Editor’s note: Fandor has initiated an innovative collaborative project with a group of five FIX filmmakers to create original films under the ‘FIXshorts’ banner. From over thirty submitted script-and-budget proposals, Fandor chose five diverse and dynamic short film projects to help develop from start (funding) to finish (distribution and promotion). Today marks the first of five FIXshorts filmmaker Q&As, which, we imagine might provoke even more questions than answers—as we hope you’ll explore their work further on their Kickstarter campaign pages.
Experimental artist/filmmaker Lori Felker is our opener and the film she’s working on, Discontinuity, focuses on a long-distance relationship. Oh, and cats. Lots of cats.
Keyframe: What inspired you to make this?
Lori Felker: I’m fascinated by all of those little moments when you deeply realize that someone you’re close to isn’t actually a part of you. Even if we’re usually docked together, we are ultimately separate vessels that can drift away from each other. ‘Time’ and ‘space’ are totally weird concepts and will never cease to be fascinating.
Keyframe: What three directors or artists most influenced you, and why?
Felker: For this short, I keep thinking about the editing in Lars von Trier’s films (especially in Breaking the Waves), and how the editing infuses the emotional narrative with energy and a certain clarity, while it causes the filmic elements to appear ‘jumpy’ and discontinuous. I also love the short stories of Donald Barthelme, for the way he writes inner monologues and his use of external, absurd, but very real surprises they may enter the room. There’s also a reference in the film to the artist Nancy Holt. Nancy was all about us orienting ourselves in space at a given time…and observation…taking the time to observe.
Keyframe: If you weren’t a filmmaker, what job would you like to have done?
Felker: My mom owned her own small house painting business and I used to help her when I was home from college. I loved that. It’s so soothing and therapeutic…cleaning things up with a fresh coat, the physicality of it, the detail. I always say I could go back to that.
Or optometrist. Every time I’m at the eye doctor I think about how cool it would be to be on the other side of the machine looking straight and deep into people’s eyes.
Keyframe: What’s your favorite short film (or filmmaker)?
Felker: John Smith is probably one of my all time favorite filmmakers. His work is so clever, so funny, so aesthetically pleasing, and it keeps me so active as a viewer. And no matter how clever or structural the films are, they still manage to get at some real human or emotional concerns or conundrums.
Keyframe: What is the first film you remember seeing?
Felker: I always say it’s E.T. [which I saw] when I [was] around four. I don’t think it’s truly the first one I remember, but it is definitely one of the first films I saw in the theater that wow’ed me, took me somewhere, and felt very present both physically and emotionally. That opening scene? I thought the scientists were looking for me.