jotta: What sparked the idea to make BEAUTIFUL LOSERS?
AARON: There were some other people that wanted to make the film also. There was a lot of talk of making the movie and that the artists talked to each and decided that it would be better for us to make a film. If there was going to be a film, then the film should come from the art, from the artists and not from an outsider that might sensationalise some things.
jotta: Right, so there were suggestions by other filmmakers and producers?
AARON: Yeah, I don’t think really any of us wanted to be on the screen. It was just more like, either we did it or someone else was gonna do it and tell the wrong story.
jotta: Who did you make the film for?
AARON: Kids. I don’t think that young people are taught that they don’t need to follow the rules to succeed. And that’s kind of what the film’s about. So all the way through the editing process I was always thinking about what the kids were going to think.
jotta: Did you do screenings throughout with the kids? Or did you just kind of keep yourself in that frame of mind throughout the editing process?
AARON: We did maybe half a dozen screenings, all different audiences. Some were with old people, some were with young people. I realised through that whole process that iscreenings are crap! It doesn’t tell you anything. Especially the ones with the kids, you know? I believe you can just make a film and put it out in the world knowing you did a good job and people will watch. And it’s your vision.
jotta: So, these days the whole nature of the DIY ethos has changed completely due to the ease and immediacy of self-publishing. Where do you find the kind of DIY activity and this same ethos of creating work existing today?
AARON: In every bedroom, in every garage, every basement, every independent record store, every magazine rack in those independent record stores, in any city in the world. In laptop music. A noise band. Somebody who’s out writing graffiti, somebody who’s making exceptional art, with psychedelic patterns with Spongebob Squarepants in the middle of it. It can exisit in all forms, in all mediums. It’s funny, people like to talk about the internet and culture, the idea of things being human, I think that it just made it bigger. The advent of the internet actually really helped physical media, there’s been a massive resurface of vinyl records. But the internet has actually helped the DIY culture.
jotta: And do you think that this increase in DIY in other forms has also seen an increase in collective creativity or collaboration? Because it’s easier for people to connect basically?
AARON: I dunno if I’m qualified to answer that one for you. I can’t tell. I know that there’s a lot of people making, so many people that it’s mind-boggling. In all forms, in all mediums, in all ages. And as far as collaboration goes, I’m not entirely sure.
jotta: Was there a strong emphasis on collaboration amongst the artists in the film?
AARON: There was collaboration and there was competition. Like, someone would show up with a certain kind of brush to someone’s studio, and another person would say, “Hey I wanna use that brush.” It’s like with music, playing each others’ instruments and equipment. The real collaboration was more to do with supporting each other and helping to build each others work. It was understood that the more you push each other the more other people push you. It also came from trying to outdo your friends though- it’s rooted in one-up-manship, which I think is healthy!
By Millie Ross
Read more of the interview on jotta