Filming Hiatus


It’s really nice to have so many irons in the fire - project wise, but sometimes it’s tricky to finish things when you have so much going on, especially traveling as I have been.  Often film or motion projects go on hiatus, and sometimes the muse comes in like a breeze and you pick up right where you left off. 

I guess this happens with creative people from time to time. I’ve learned it’s best not to force these things, just let them come and go as they please.

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I wanted to share a short teaser for a big film I started two Novembers ago. It hasn’t been revisited this since last year, as I have trouble trying to nail down exactly what I’m trying to express with it.

These are stills from my film.

These are stills from my film.

I like to think or ponder about things and I like to write in the way I think. If that makes any sense. I guess they call that stream of consciousness, and it's the most comfortable way that I can sit down and write about a subject. I also film in that same vein.

For years I’ve been promising myself I’d get back to sharing more films since my archives were lost in 2014 as well as some of that drive to keep pursuing films. 

I wanted to put together something that encapsulates what I do. I carve, I film, I write music.. but how to put that all into one entity has been tricky. Or perhaps I just overthink it which I do often with most things.

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I have over an hour of footage my girlfriend Nicky helped me film. One of the reasons I stopped filming my carving was I abhorred the idea of just leaving a motionless camera on a tripod to film boring lengthy shots. It was really nice to have someone run the camera so I could just focus on carving in my natural flow. 

Having help also has it’s learning curve. How do I teach someone to see with my eyes? Or teach someone to work a camera in a day which I’ve been familiar with for over twenty years? Not to mention I built my own stabilization rig that you actually wear with a chest harness and have to learn to walk correctly to get a smooth shot!

Having a helping hand and mind takes a lot of trust so I can feel confident with the film. With their eyes in the viewfinder, can they help capture something I’ve had on my mind for a long time? It’s an experiment, so we’ll see where it goes.

I think I’ve always had the issue with being a bit of a perfectionist which most people would give that a negative connotation. But I really want to express the way I see things, as well as feel things. Yes, I over complicate some ideas.. but if I spend so much time carving a kuksa, why would I make a cheap throwaway film. 

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They often say in photo, that your image is only as good as the glass you put in front of it. This is speaking about adding filters, or lenses. But I think the same applies to the way we represent our carvings. If 90% of people that get interested my carvings see it through the computer screen. I’d want the best quality representation of that, and it starts with the foundation..the camera.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future and sharing more. A kuksa carving film has been an idea since I started making these ages ago. Maybe I’ll sell the full length film. It’s not a how-to, but I’m sure most folks would pickup a vast amount of my skills and knowledge in this subject.

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It’d also serve as a snapshot in time. I watch a lot of old folk films from the past. They’re just simple and captivating. It's the way people acted around cameras before today where there are dozens, if not hundreds of cameras surrounding you everywhere you go. People just have a different way of interacting with a lens these days.

Maybe it was trust? If you had a real serious camera back then, most people could trust that you knew how to use it, would represent them well and make them look good so they don't have to pose, self prop, or imitate something they saw somewhere. A lot of folks looked shy on camera, or were really quiet, which sometimes added to the mystery and concentration of a film.

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But with the modern world and everyone having so many disposable ways of capturing what is happening in front of them. I feel we’ve lost touch with the way we view videos or films. Scroll a social media feed, and you'll see there’s so many loud advertisements, or people shooting their dinners, kids, etc. It's all so fast paced and not meant to last more than a day's cycle. We post things with expiration dates, never to stand still or look back. We've become a bit desensitized, and like instant gratification. I know because I’m guilty of it to some extent.

So a slow paced film, showing what my real life is like may be appealing I thought. I get so many questions all the time.  I spend most of my days outside listening to the birds under the trees carving away. Contemplating life, my career, design theory, timber, you name it. It’s a nice way to get away from the fast paced digital world, but I liked sharing scraps of this life using that interface. 

So far this film is what I've come up with, and only needs a handful of shots to complete the story of the lens, and the ways of the axe & knife.

Here is the short version of the film. 

If you'd like to support my handcraft, I have some kuksas and spoons available in my webshop.

Alex YerksComment