Daniel & Clara On Collaboration – Interview by Avant Kinema

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We have recently been interviewed by our good friends Scottish filmmakers Sarahjane Swan & Roger Simian of Avant Kinema. In this interview we cover some details about our backgrounds and how we began making films, but the main theme of the conversation is collaboration. We dig into the ins and outs of being collaborative artists and offer some personal insights into what collaboration is for us.

Thank you so much to Sarahjane and Roger for the wonderful questions and taking the time to speak with us!

Here’s their intro:

“As part of a series of interviews and articles on processes of Creative Collaboration, we spoke to our friends, Daniel Fawcett & Clara Pais, who create lavish, startling, dreamlike, unsettling, wonderful feature films and shorts under the banner of The Underground Film Studio. The duo are also behind Film Panic magazine, the definitive journal of contemporary underground and experimental cinema.

Daniel & Clara are two of the most industrious, creative, innovative, genuine and generous people we know. We had the pleasure of first meeting them in February 2017 when they invited us to screen our short film, Orphine (2014), in the beautiful city of Porto in Northern Portugal. They were perfect hosts for the three days we visited with our son, helping find us free accommodation, showing us all around Porto, Gaia and the seaside town of Espinho where we collaborated on an impromptu Surrealist black & white Super 8 film, starring Daniel & Clara, which we entitled, In The Arbor of the Bitter Orange (2017).

Soon afterwards, Daniel & Clara came over to the UK for a short British-wide tour to promote their films. All four of us put on an event, MoonMoths at the MacArts Church, in Galashiels, an Avant Kinema / Film Panic co-production, which featured experimental short films, comedy and music, plus a special screening of Daniel & Clara’s first collaboration, the feature Savage Witches (2012). A couple of days later we put on a double bill screening of work by all four of us at Edinburgh’s Vegan-friendly arts cafe, The Forest.

Being life-long aficionados of the art of collaboration we thought that Daniel Fawcett & Clara Pais would be ideal subjects for our investigations into Creative Collaboration.”

READ HERE

An Interview In 12 Parts. Part 5: Splendor Solis

SPLENDOR SOLIS 2015 Daniel Fawcett

Here’s Part 5 of our year long interview which is being conducted by Bradley Tuck as a part of our artist residency at Exploding Appendix.

In this installment we talk about the making of Daniel Fawcett’s Splendor Solis, exploring subjects such as home movies, alchemy, tarot, narrative structures, autobiography and filmmaking as therapy:

“These are my inner images of myself manifested through others, through my relationships – people become symbols, as do places, animals, objects, sounds, music and everything else in the film. It could maybe be called a psychic self portrait rather than a home movie but then again in the universe of our work the image of the home is always a metaphor for the self so it results in the same thing.”

“The film is a retort, the footage is the material with which I work but ultimately that material is an externalisation of inner work, it becomes something I can see and physically manipulate, explore and transform, and through doing so, allow deep psychological changes to take place within myself.”

Read the full text:
An Interview in 12 Parts. Part 5: Splendor Solis

Many thanks to Exploding Appendix’s Bradley Tuck for his ongoing support and collaboration!

Daniel & Clara
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An Interview In 12 Parts. Part 4: Sacrificium Intellectus

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Here’s Part 4 of our year long interview which is being conducted by Bradley Tuck as a part of our artist residency at Exploding Appendix.

In this installment we talk about the making of our 2012 film Sacrificium Intellectus, as well as exploring some ideas relating to our expanded cinema projects, Phantom Films, the language of gesture, embodiment, religion, the tarot and our personal philosophy of cinema:

“The film is most rewarding when one simply lets go and drifts in the fluctuating sea of sounds and images, becoming conscious of your breath, the pumping of blood and the beat of one’s heart. You could say that we are drawing attention to a way of being conscious that is not only about being intellectually engaged, one can also be conscious of things through one’s intuition, one’s physical sensations and feelings.”

“Nothing in cinema is actual (other than the actual presence of light), it is all illusion but its effect is very real, the experience of viewing the fantasy creates a reality.”

Read the full text:
An Interview in 12 Parts. Part 4: Sacrificium Intellectus

Many thanks to Exploding Appendix’s Bradley Tuck for his ongoing support and collaboration!

Daniel & Clara
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An Interview in 12 Parts. Part 3: Savage Witches

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Here is Part 3 of our epic year long interview which is being conducted by Bradley Tuck as a part of our artist residency at Exploding Appendix.

This month’s instalment looks at our film Savage Witches. Alongside discussing the making of the film, we explore some of the questions raised by it such as the nature of reality and freedom, the reality of fantasy and the importance of play:

“More than anything else this is a film about the magic of cinema, the magic of illusions and cinema’s great power to be able to bring the imagination to life. The film itself is an act of magic, cinema as witchcraft, filmmaking as spell-casting.”

“The whole process was exploratory and one of play, a systematic play but play nonetheless. For us play is an essential element in art making because it has the ability to surpass our intellect and rationality and when lost in play unexpected things can be stirred to the surface that we could never reach in a rational way, in this way play is similar to dreams. Play could be seen as the active form of the passive dreaming/viewing experience.”

Read the full text:
An Interview in 12 Parts. Part 3: Savage Witches

Thanks again to Bradley Tuck and the Exploding Appendix team!

Daniel & Clara
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An Interview in 12 Parts. Part 2: First Artistic Steps

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Here is Part 2 of our year-long interview which is being conducted as part of our artist residency at Exploding Appendix. In this second installment we discuss our childhoods and early creative influences that lead us to our collaboration, including projects such as Savage Witches, One+One Filmmakers Journal, the founding of The Underground Film Studio and publishing of Film Panic Magazine. We also discuss our personal philosophy on creativity, transformation and change:

“We sometimes think it is a bit like being monks, we live in the same house together, work and eat together but our devotion isn’t to each other, it is to creativity and the personal journey each of us is on. We approach our work as if we are servants rather than masters, so there is a monastic quality to it. We are very concerned with living our lives in a deep harmony with our essence and not doing things simply because it is the way things are done.

… For us there is no separation between art and life, between our ideas and how we live, so this should be considered in relation to all our writing, films and actions – we and our work are the same thing, our work is us and we are the work.” – Daniel Fawcett & Clara Pais

Read the full text:
An Interview in 12 parts. Part 2: A Revolution in Progress: First Artistic Steps

Thanks again to Bradley Tuck of Exploding Appendix for inviting us to be a part of this project!

Daniel & Clara
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An Interview in 12 Parts. Part 1: What is Avant-garde?

Daniel Fawcett & Clara Pais 2016

We are very excited to announce that throughout 2018 we are artists in residence at Exploding Appendix. For this residency we will be taking part in a year long interview which will be published monthly on the Exploding Appendix website and later will be published as a book. There will also be several screenings and some filmmaking collaborations between us and EA’s Bradley Tuck.

Here is Part 1 of our epic year-long conversation, in this first installment we discuss the nature of avant-gardism and the role of the artist:

“… We have to accept the possibility of total darkness, no purpose, no direction, no intention, no goal in order to be open, to listen, to see, to live. And it’s glorious! We exist, we create and it’s a miracle. Art’s function is about this.”- Daniel Fawcett & Clara Pais

Read the full text:
An Interview in 12 parts. Part 1: What is Avant-Garde?