-festival-at-carnegie-museum-of-art-covers-all-genres/

The first entry in 2014, Outer Earth is one of many collaborations I have done with Pittsburgh musician Tom Moran. His song Tourmaline was released on the CD Oud Music for Snake Handlers, and it fit the concept I was going for from the festival’s theme of “outer space.” I wanted to depict every day nature on earth as if it was from outer space – or something like that. 😉

The second film screened in 2015 is Chaotic Chromatic, which was a very challenging work to complete. The theme that year was “The Silver Screen,” and I immediately thought of early filmmaking artists and the use of actual silver screens to project moving images. I am a fan of early film artists like Alice Guy-Blaché, the Lumière Brothers, and Georges Méliès, and I labored over several weeks to find archival films – starting with 20 minutes of clips – and painstakingly edited them down into a 2-minute film.

What aided the final editing process was finding Suavity Mouthpiece‘s song “MixedMedia,” released in 2014, which had a variety of aural elements that matched the video collage technique I was using in the film. It was also sort of frenetic, which was required I thought. 🙂 A special thanks to J. Trafford of SM for allowing this successful collaboration to happen.

The final entry I screened at my last 2 Minute Film Festival before moving out of Pittsburgh is States Past. In 2016, the films were screened at one of my favorite cinemas in Pittsburgh: Rowhouse Cinema in Lawrenceville. I don’t remember if there was a theme that year, but I had been becoming slightly obsessed with amateur home videos from 1940s-1960s that I would find on the Internet Archive and decided to find a home video clip from all 50 states in the United States to create the 2-minute video.

After successful collaborations with Tom Moran and J. Trafford separately, I asked if they would both collaborate to write a new soundtrack specifically for the film, which they managed to do remotely! And wow, what a beautiful piece of music!

In the end, I have clips from 34 states – all featured in just 2 minutes! I still get tired thinking of all the hard work I put into this one. 😀

Thanks for your support,

Chris Mason, founder and director of Spinning Goat Productions