VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Rackleff, Robby

Robby Rackleff
US videomaker


Interview: 10 questions

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

I received my MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2009. Since then, I’ve worked as a club bouncer, a delivery truck driver, an event promoter, and finally a college art teacher. I like video games, historical fiction, books on political science and sociology, and travelling.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

I saw video art (specifically green screen art) as a way to finally live out all the fantasies I’d had as a child. Dressing up in stupid costumes, pretending to have fights with myself, hanging out in castles or on spaceships…

3. What kind of subjects do you have in your films?

I feel like I have two different narratives in my videos. One deals with video games, super heroes, fantasy and science fiction. These videos are my playground. It’s all sweet stuff. The other is more of a reaction to the process of growing up in America. It’s a reaction to feeling the emotional and hormonal shift between youth and adulthood.

So one narrative is a celebration of childish imagination and the other is about becoming boring.

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

Most of the time, I just think of a single image: blue masked men storming a beach WWII style or maybe a two friends (who are the same person) staring at each other in a restaurant while having an utterly boring conversation…
I start with a visual moment and then build a story around it.

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

I have a cheap digital camcorder I bought two years ago, some clip lights, and a big piece of green fabric. I do all of my editing in Final Cut Pro.

6. The field of “art and moving images” (one may call it videoart or also differently) 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”)

I’ve tried to write a good answer to this for a long time and I am having a difficult time. So I’m going to have to cop out. I’ll say this: I’m glad it’s moved into the spotlight as much as it has… I’ve never done anything that I enjoy more than making videos and animations. I am in love with what I do and I will do it for as long as it continues to make me happy.

7. How do you finance your films?

I have no money.

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 like to work by myself. I am sort of shy and I get easily embarrassed if I have to act weird around others. When I’m by myself I feel free and comfortable.

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

What really keeps me making videos is simple: it’s fun. Once you get to a certain point it’s all play. That isn’t to say that it’s not a ton of work to make a video, but if you do it right, it can be enjoyable as hell. And when the video is done and you can see yourself walking around in a world of your own creation, its immensely gratifying.

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

I’d like to make at least one big feature-length video piece before I die.