Sunday, May 3, 2009

Interview: Lisa Stock, director of the Blood Groove trailer

I first encountered the films of Lisa Stock, and Lisa herself, at WisCon in 2008. She was promoting her short films and multimedia work (such as the phenomenal Through the Cobweb Forest), and I was absolutely astounded by them. When it came time to do a video trailer for Blood Groove, I knew I wanted to work with a real filmmaker like her. Luckily, she was willing to bring her considerable talent to what could easily be a mere commercial. In the process, she did indeed turn it into a lot more than that.

Alex: You approach visual arts as a deliberately mythopoetic form. How were you able to bring that to bear on the Blood Groove trailer?

Lisa: One of the things I like about the book is that it doesn't fall back on the ages old vampire cliches. In fact, one of its characters spends a portion of the book dispelling those myths. And I use that for the opening of the trailer in the trial scene. You've created your own archetypes in Blood Groove and I tried to pick up on those - while bringing in elements that were meaningful to me. Take for instance the museum (I've worked in two museums before). I won't give away what happens here in the book - but it's a perfect mythic place for so many reasons - past and present face each other, there's discovery, initiation, sacrifice - all themes we deal with on a daily basis, but like to analyze in a different context.

What aspects of the novel seemed to lend themselves to a visual interpretation?

As Fauvette was discovering the world anew - so was I. Love this character! And seeing her world come to life was instrumental to the trailer I wanted to create for the book. Not only how she viewed the world (the sun, the paintings, the warehouse), but how we viewed her as well. And there are two very different Fauvettes in the trailer. She too - is very mythic to me, very visual. At once, she's a damned soul dragged up from Hell, and Persephone risen from the Underworld. And of course, just on the fun side, any chance we get to put dough and cumin in someone's hair to make it look like she hasn't washed in a year - I jump on it! LOL!

Was it difficult having me over your shoulder, metaphorically speaking?

Not at all. Believe me, I don't say that about everyone I've worked with - haha! I need to keep in mind that when I'm creating a video for someone else, I representing them and their work. So, there are some ideas I need to let go of. Nothing major though this time, if at all - you and I were pretty much on the same page. And it was really nice that you let me use my creativity as much as I wanted. That isn't always the case. However, the most important thing to me is that the person I'm working with be truly happy and comfortable with the final video - so they can put it out to the world without reservations.

This was your first book trailer; what about the project surprised you most?

Yes! Thank you for trusting me with my first book trailer. It was fun to work on. What surprised me the most was how the trailer sort of jumped out at me while reading the book. I guess I figured I'd have to write something huge - the manuscript you sent me being over 400 pages - and then whittle away and whittle away and make agonizing decisions about what to cut out of the trailer script. But again, I think it was the archetypes you created standing up and making themselves known. And it really was only a couple of drafts before I sent the script on to you for approval. And that was surprisingly nice! We've really only touched the surface of the story in the trailer. We've given your readers the motifs that are present throughout the story, but all the juicy details they'll have to discover on their own!

Thanks to Lisa for taking the time to talk to me about the trailer. It can be found on this blog here.

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