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This started out as the the "ChrisBridge" project for me. I made Chris Boden running all over Marne county subjecting himself to abuse. He would jump off of bridges, climb up onto dangerous places... whatever I wanted
(It was GREAT!)
The project didn't start to take form until I went to Farmington for a weekend and hung out with Matt Cox. Matt had promised me a copy of the audio tape he had made on his 4-track. On this day, he didn't remember to bring my copy. Instead, Matt went out to his car, grabbed his master recording and handed it to me, saying "keep it." After I heard the song "Drinking...Washed It All Away" I knew it would be the driving force behind my piece. I edited the video on linear SVHS decks and did what I could with it in time to make the due date. It became my final project for Film & Video Art with Deanna Morse. The system I had to edit on was not the best. I was never really happy with it due to a lack of dissolves, but I think I got a B on it.
Almost one year later I dug out my masters while I was learning the Media 100 non-linear editing system. I was determined to make Washed something better then it had been.
I dropped the "Drinking" from the title because, for the film, I felt it had more to do with the essence of a person being washed away more so then dealing with alcoholism. But I'm sure even Matt's song can be interpreted in any number of ways.
Thanks to the Media-100 I could now utilize the additive dissolve. This was basically something that is so simple and used all the time in film but it had never been available to me before that point. I loved the way it looked. The film was really coming together.
I made a few changes in the final version. In the first edit I made, at the end, Chris walks back on screen and picks up the coat and walks off. You never really get the idea of what is going on. People think it's a different person. I wanted to convey a more surreal feeling at the end, which is why I ended with the reflection of the water. The reflection of the protagonist breaking up in the water symbolizes the breaking down of his identity and will to live. Does the person really jump off the bridge, or did he just sit on the side of the water and THINK about doing it? Once you've actually DECIDED to kill yourself... Aren't you already dead?

Looking back, I now notice how much of myself there is in this film. As of late, I'm a bit of a homebody. I don't really talk anymore unless someone prods me to. I used to be the one with a whole lot to talk about, but not much to say. Now I don't even do that. I've become so withdrawn that friends, family, etc frequently ask "what's wrong." At first I was like "DAMNIT. If I'm not all happy and bubbly then people think there's something wrong with me." I'm not really depressed, I'm just not excited about anything. It's not like I'm upset over any one thing.
I have to say that making this web site and the DANthology CDROM has been a lot of fun. I love looking back on projects and figuring out what I was thinking when I did what I did. I'm in a bit of a daze these days... just blindly doing what it is I'm supposed to and not really putting my heart into anything. Maybe that IS me up there on the bridge. But don't worry, it's not suicide that happens at the end. It's more like the cleansing of the soul. I wish I could do that myself. Defragment my mind and start over as a whole new identity. So don't worry about Dan. I'm okay. I'm actually pretty happy, just unmotivated. In fact, the only problem I really have with myself is a total distrust of the female gender. You need trust before you can truly love, which is what dooms my every relationship. But that's a theme for the next film, Only As Far Away As The Next Breath. It's a stoner-love story. Not really, but I just think its fun to call it that. It's basically "Dan vs. the female gender" which is a theme I'm sure I will come back to later in life in films. I think Breath is what I want to happen, if I could write the future of my love life. Washed It All Away is definitely one of my better pieces. Albeit, a bit depressing to some. I don't think it's depressing, I think it's uplifting. You see movies all the time about Man vs. Woman, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Evil. This one's about Man vs. Himself. It's telling you to reflect on who you are today and make a better person for yourself tomorrow. Take the leap. Change yourself, change your environment. Change the world. Learn to trust again? Maybe. I'll see what I can't do about that.

On the left, we have the now infamous "Three Arms Shot." In Deanna's class people stopped watching the other films to talk about the deep meanings and implications surrounding my use of a three-armed protagonist. I sat there thinking "Where did they get THAT?" Finally we rewound the tape, looked at it again and everyone just laughed. Me, too, really. It KINDA does look like there are three arms. It's just a shadow and a rock, though. Really. Or is it?
On the right, you can see my use of the camera's 'tracer' function which leaves the image on for a few frames before letting it fade out. This gives a sort of ghost effect. Every time you see Chris on the bridge before he jumps I have this effect on. To me, in this film, it shows that he is merely a ghost of a person, when the effect is not on, that is reality. He never really leaves the side of the water. He just imagines it all.

I know it says "For Matt" at the end, but he's not dead like everyone seems to think when they see it. Matt is far from dead. He's more alive then I've ever been. I love Matt Cox, he inspires me creatively to levels I'd never reach without his presence in my life. And to think we tried not to be friends. (REALLY!) We had the chance to hang out countless times when we worked at Little Caesars together. It wasn't until a year or so later that I bumped into him at another pizza place. My first day on the job at Pizza Hut, my manager introduced me to Matt. Him and I just laughed, knowing full well that there were crazy times ahead in the future. We'd fooled around in a pizza place before and this job wouldn't be any different. One time, I filled the walk-in cooler with pizza boxes for Matt to clean up the next day. I wonder what he did with those? There wasn't really anywhere to store them, I wonder if he had to take them apart. HAHHA. I'm evil. Yeah, so I think I've said all I can say about this particular work. Thanks for reading...

-Dan (1999)




Last Updated November 26, 2010