VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Hood, Denise

Denise Hood
US videomaker


Interview:10 questions

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

I received my M.F.A. from the University of South Florida in 1990. I now teach time-based media at the Ringling College of Art and Design. I live on The Little Manatee River in Florida with my husband Chris Peattie and our two dogs. I have two daughters; Laura Morgan and Cyndi Etzler and two very funny grandchildren, Emily and Willow.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

My first ‘moving image’ project was a slide show that I made with scratched and bleached slides. I was hooked immediately on the possibilities of time-based media. I learned to edit video on an old analog system when I was in college. No one was using it, so I would go in at night and play around for hours. I joined a public TV station so I could use their cameras and later the editing booths (which were a bit more sophisticated.) My next step was the Amiga computer and simple animations.

Back then video had to be digitized before you could bring it into a computer. The program to do that was very expensive. I remember that I saved and saved to get that program and when I finally bought it, my computer didn’t have the capacity to run it. In frustration, I put video on the back burner for awhile and kept painting. It’s only been the last few years that I’ve come back to video with a renewed passion.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?
I like to probe the human psyche, subjects that deal with who we are; identity and disconnect. My latest video is about belief, both personal and cultural. I used Twitter to find the word believe in various contexts. I’m also interested in social/political issues. I think video is a great way to get important messages across in a palatable way.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
I throw a lot of bones onto the screen; some video, sound, found footage and then ….I play. It’s a game for the mind – connect the dots and give it substance. I love experimenting with all the bits and pieces. I approach video as a painter; this gives me a slightly different perspective than someone with a traditional film background. I’m more interested in manipulating the images than I am in the photographic quality. My video is abstract and non linear… like my painting. When I start a project I may have a vague idea of what I want to say, but that changes over time. The process is to find a truth that I can bite down on.

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

I use very low- tech equipment; I shoot with a Cannon Vixia HD, I use After Effects to edit and Sound Studio.

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

There are many more opportunities now for Experimental Video in film festivals and video is being featured regularly in museums and galleries. I think the genre will continue to grow. As technology evolves so will the need for creative content. We’ve just begun to explore the possibilities.

7.How do you finance your films?
I finance my own videos, my production costs are pretty low right now.

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?

I work individually on the videos but I like collaborating on projects. I have been working with artist friend, Sheryl Haler recently on a number of installations and I collaborated with glass artist, Therman Statom on video for his show ‘Stories of the New World’. Working with other artists always brings something new to the table. With the right mix there is more creative energy and vision. I would love to do more collaborative projects.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
I’m not sure any artist has had a lasting influence. We take what we need to learn from other artists and then we move on. I really like the work of Pippoliti Rist and Phillip Geist and I’m always discovering new artists.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
I look forward to doing more video installations and exploring interactive video. I would love to do some large outdoor projections. My plan is to keep making video, I really do love the possibilities of the medium.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on VideoChannel/SFC? Where?
I will have a new site up very soon- I’ll send you the link
Other links are-

Dee Hood – Media Queen «#2D010A