Jeff Scher: I Got My Job Through the New York Times

Sunday, September 27, 2009

This week is a change of pace for me.  Instead of writing a blog, I’ve made a video.  It will be the first of many SpeedCine Videos.

This one is about experimental filmmaker and painter Jeff Scher.   I’m fascinated by the various ways that filmmakers and other artists have used the internet to market their work, and Jeff is certainly a sterling example--but that’s just a pretext for why I made this. 

The real reason was that I have known Jeff for decades and I have always been awed by his talent.   If you don’t know him yet, I hope that this video will send you scurrying to Jeff’s New York Times series, “The Animated Life,” for more.   You can also buy  a DVD that has a selection of his “Animated Life” films in full quality on his website, and some of his other movie can be seen on YouTube (with Jeff’s permission).  I also recommend the website of his wonderful collaborator, composer Shay Lynch, where you can full versions of of Lynch’s music cues for Jeff’s films and those by other filmmakers, as well as  all-too-brief clips from songs like “Stand By Me.” (Probably a rights thing. Our loss)  While Shay provides “Noises and Knobs” for the band The Problems, he hasn’t brought out his own CD, which is too bad.  Hopefully that will change.

I wanted to get more into Jeff talking about Shay’s contribution, as well as the fact that the Times gives him back full rights to the film after a month, but a six minute video is already pretty long.  It was hard enough to give a thumbnail portrait of who he is and show how having his films on the Times web page has changed his life. And Jeff said some interesting things about his process in creating “Summer Retreat,” which can’t be shown anywhere but the times until October.   So I plan to make a slightly longer version and put that up in a few weeks.