Friday, April 24, 2009

Most Inspiring Speaker

We were very fortunate to have so many talented artists and filmmakers come to talk to us this semester. Out of all of them, I would have to say that Bradley Beesely made the biggest impact on me personally.
Firstly, I thought it was pretty cool that his original goal was not to be in movies.  Film was something that he found in art school while studying something else.  Since I'm constantly trying to figure out what I want to do, I appreciated hearing about someone who found their life's passion by accident - maybe there's hope for the rest of us.
Hearing Beesely's stories about breaking in to the laundromat to get their video shot on such a low budget was pretty neat too.  Making the best of extremely limited resources is a good skill to have.  That such small endeavors ended up rewarding Beesely so tremendously is an encouraging story to hear.
What stuck me the most about Beesely was that more than any of the other speakers we heard this semester, he came across as a true craftsman.  Not an artist necessarily, though he surely is, but rather a professional in his field who applies himself fully to whatever project he's working on, even if it is not a personal project.  Beesely managed to find enjoyment and satisfaction in his reality TV assignments.  Many people would not.  That he could discuss being chased by tornadoes with a grin on his face shows a man with a true passion for his craft.  Beesely has the enthusiasm that I think everyone should cultivate for their own career, whatever it may be.
Beesely's work itself was fantastic.  His Flaming Lips videos, with their animation and unusual montage are tremendously unique visually, the work of an auteur.  And I found that one sequence he showed from Okie Noodling 2 where his star was slowly wading down the river in the late afternoon to be sublime.  The lighting was pefect, and the complete trust his subject had for him allowed him to be there for that odd and amazing moment whereby the fisherman began to speak to himself and sank down into the water, emerging some time later with a big catfish.  Cool.
I was very glad I got the chance to hear Beesely, and would love to have him visit again.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. The most consistently productive filmmakers I know, like Brad, are the ones who wear many hats and can do all aspects of the craft. It's also a good prescription for survival as a doc filmmaker.