From filmmakers and producers to dancers and performance artists, the Music Video strand at ASFF stretches wholeheartedly into the notion of expression through spontaneous outbursts of melody and rhythm. Vector Meldrew’s short, Addison Groove – Changa, features in this year’s selection.
ASFF: What does it mean to have your film in ASFF’s Official Selection?
VM: I’m pretty excited! It was the first major festival that i heard back from and one of my favourites that I had submitted to. It gave me a new wind of confidence in what i had made. As I’m sure you can appreciate, animation is very time consuming! This was the result of many lonely late nights during a cold winter with only overheating GPU’s keeping me warm. To see other people enjoy the film makes it feel worth it.
ASFF: Where do you get your inspiration?
VM: I find inspiration such a hard thing to define. In some respects all of your life experiences feed into your work to a certain degree, however my main source was just sitting down and immersing myself in the process. I just wanted to experiment and see where it lead me. I tried to have a number of very broad starting ideas that revolved around things such as identity, society, culture and evolution however by the end it didn’t feel that it resembled any of my original ideas.
ASFF: When did you begin filmmaking, and what influenced you to start?
VM: Again, I really feel the process motivated me to start … I tried animation, I realised I wanted to get better. Between the ages of 15-18 I was addicted to using Macromedia Flash; that was the gateway to film making for me. I used to love the exploring the communities work online, there were some great linear and non-linear Flash creations. I used to experiment with the software and make my own little animations too. These were mainly around social commentary or parodies of films. My first “series” was commissioned by Sky TV’s Channel U back in 2003. It was called The Boo Kroo and It revolved around a group of characters trying to become famous musicians in the underground garage/grime music scene.
Looking back now the storyline heavily resembles the recent BBC comedy hit People Just do Nothing. I don’t really talk about it too much and tend to hide it from the portfolio these days as it was pretty slapstick and the animation was terrible. However, at a particular moment in time it had some meaning to a niche subculture of people. To me it served as motivation to realise i should probably learn animation properly rather than just messing around on a computer in my bedroom!
ASFF: How did you begin the process of making your film, where did the idea come from?
VM: I had this overwhelming desire to create something completely for myself. I’m the creative director at Dazzle Ship (www.dazzleship.com) and the design / direction client work keeps me pretty busy! However as a director i felt i was resorting to safe patterns and i wanted to find a way to push myself. I was always taught the importance of planning and storyboarding a production, however i wanted to approach it without these constraints.
I wanted the narrative to come to life at the end of the production process. I decided to enter into it without too many pre-concieved ideas and go back to that place where you feel like a kid in a bedroom playing with Flash for no real reason (except with Cinema 4D and better GPUs). The more i did this, the more ideas started to grow organically. The challenge was then piecing this together into something that resembles a narrative, which at times was painful! Addison Groove is a friend of mine so I wanted to do the video for him; his music is always a good source of inspiration so that was the first point of reference. There wasn’t a budget involved and he had zero expectations (in fact i don’t think he believed I was even making it at the time!)
ASFF: What is the narrative behind your short?
VM: I wasn’t sure of the narrative until I entered the film into the world of YouTube comments via the Adult Swim YouTube channel. There are some great descriptions there, this one being my favourite: “Looking for meaning in this is like looking for the characters in a Rorschach photo, yeah you’re supposed to look for them, but there isn’t anything in there, only what you bring with you; the content of your mind, the position and velocity of your life, your wildest hopes, and darkest fears. You’re not here to learn about Addison Groove, you’re here to learn about yourself.”
ASFF: What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
VM: I’m planning to find the time and headspace to do more projects like this. I really want to keep learning and improve my director skills and feel that personal work is a great way to do this. I post most experimental stuff to my Instagram.
Book tickets for ASFF 2017, 8-12 November, various venues around York. For more information: www.asff.co.uk
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1. Courtesy of Victor Meldrew and Vimeo.