David Theobald - Dominion

3:00, 2013, Experimental
A ’Spaghetti Western’ dredged from the action figure spare parts bin.
DirectorDavid Theobald And Joe ValloryProducerDavid Theobald And Joe ValloryWriterDavid Theobald And Joe ValloryCameraDavid Theobald And Joe ValloryEditorDavid Theobald And Joe ValloryComposerIndi

CountryUnited KingdomEdition2013

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Who is David Theobald?
I am a video artist based in London. Joe Vallory, who I made this piece with, is a painter and sculptor. We’ve known each other about three years.

What is Dominion about?
The narrative is pretty open/loose/strange. There’s clearly some kind of conflict or struggle brewing between the main parties, but we’ve deliberately left it pretty open so people can create their own interpretation. At a conceptual level, I guess it’s about breathing some twisted life back into junk that has just been thrown away.

How did you start with film? And do you have an educational background in art or film?
The film started from a series of models and paintings that Joe had made. These told the story of a strange place that he had created called ’Dominion’. He wrote a series of short stories and self- published them in a book along with the images. When I saw this I suggested that they might work as a film.

Could you explain how you work, what themes or concepts you use and what is important to you?
We played around with a lot of different ideas. The initial one was a side show accompanied by a narrative as a voice or scrolling text. This did not seem to work as the story line worked better in book form than video. Instead we reworked it with a new structure. My ideas was to run a flicker film as the background structure overlaying this with specific images and zooms that the viewer might structure as some kind of narrative while leaving that interpretation as open as possible. As we worked, we tried various sound tracks before deciding that we what we had seemed to be a ’Western’. Joe then got ’Indi’, a musician friend of his, to create a soundtrack for the work which was then reedited to match the rhythm of the piece.

How long do you usually work on one project?
I usually work on a few projects at the same time, but most take 3-6 months to come the fruition. As this was a collaboration and we threw it back and forth it evolved over about a year.

Do you carefully plan the production process or do you work more intuitive?
As I normally work in computer animation I am usually very planned in my approach. However, with this piece, as it was technically pretty simple, I could be much more intuitive in trying out different ideas.

How does the title relate to the work, and how do you find a fitting title?
Dominion is the land where the action supposedly takes place.

Where do you get your ideas or inspiration from?
This piece was inspired by a few things ranging from Sharit’s flicker films of the 60s and Morricone’s Spaghetti Westerns to Toy Story and playing with Action Man as a kid.

How important is sound in film, and if you use sounds, do you create your own or use existing?
As I’ve already said, the sound was that last piece that fell into place.

How does content relate to the form of your work?
I think the content works well with the form. All the creatures featured are collaged from many discarded toys. In the same way, the video is composed of hundreds of individual images, taken by Joe, that are blended and manipulated to create the pictoral surface.

Did the web changed your view on art, or your career?
It certainly makes it easier to get your work seen and transported.

Where would you place your work; cinema or art. And what is the difference between those according to you?
I show almost exclusively in gallery spaces so I’d call it ’art’.

What is your next project about?
My next project is an animation about a Kebab Shop - watch this space.


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