VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Whittenberger, Peter

Peter Whittenberger
US videomaker


interview: 10 questions

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

I did my undergraduate work at the University of Montana and received my MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from the University of Nevada, Reno. I am currently living in Reno where I make art, teach, and work for a graphic design company.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

I started experimenting with videos in 2008. I simply bought a cheap camera and played around with different ideas in my studio. I was very interested in the immediacy of the medium and how quickly I could edit and change my intentions. I became interested in animation in 2010, as a way to express ideas in a format that combined my interest in digital media and drawing. Animation, of course, took away the immediacy of working with video and moving image.

3. What kinds of topics have your films?

Focusing on quotidian phenomena, I like to make pieces that address sad or difficult social concepts in a funny way. I feel this allows the work to communicate these concepts in a way that we can better discuss them.

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

I follow a very traditional animation workflow. I typically start with an idea or concept I’m interested in discussing and start sketching out ideas for the best strategy to visualize them. I then spend weeks working on outlines and storyboards so I have a better idea of the direction I am going. Having the storyboards also helps me set up my key frames in the animation programs I’m using. I don’t always adhere to a certain style, but allow the idea to dictate the visuals of the work.

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

I mostly work in PhotoShop, Toon Boom, Maya, and After Effects.

6. These days digital technology is dominating also video as a medium. In which way the digital aspect is entering the creation of your videos, technologically and/or conceptually?

All of my work is created digitally. I’m not very interested in technology driving the content of my work, as I see it as just another medium to make art with.

7. How do you finance your films?

The good old fashion way…from my own pocket.

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 have only worked individually.

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

The idea of failure and the ability to overcome it has always influenced me, especially recently. Being a human, anywhere in the world, is both exciting and scary. I feel waking up everyday and giving life a try takes bravery and is something we can all relate to.

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

My dream would be to participate in screenings and festivals on every continent. I imagine Antartica might prove difficult, but you never know. Currently, I continue to work in my studio everyday and hopefully make works that express ideas audiences are interested in discussing.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on the CologneOFF platform? Where?
List some links & resources