Rick Niebe - Frankie

5:11, 2012, Music video
Frank Sinatra swallowed up by a TV whirlpool mash up
DirectorRick NiebeCrewFrank Sinatra, Syd Vicious, Unknown Actors (special Guest: Leonid Breznev)

CountryItalyEdition2012 Screenings• ReMixed Media Festival; New York, USA (2012) • MAshRome festival; Rome, ITA (2012) • Lucca Film Festival; Lucca, ITA (2012) • Medienfestival; Tübingen, DEU (2012)

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Who is Rick Niebe?
A visual artist

What is Frankie about?
It’s a game with our cultural memory, an hallucinatory video clip, a mediatic misadventure of Frank Sinatra, the story of a musician…

How did you start with film? And do you have an educational background in art or film?
I’m Graduated in semiotic of cinema at Pisa University. You never know exactly ‘how’ this kind of things start…I think that cinematographic and TV language is our ‘common language’: we’ve just born with it, so I think It’s quite ‘natural’ for an artist to use it as material.

Could you explain how you work, what themes or concepts you use and what is important to you?
I can say that I never start from a ‘concept’ or a ’theme’. I find an image, a sequence, a sound interesting then it just starts ‘something’ in my mind.

How long do you usually work on one project?
It depends. Sometimes it’s very quick and sometimes, when I start to and play with the material, I realize that it could be an endless work. You can find a great pleasure as well as great frustration in it but, at a certain point, you have to say stop!

Do you carefully plan the production process or do you work more intuitive?
I guess the ‘creative process’ is always a work in progress. Often, when I start to work on something, I don’t know anything about it. The planned activity is part of the process, of course, but I can’t ‘carefully plan’ the production, also when I’ve found a direction.

How does the title relate to the work, and how do you find a fitting title?
I’m not very interested in titles.

Where do you get your ideas or inspiration from?
“Fantasy is a place where it rains.” (I.Calvino)

How important is sound in film, and if you use sounds, do you create your own or use existing?
Sound is very important for me, especially in terms of rhythm, and it’s often a source of inspiration. I like to manipulate pre-existing sounds in order to create my ones.

How does content relate to the form of your work?
"content" and "form" comes together

What possibilities of the web are yet to be explored?
The new forms of participatory works are very interesting, and applications as Street View or Google Hearth has open new visual perspectives. Besides, I’ve recently found between the so-called ‘amateur videos’ on the web many interesting pieces: especially fragments, excerpt and so on.

Did the web changed your view on art, or your career?
Yes, indeed. For exemple the greatest amount of material I used in ‘Frankie’ comes from the web.

Where would you place your work; cinema or art. And what is the difference between those according to you?
I think my work is more on the ‘Art side’. Anyway the boundaries are very thin: you can see a video clip in a gallery as well as you could see many works of art in a cinema. The matter is that are two different cultural circuits.

What is your next project about?
Top Secret! :-)

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