VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Della Beffa, Carla

Carla Della Beffa
Italian media artist

  • artist biography
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    Interview: 10 questions

    1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background

    After art college I started working as a graphic designer, but soon I found it too static and passed on to advertising, where I discovered I had an instinct for thinking in moving images and rhythm.

    2. When, how and why started you filming?

    I spent many years thinking 15″ and 30″ spots and designing the storyboards, which I gave to directors to film. When I was already working as a painter and net-art artist, after a screen-writing workshop in 2000, I found out I had plenty of ideas for videos and wanted to film them. Later I also took directing lessons.
    The need to make videos became more urgent every year: if I just produced one in 2000, I am making six or seven in 2006.

    3.What kind of subjects have your films/videos?

    It varies. I can start from literary subjects, as in “Une Saison en Enfer “, “Qohélet” or “Gretel” (Rimbaud, the Bible, the Grimm brothers).
    I can also make videos inspired by something that happened to me, or to a friend, some emotion or happening I find interesting or amusing. Art is not merely a journal, even when starting from the author’s life: videos and works should always be universal enough to be enjoyed by others. To be interesting, the emotion must resound with echoes of the spectator’s experience. Like poetry.
    I also love to put some light humour and subtle irony in my work.

    4. How do you develop your films/videos, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?

    Sometimes the idea needs just to be filmed, and it works immediately. Others videos need a year or more: I need to research, to think it over.
    My videos tell very short stories and are shot in cinema-style: cuts, editing, sounds. I love close ups, work a lot on the soundtrack, avoid words and dialogues and try to choose titles not needing a translation. Except when they come from literature.

    5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.

    Until now, I just had a mini DV camera. I’m thinking of buying another, and I wonder whether it’s time for converting to HD, or should I wait a little more? I spend hours browsing reviews.

    6. What are the chances of new media for the genre film/video in general and you personally?

    I’m no video maker, just a video artist, so I don’t know whether there are chances, and how. Yes, I can and do put online some of my videos, but not every work can be compressed successfully to the low-definition the internet needs to go fast. Moreover, apparently videos should be unreleased if I hope to sell them.
    Anyway, I need to express myself in video, whether it has a future or not. Hope it has…

    7. How do you finance your films/videos?

    Up to now, every video was financed out of my money and often the musicians and the editor worked for free. Now I’m planning new, more expensive videos and am looking for sponsors.

    8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team?
    If you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

    Not being too technical, and knowing I can’t do it all at the quality level I look for, I much prefer to work alone on the idea and filming and to find someone for the music and the editing. I discovered some time ago that video in itself is the definition of something silent, but i put a lot of care and work in the soundtracks. Some of them are based on the live sounds mixed with many others sounds expressly recorded and worked over in many layers, but no music.

    9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?

    Cinema, rhythm, movement and the urgency to tell something. The time-space relation. A little humour.

    10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?

    In 2006 I made a three-screen video installation and three quite amusing videos and I’m currently working on three more. Those are rather complex works requiring quite a lot of research and I hope to finish them by the end of the year. I also have a plan for another video, involving more travels and expenses, that’s why this time I really need a sponsor. The videoinstallation too requires more space and money to be seen. If promises are kept, it will be shown in 2007, in a medieval castle in Italy, along with other works of mine.

    Can works of yours viewed online besides on VideoChannel?
    Videos, stills and synopsis can be found here: