Movies have been a constant presence in my life. Because of my ongoing interest in films/video/moving images, I pursue film making during my studies in college. My work has concentrated on three types of filming; stop motion animation, live action and animation through both the manipulation of computer-generated images and real life images I filmed myself. Upon entering college I discovered that, even though I am on a college campus, populated almost exclusively by young adults, I still belong to the extremely small minority of people that enjoy NASCAR. Not only do I enjoy NASCAR, I frequently use it as a subject in my films. Making stop motion animation films about NASCAR reminds me of my childhood, when I would spend large amounts of time playing with the small, die-cast NASCAR cars, which I collected, received as gifts and cherished. Through them I create my own world, with me as the “Master of the Track”. Each time I create a film, featuring the NASCAR cars of my childhood, I again recreate the feeling of the power that comes from controlling an entire environment. Controlling an entire small world is one of the main reasons I am interested in filmmaking.
In addition to the nine films on NASCAR racing I have created, I also have done films where the animated characters and I interact. These films are attractive to me because the idea of cartoons interacting with actual real- life people also allows me to control reality in regards to what is going to take place (at least) on film.
The topics I work with in the real life films entail a variety of ideas; including seclusion and mystery. In my film titled “Brush” I explore the concept of taking a simple chore and turning it into a sort of a monumental, tiring, ritual-like experience. In my film “The Search: Where’s Alex Gunderson” I take the audience on a search looking for a student on campus, however, he cannot be found because he for some mysterious, unknown reason he has shrunk to a ridiculously small size. In a two minute short-film titled “Get active” I address the effort of getting people to get out and be active. Frequently I use humor in my films as a means to keep the films light hearted and engaging to the audiences.
The last body of work I have worked on is a series of highlight films for various Gustavus sports teams. During my time in college I continue to find ways in which to broaden my experiences in film-making, at this point the films are still experimental. While film making is a time consuming art form, it is where I feel I can let my own unique weirdness not only flourish, but to be an asset in how the personal lens that I employ when selecting the topics, images and camera angles will affect each piece. At some point I plan to create work that is more serious in nature and to expand the scope of my work, but for right now I am enjoying and benefiting from allowing my sense of humor to be a part of my pieces. I recognize the knowledge I am gaining through the amount of experimentation I can do during this period of my studies and development.