Experiencing Interruptions?

The TONEWOOD Experiment

This is new…..

I was trying something different.

I am a “fan”… of art, music, film and generally anything you might consider “nerd” culture. I use this to deconstruct my own identity, masculine persona and cultural expectations of masculinity in hopes it will take me out of my comfort zone and keep me from doing the same thing over and over. The approach provides a launching pad for my ideas to develop and change while tackling new projects, which keeps my studio practice fresh and unpredictable.
This process is what drove me to enter Film Festival this year. I needed to push my practice in a new direction and engage a different audience within the context of film culture. Honestly, I had no expectation of getting in, since I was coming from an art making background. Although I tell stories in my art, I use a different approach that incorporates the manipulation of objects, image and space. I tend to allow the subject matter and materials to dictate what the final embodiment becomes, without considering constraints like length, cast and crew. So, when I received notification that I was chosen as one of the ten filmmakers I was in uncharted territory.
I considered a setting for this story. I wanted to use objects and locations that contained their own character and could hold up against another person’s actions. I also used my Dad’s recently sold elevator business to document the existence of a life long endeavor while allowing it to take on a life of it’s own in the film. This opened up the possibility to explore my relationship with my father in an unexpected way.
These lines of thought lead me back some music I wrote. It was a song that told a story that turned into an instrumental that bounced back and forth between different configurations within the same chord structure. In sections it reminded me of an engine or even crying. This birthed the idea of the guitar creating the atmosphere and dialogue in the film. As it started to become a lead character in the film I wondered how it would fit into the final film. I knew I could borrow from Jim Jarmusch, especially since I am a fan of his film “Deadman”. I labored to write the script. I could see the film in my head, but putting it down on paper was forced and didn’t flow with the images I was seeing in my head. I turned to what was familiar, drawing. I storyboarded the whole film, which fleshed out the entire narrative sequence. Then the script basically wrote itself. This in turned was used informed the cast and crew. The storyboards were a perfect tool to use to direct, without having to be behind the camera.
I have always been the sole contributor in the video based projects I have created over the years. With the exception of using my brother or other friends as camerapersons, I have rarely depended anyone else. Jasper’s film editor Wade Sellers suggested that I talk to other artists/ filmmakers who deal with similar issues in their work and have the same taste in films. He connected me with local artist Alex Smith. This was a true turning point in the development of the project. I sent Alex the storyboards and a few notes on what I was thinking about in terms of direction. When we met to talk about what he thought. The discussion sparked a friendship and provided a fresh take on how I could realize the vision I had on paper. One of the conversations brought to mind Pink Floyd’s song “Wish You Were Here”. It begins and ends in an old radio broadcast while the clean song plays throughout the middle. I wanted to attempt to incorporate that approach somehow. Little did I know the basis for the narrative would revolve around that concept?
Once the shooting began I captured as much footage as possible. Since I was accustomed to shooting live performances or approaching a video shoot as a live performance and in this process I was accumulating footage over several days was foreign. I was used to a one shot deal and using only what I had from that one take of the action. During this experience I could shoot, reshoot and if I thought of a new idea I could create a whole new scene right on the spot. As the footage was uploaded I broke up the scenes into sequences that represented each act and I started to “sculpt” the shots to reflect the narrative in the storyboards.
As the different section of the film became finalized I recorded the music. Most of those recordings simply got scrapped or didn’t work, but I eventually began to hear the sounds that would be part of the film. As the final version started to emerge, the ability to react organically to the project faded away, I found myself in an uncomfortable position of having to make editing decisions that only contributed to the strength of the film. I felt like a surgeon with a scalpel carefully slicing the ends of flesh or a butcher just hacking away whole sections of meat that might taste good but weren’t right for the meal I was serving.
All of sudden the deadline had arrived and the film was somehow finished. Hesitation and self-doubt crept in like a demon in the night. I reached out to friends and colleagues to help calm my nerves. I was scared to death. I wasn’t a filmmaker. I’m a sculptor. A performance artist.
The night of the screening arrived. I took a deep breath and walked in the door at Tapp’s.
The lights went down…..I started sweating profusely.

This changes everything……

You wanted something different.

  • Kendall Jason
  • Kendall Jason
  • kendallprojects (Jason Kendall)
  • Carl Ray KEndall
    Key Cast
  • The old Pink truck
    Additional Cast
  • The Shop
    Additional Cast
  • Ol' Man
    Additional Cast
    The Transitioner Ep. I & II
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    October 6, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    400 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • 2nd Act Film Festival
    United States
    October 14, 2016
Distribution Information
  • kendallprojects
    Country: United States
    Rights: All Rights, Internet
Director Biography - Kendall Jason

Jason Kendall was born and raised in Columbia South Carolina. He briefly majored in Studio Art while participating in the football program at the University of South Carolina and North Greenville College. Leaving South Carolina he attended Art school at Ringling College of Art & Design in Florida where he received his BFA in sculpture. Upon graduating from Ringling he and his wife moved to New York where they lived in Brooklyn while working at Dia Center for the Arts (a nonprofit organization that initiates, supports, presents and preserves art projects “whose nature or scale” would preclude other funding sources). Also while in New York he received his MFA from New York University while teaching undergraduate classes in the fine art department. In 2009 Jason returned to South Carolina after his twin girls were born. Back in Columbia Jason spends most of his time in the studio developing new projects around ideas involving southern masculinity and blue-collar work ethic.

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Director Statement

Kendallprojects was founded in late 1999 in response to the status of a series of work that was developing. The series needed to expand into a broader, more inclusive way of presenting all my ideas. It made sense to put each endeavor under the heading “kendallprojects” that included all the drawings, costumes, performances, videos, sculptures and installations created. This was an effort to separate what was going on in the studio with anyone going by my name (i.e. musicians/ athletes) while providing a canopy for all the ideas.
The components that are create are packaged as “projects” because they center on a specific theme of investigation and pose a precarious creative question that probes the interest in masculine ritual and the dynamic relationship the American male has between work and play. The narratives that come from these investigations can be perceived as absurd, silly, aggressive, contradictory, strange, violent or even juvenile depending on the specifics of the project’s context.
The studio practice strives to exhaust the possibilities of the materials and subject matter by attacking the notions of drawing, painting, sculpture and performance to find a single manifestation of them all. It was more influential seeing the Hans Namuth films of Jackson Pollock painting more than the paintings Pollock actually created. This lead to the understanding that in the moment of documenting the “act “ of Pollock painting it changed how we experienced art forever. Now the public was the spectator inside the studio witnessing the drama of the artistic struggle. This is not to dismiss or challenge the tradition of artist creating single images to be displayed on a wall to convey an idea. However, to compete with the mass quantities of images we consume every second on the day, it is absolutely important to utilize every tool at my disposal to truly communicate your ideas.
The creation of multi-dimensional work rest on the conviction that art should generate an experience for the viewer that challenges them on a variety of sensory levels. Initially the investigations are transformed into conflicts that engage the viewer on a visceral level. This encounter exploits different stimuli to affect the viewer’s perceptions by using a combination of images, sound, smells or text to leave the viewers curious about what they are witnessing. This construct provides a platform for them to create their own narrative from the aftermath of the event. It would be as if they walked into a crime scene and began to put the pieces back together to figure out what has happened.