VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Irvin, Magnus

Magnus Irvin (UK)


  • artist biography
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    Interview: 10 questions

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

    Born and brought up in North London. Studied at Hornsey and Walthamstow art colleges. I now live in East London and have 2 studio spaces where I make films, motorised sculptures, publications and prepare performances.

    2. When, how and why started you filming?

    I started film making as a development of my printmaking. Large scale figurative woodcuts with a strong narrative suggested development into the moving image.

    3. What kind of subjects have your films?
    My films are about death, spiritualism, Belisha Beacons, sex and bananas. Most of them combine live footage and animation.

    4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
    I follow no principles when making a film. I do what I think is interesting, odd and funny and assume that others will appreciate this too.

    5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
    I use very simple equipment and prefer not to add effects that cannot be achieved with camera, sets and models. My camera is a Bauer 500x that shoots super8 film. I have the film telecined for editing. I like very simple effects and stories.

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

    I see little place for new media in my own film work although I believe most new filmmakers will adapt quickly to what the new media can offer.

    7. How do you finance your films?
    I finance all my films personally. I have occasionally raised funds by selling limited edition certificates. Usually I manage to get unpaid assistance and cheaper rates for postproduction.

    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 both individually and as part of a team. I think collaboration is important but an individual approach is better for developing ideas. I have collaborated with Ray Mc. Neill to make “Pergus and the Ectoplasm” and an earlier film, “Prayer Cushions of the Flesh”.

    9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
    Early animators such as Goerge Melies and Ladislav Starewicz have influenced my work. I am also influenced by fishing, cycling, bananas and inebriation.

    10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
    Future plans include an instructional film for mentally unstable yachtsmen, a short musical about vampire cowboy fishermen and an exploration of shouting at trees.

    My work cannot be viewed online although my own website has some details of my films.