VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Hudson, Dan

Dan Hudson
Canadian videomaker


Interview: 10 questions

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

After my school years I worked a variety of menial jobs in order to sustain my art making habit. I lived the classic artist lifestyle in a large, industrial, warehouse space in the inner city of Toronto and had a number of critically successful exhibitions in various galleries.

Veering from the art career path, I left everything behind and spent two years living on beaches and surfing the west coast of Mexico. Some years earlier, I became addicted to surfing while studying anthropology at UCSD in California. Before that, I had studied art a York University in Toronto. After Mexico, I strayed even further from the typical artist career path and moved to Banff, a small town in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, where I took up extreme sports such as snowboarding, white water kayaking, and mountain biking. This lead to a highly successful career as an award winning adventure photographer and photo journalist, with over 60 international cover shots. I was sent on assignments to some of the wildest and most remote mountain landscapes on the planet. Inevitably, some of these adventures resulted in very scary, life and death situations but I also had the privilege of experiencing some truly amazing things.

All the while, I continued to make art. I often felt that my life was divided between two completely different worlds but I have come to realise that the various aspects of my life are inseparable. Coming full circle, I am back to an urban lifestyle and working as a full time artist. Currently I am living in Berlin.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

I first started filming and learning about video production in a media arts class in high school and later started making art videos on my own.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

My films deal with concepts of time and mortality with underlying environmental themes.

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

I don’t have any particular working method. Some films are planned and scripted in advance while other films sprout from random situations. I always carry my camera and film anything that catches my attention. This source material often leads to new project ideas. I like to allow my editing techniques to be free flowing and adaptive rather than preconceived. For me, editing is like painting. The project can completely change and develop during the editing process.

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

Currently I am using the Canon 5D DSLR to film and I use Adobe Production Suite to edit (After Effects, Premiere, Photoshop, Soundbooth, etc).

6. The field of “art and moving images” (one may call it videoart or also differently) is is manifesting itself as an important position in contemporary art. Tell me more about your personal position and how you see the future of this field (your personal future and the future of “art and moving images”)

Art has always been some kind of an interpretation of the world and our place in it. Over the centuries artists have used many different kinds of materials for this expression. Our world is changing rapidly and things like, pocket size devices that capture moving images, were inconceivable a mere hundred years ago. Of course the moving image and other (as yet unimaginable new technologies) will always be used as a means of artistic expression. I imagine that sometime in the future, technology will allow for the creation of images, sounds, smells and feelings, to be manifested right inside our brains. When that day comes I will use the technology to create art projects. Until then I will work with moving images and sound.

7. How do you finance your films?

My films are self financed with assistance from various arts granting agencies.

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.

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

In general I developed a sense of pacing from commercial TV advertisements and music videos and a sense of scope from feature films. Artistically my work owes debts to Andy Warhol, Michael Snow and Peter Greenaway.

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

I would like to be the first video artist on Mars.