Welcome to our new ongoing series of blog posts featuring interviews with our membership. The Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta is an artist-run co-operative that exists to facilitate and support the creation, exhibition, distribution, and preservation of independent film, video and new media art in Northern Alberta. What makes that all possible is the artists, filmmakers, and creators that are members of our society. Watch this space on #MembershipMonday as we highlight a different member weekly.
How did you start working in film and why?
I just always was into it ever since I was a kid. I got a video camera when I was pretty young, just a cheap, terrible home video camera, but I made any school project with it that I could. It was sort of a tool that I had. As I started getting more into art as a form of expression, I just started using that tool more.
How did you find out about FAVA and why did you join?
The first time that I found FAVA was when I was shooting a video of one of my friends playing live at this place called The End of the World. It’s deep in the River Valley, some weird spot that is kind of historically prominent and important. We needed to rent some gear and I had heard of FAVA when I went to MacEwan. The first time I was going into the depot, I thought it was the coolest place ever. There was just this perfect building with all this gear and everything, and it just seemed amazing. Then I actually got a job there a few years ago, worked there for a couple of years and have been pretty involved ever since.
What was a great collaborative experience you’ve had on a project?
One that just happened recently was with Jamie McRae, who works at FAVA now. He made a short film and I did the soundtrack for it actually, which was a lot of fun. It was one of the first times I’ve done a bit of a longer soundtrack. I actually did one for Sylvia Douglas as well, one the first soundtracks I ever really did. It’s a lot of fun. In my own projects, I have a harder time collaborating with people. I’ve done stuff with other FAVA members, like Dylan Rhys Howard; he did a music video and I did a kind of a glitch video element to it as well.
How has FAVA supported your filmmaking journey?
I think that the gear is the more obvious thing. Without a place like FAVA, you wouldn’t be able to have access to that gear. I also feel like when I started working there and just saw everyone making such awesome stuff, it was a huge motivator to get out there and make more art of my own. Seeing the whole community interact is really encouraging to go out and make art.
How does it feel to present your work with an audience?
I find I get really nervous when screening stuff. I’ve really gotten used to playing in bands and performing live. But I get way more nervous screening stuff that’s already made for some reason. Presenting your work, it’s like you’re done with it. You’re ready. You put it up there and you feel very vulnerable. But when it goes well, when people like it and you get a positive response, then it feels great. I’m always excited to screen things, but I would almost rather not be in the room at the same time.
What are you working on next?
Right now I’m editing a live performance of a band called Wares; they’re a local band. Then I’m also doing a bunch of music videos for some friends, and a few other ones that are kind of still in the earlier stages.
Where can we see your work?
Check out Parker’s website! www.parkerthiessen.com
Parker’s Instagram: @thee_ruiner