About this blog
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Blog posting written by Matthew Reis, Cinema and Photography, '13, FLEFF Intern
MR: When did you graduate from Ithaca College?
EM: I graduated in May 2007. I was part of the Cinema Production program (in the Roy H. Park School at Ithaca College.) I probably have most of the same professors you have: Elisabeth Nonas, Cathy Crane and Patty Zimmermann. I loved Professor Changhee Chun’s classes in particular---he’s great.
MR: So did you jump right into teaching or did you take a gap year and evaluate your life?
EM: I probably should have taken a break in between degree programs, but I didn’t. At the behest of some of the professors and my own personal beliefs, I decided to go to grad school right away. I didn’t want to go to Los Angeles. I applied to a couple of places. I received a fellowship to attend a three-year MFA program at the University of Iowa.
In August 2007, I started up at Iowa and then graduated in May 2010. I put myself on the job market right after I graduated. I got offered a really nice position at the University of Tennessee. So I moved out to Tennessee, and started teaching in August 2010. It’s going pretty well so far.
MR: Do you work independently or with other people? Also do you like to work in rural areas or in a city atmosphere?
EM: Yeah---I mean, I make movies simply, by myself. It is stuff that I can make on my own. It is very portable. I really like that aspect. To answer your other question, I currently live in Knoxville, TN. It’s quite a bit bigger than Iowa City, where I was previously living.
I was born in New York City. I think some people move to a big city like New York because they believe all the world’s culture is there. But in new media and web work, the culture is online. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can get the culture instantaneously.
MR: I found your glitching videos to be quite interesting. How do you go about making some of your movies? How do you conceive them and what processes do you go through ?
EM: While I was at Ithaca College, I had David Gatten (a former Associate Prof. in the Cinema Department) as a professor. He was really interested in using 16mm celluloid film stock not to represent images, but to use the stock as a artifact and a medium itself.
So back to my work. Everything on a computer is basically a container for 0’s and 1’s. So like a flash video, a picture or an mp3 file can be opened up and looked at as text.
With a couple of other students from my graduating class, John McElroy and Michael Wexler, we started thinking that it would be really excellent to decode videos--and so we did.
We started cracking video codecs by going into the (video’s source) code and rearranging things. Then we re-encoded them. Computers have really specific guidelines for what they want their files to be.
We thought that if we make the file’s code a little different--but not super different-- if we kind of gauge the file and play chicken with it, we could put it in a position where it would die. But, its death would be a little slow. We would capture parts of it. That’s where the glitches come from.
We were doing it (glitching) you know, just because it was new and interesting. At that point in time (2007), there were not a lot of people in the world who were doing it, maybe a handful at the most. We thought we were pretty, pretty excellent.
Stay tuned for more postings on Mr. Meaney and his life as a teacher, artist and FLEFF collaborator.