photo by ivette spradlin
Spinning Goat Productions: an independent filmmaking entity founded in 2013
Founder & Director: Chris Mason
Chris Mason is an independent female filmmaker who launched Spinning Goat Productions (SGP) to produce documentary and experimental visual works. SGP is not a separate business (yet), but a production moniker. In addition to films, I am interested in collaborating on multi-media productions that incorporate music, dance, poetry, theater, and other modes of creative expression.
Chris attended Pittsburgh Filmmakers from 2012-2014, focusing on documentary video production. Prior to that she obtained her A.S. in General Studies with a concentration in Anthropology from CCAC. Despite lack of financial and family resources, Chris is self-taught in many subjects, attends relevant trainings and conferences, takes classes related to her filmmaking and interests, and is an excellent researcher through practice. Chris’s ability to make connections and to explore the spaces around and in between different subjects makes her a good researcher, storyteller and artist.
In 2018, Chris was accepted to Temple University’s Visual Anthropology program, and graduated with a BA in May 2020. She plans to combine the knowledge she gained with her previous training and experience to work on film and multi-media works that explore identity, representation, memory, and is dedicated to fighting racism and fascism.
Chris’s background is in cultural anthropology, history, and social justice, focusing on worldwide cultures and diaspora populations, and the role of media and artistic expression. Chris has a desire to produce ethnographic and culturally relevant films, that (re)discover music, traditions and other cultural practices that were mis- or under-represented in the past, or currently are in danger of being lost to future generations.
Chris uses creative and artistic production techniques to bring a story alive and to appeal to a variety of audiences. Chris accomplishes this using music, spoken word, experimental visuals, and innovative approaches to storytelling, along with more traditional documentary elements to anchor the film.
Chris emphasizes sharing people’s stories in their own words, and allowing their words and their perspectives, shaped by their life journeys, to inspire the crafting of the film into a living history. Chris also uses her extensive training in cultural competence and ethnic studies to approach each film participant – and subject matter – with appropriate care, respect and context.
Many of Chris’s films are a meditation and reflection on what is means to be human. History is really made up of many stories and perspectives. However, many stories and perspectives have been, or remain, hidden, and they may shine a light on inequities and other struggles faced by certain members of a society. But Chris’s hope is that uncovering these stories will inspire respectful understanding and lead to creative solutions for a better, more equitable future.
Chris, a former musician, has a keen interest in using and studying music as an expression of individuals within cultures in response to, and as a product of, their environments and daily lives. How music is used to express both joy and sorrow, transmit information about daily life, and, sometimes, as a form of resistance and empowerment. Figuratively, music and other arts are closest to the “soul” of a culture, and serve a practical purpose. Music has been, and can be used, to heal divisions between groups separated by economics, racism, and misunderstanding. Chris’s ultimate goal with each film is for viewers to learn at least one new thing they didn’t know and to see something in a different light. This helps to promote a deeper understanding of ourselves and our role in our societies – and, eventually, in history.
Music, specifically, has always been shared and has traveled from region to region and people to people since early human times, and many early communities were built by sharing music, food and other important things in life – not by work and toil alone. And while music makers have had a variety of motivations for making music, the common themes tend to be a desire to express one’s self/culture, have a creative outlet to release emotion, to make sounds that can evoke certain responses in others, and tap into that often-mysterious source of musical inspiration. Music promotes connections: to ideas, emotions, other people, and our inner selves.
See past screenings page for public screenings at festivals and special presentations
Learn more about Chris Mason/SGP and view full filmography: www.spinninggoat.net
Check out this awesome feature on Chris Mason in 1839mag: http://1839mag.com/profiles/a-look-at-chris-mason/
And in Preppy Trendy Mag, based in NYC: http://preppytrendymag.com/interview-2/