Interview with Natasha Beste
Who is Natasha Beste?A manipulator/creator of visuals and sound. I teach video production at the Detroit Film Center and at a high school in Detroit. I produce and perform in two electro pop groups called Sex Ghost! And Perfect Summer. I have an autistic brother, a schizophrenic mother, and a psychic grandmother- all who have influenced my art.
Your film is about?Two children almost die from falling off their horse. They follow the path towards the white light where they meet a lady who tells them it's not their time. They wake up and their father is engraged by his children's near death.
How did you start with film? And do you have an educational background in art or film?Always interested in video. I have been making them for 20 years now. Started with my grandma's vhs camera, then at 15, directed cable access shows. Went to Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Graduated, started teaching at a non-profit media arts organization... Then learned a thing or two about FILM....unlike VIDEO, you have to take your time with film. It's a much slower process. Then why use film? They ask. Well, I guess it's all about aesthetics. How do you feel when you watch FILM versus VIDEO? To sum it up, it's just cooler, like it's older, hipster sister who has a later curfew.
Could you explain how you work, what themes or concepts and what is important to you?My dreams that I can remember and strong emotions from relationships with people drive me. I am a very up and down kind of person. I take mostly from my downs and create with what energy they may or may not give me. My ideas may possibly be hard to understand, but I want to allow for others to create their own. Kind of leave things open ended, but some may say that is a way out of being truely organized. Ah... Whatever.
How does content relate to the form of your film?I added "spirit orbs" digitally in post.. I wanted to created a quiet and possibly an uneasy feeling through out the film. I also choose to not keep the audio of any of the characters. The build up was through the animal sounds.
How did the film come about? Everything (carefully) planned or more intuitive?I was up watching a Twilight Zone episode. These kids hated where they lived and escaped through a swimming pool to another world with a grandma-type figure. I thought of my grandmother and how I would want to see her on "the other side." Infact, the ghost lady at the table is played by my grandma in real life.
How do you finance your projects (by yourself, sponsors or subsidy)?Artist driven.
New Media; a challenge for film makers?No way. Just more mediums to play around with and discover.
How does the internet influence contemporary art in general according to you?My network/ community is larger then i could ever imagine. It's sometimes frustrating being surrounded by the same artists in one's own circle in say their hometown but the internet allows you to connect with other people EVERYWHERE. You may have a block in creativity and people
What possibilities of the web are yet to be explored? Which dangers do you see ahead?I already do this, but collaboration through the web (working on pieces of art or music via email). Dangers? Nothing except for possible miscommunication.
YouTube? Why or why not?Eh, why not, but alot of JUNK to sort through. I'd much rather go to a site where things have already been sorted for me.
Does your work often circle the festival circuits, and do you visit festivals regularly?I used to send out my work more often. I get more out of cordinating events myself that my or may not include my work (kind of cheating huh?). I make videos to project behind other people's and my musical performances. Doing that keeps me working on stuff constantly.
Do you often meet and discuss with other film makers through the internet?Yes, but not as much as musicians. If video was as fast as audio, I think I would.
How influential is the reaction to your film by the audience?It is to some extent. It is frustrating to explain things over and over to people if they don't "get it, " and who really want to know my thoughts behind it exactly. But there is something to be said for the people that DO understand or get excited about their own ideas about it. Those make it worth it.
What is your next project about?I have super 8 mm footage i shot in Asia a year ago that I STILL have to edit! Besides that, I am always starting things in my head. We'll see.....
Natasha Beste - 2007