Keeping you informed of what’s happening in the film community is part of the TriFilm Society’s mission. We love highlighting what people are working on, what motivates them, and how you can participate.
In this interview, Julianna Thomas shares her curated art project VHS Mixtape. Read through the interview and comment below to share your support!
You can also participate in Julianna’s project by submitting your videos here.
Tell us about the VHS Mixtape project.
VHS Mixtape is an annual video mixtape released on VHS.
It’s sort of like a film festival, except that it’s all about video and it’s free to submit. It’s kind of like a zine in that we are only releasing each volume once and in small quantities.
It’s just like a mixtape but with video instead of music and released on VHS instead of cassette tapes.
What made you start it?
I’ve seen firsthand that there aren’t a lot of welcoming spaces for short videos and films outside of the internet. Film festivals are normally focused on feature length films and thus often overlook short films and videos. There’s a lot of prestige associated film, and that prestige does not carry over to video. Creating a crowdsourced, curated project that specifically celebrates short videos seemed like such a natural response.
How has the project been received so far?
We’ve received a lot of great, out-of-the-blue submissions from people all over the world. It’s been so cool to watch that happen.
I LOVE THE INTERNET. Sometimes it’s a cesspool of angry people (hello, youtube comments) but it’s mostly a wonderful tool that connects me with people that might have been out of reach otherwise.
I’ve received a few bewildered responses. However, did anyone actually expect that vinyl would come back and be this huge thing? Or cassette tapes? For whatever reason, people like owning and collecting physical media again.
To me, it makes perfect sense to release a collection of videos on VHS tapes. VHS was the first media to turn ordinary people into anthologizers of video. Also, uh, tapes are cheap.
How many years will you release mixtapes?
This is such a tough question to answer. I think it really depends on how Volume 1 turns out. If we get a ton of awesome submissions, sell some tapes, and almost break even, I’ll call VHS Mixtape a success and there will be a Volume 2.
When does the first one come out and where can we find it?
Volume 1 will be released early Spring 2016.
Tapes can be pre-ordered here. When you buy a tape, you get access to an online screener. Anyone who submits a video gets access to a screener too, of course.
I’m also excited to say that there’s a local screening party in the works. Stay tuned.
If someone wants to submit, what do they need to know about how to do it?
Is your video funny, weird, or cool? If it’s one or more of those things, you should submit it RIGHT NOW.
I tried to make submitting a video as simple as possible. You basically send a link to an online screener and a description of the video. It’s free to enter.
What other projects are you working on?
I run my own business so I’m always busy with that. I mostly work as a video editor but I shoot, design, and do motion-graphics work too.
I just wrapped up a year-and-a-half long study of textures that are black and white in real life. “Black & White In Color” is my personal response to treating black and white as an editing afterthought. I’m so honored to say that it was selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick. It feels magical to see that badge on my video.
“Black & White In Color” is the first in a pair of videos that contrast black and white with color, minimalism with maximalism. I’ll be starting work on the paired video, “Oversaturated,” soon.
I have plans for an installation featuring both videos.
Anything else that you’d like to share?
Be kind and rewind. Make meaningful work, not content. Submit a video.
Her most recent video, “Black & White In Color,” was selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick and has been featured on The Atlantic Monthly, Gizmodo, Fubiz, Laughing Squid, and Devour. Her videos have been screened at The Honolulu Museum of Art, The Full Frame Theater, The Carrack Modern Art, and on Discovery Channel Canada.
Currently, her time is spent running her business – Julianna Thomas Media – where she makes videos for a number of corporate, nonprofit, and creative agency clients. She keeps busy with a number of personal projects in video and design.
- VHS Mixtape website: vhsmixtape.org
- Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/vhsmixtape
- Twitter: @vhs_mixtape
- Instagram: @vhsmixtape
- Artist website: juliannathomas.com
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