Interview with ANTH II filmmaker Marie Ilene

In last year’s ANTH I, Marie Ilene interpreted Emily Dickinson’s poem “The heart asks pleasure first…” through the use of stop-motion claymation. This year, for ANTHOLOGY II, she’s taking on Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Travel” in another stop-motion piece, using paper and colored pencil. Scroll down to see her Dickinson piece from last year and to read her interview–and join us at 8 PM at the Creative Alliance on Thursday, August 2nd (free admission!).

Marie’s film from last year, “The Heart Asks…”:

||8: Who are you?

MI: I am a filmmaker in Los Angeles, CA.

||8: Where are you from originally (where were you born) and where do you live now?

MI: : I was born in Los Angeles but moved to North Carolina as a kid. I always knew I wanted to come back, so after graduating from film school in 2006, I moved back.

||8: How did you get started making films? What was your first piece?

MI: I started as an actor and quickly realized I wanted to direct all the other actors, so I started thinking I might want to be behind the camera. I am a musician and have always had a strong connection to music, so I got into filmmaking because I wanted to make music videos. My first real outside-of-school project I got paid for was a music video for Victory Records and an artist named Giles. We shot it at the only dance club in Winston-Salem, NC, and it wound up being the #1 video on the Victory records website for over a month.

||8: What are some of your influences? Alternatively–who are a few other people working right now, not limited to film, whose work you’re interested in?

MI: I get influenced in all sorts of way. I love to go to local small galleries that sell art for like $100–the work can be really unique and amazing. A big part of my work is influenced by the fact that I have to work with a limited budget. I see cool effects and techniques that I like, and then I try and find a way to achieve the same effects on a limited budget.

||8: Describe the concept for your forthcoming ANTHOLOGY II piece, based on Emily Dickinson’s “There’s a certain slant of light…” What will the film look like–what’s the general idea?

MI: For this piece, I wanted to play with paper cut-outs and stop motion. I was committed to shooting it the old-fashioned way and not manipulating it in Flash or After Effects. The poem I chose really hit a chord with me, and so I really strove to create a dichotomy between reality and the imagined.

||8: Process. What kind of equipment/techniques are you using? What has the process of shooting and editing been like so far? Have there been any unexpected challenges, or any changes in your original idea since you started?

MI: We shot stop motion the old-school way: with a still camera on a tripod. Then we put the still frames into the computer and cut them together. We leave in the mistakes because I like the imperfection of the media. I always make changes; I like to roll with what happens. My illustrator drew some amazing pieces, and so when I saw the finished pieces, it gave me new ideas.

||8: Is there anything else you’re working on right now that you want to mention?

MI: I am in prep for a music video for my favorite band, Mercury Dime. They’re doing a reunion show in Chapel Hill on September 28th after almost 10 years.

Check out Marie’s new film this year on August 2nd at the Creative Alliance. We’ll post interviews with each of the returning filmmakers every week between now and the screening.

ANTHOLOGY II, the second annual Parallel Octave short film compilation, will screen on Thursday, August 2nd at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore. Free admission! Drinks at 7:30 PM, screening at 8:00 PM. And look! There’s a trailer!

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