We got a chance to catch up with filmmaker Nick Bontrager, his film, Target, playing in this years Indie Grits festival.
1. What is your connection to the South?
I grew up in Houston, Texas and spent a majority of my youth in the southern states spending time with family and seeing the amazing parks and wildlife the south has to offer. Southern charm and hospitality is something that has served me well in my life thus far.
2. What was your muse for this film?
I was invited to participate in a project curated by Peter Lucas called “Mess With Texas” in which I was given access to educational and informational films from the Texas Archive of the Moving Image to produce a new artwork with. By sifting through strange, psychedelic and terrifying films that were once shown in classrooms or to student drivers, it was clear that I needed to create a new educational film introducing these 1970’s students to the wonderful future of cyborgs and artificial life.
3. What was your first film?
First films were really just moving photographs. I was so (and still am) entranced by the subtlety of a swaying branch or rippling pond that I would often just set up elaborate self portraits and then stand in front of the camera for minutes at a time, unmoving.
4. Did anything interesting or funny happen on set during the shooting?
There was no set for this film as I used archival footage, but I did request many more films from the Moving Image Archive than they planned to hand over. I believe I requested over 100 films for the project and they asked me to cut it down significantly.
5. If you’ve been to Indie Grits before, what’s your favorite memory?
I have not been, but hope to attend this year!