MIA SCREENS: JOHNNY CLYDE

Floralis, 2019, dir. Johnny Clyde
Floralis, 2019, dir. Johnny Clyde

MIA Screens is an online showcase featuring contemporary experimental films and artist moving image works with introductions by the artists who made them.

 

Johnny Clyde introduces Floralis (2019):

Floralis came from a really very simple idea. I had been editing our feature film for so long, it felt like I wasn’t actively creating anything for a very long time, so I wanted to see if my partner, our friend and I could make a film in just a couple of days with little to no preparation. Something that we could call beautiful. I had scribbled some notes down in a notebook and had a basic outline, but there was never a script. In fact, both Nina Viola, the actress, and my partner Viveka commented on how they didn’t really understand what we were filming but decided to just dive in anyway.

For me, I was really interested in trying to construct a short fable similar to eastern European folklore films from the 70s and 80s. I wanted to make something that touched on the feeling I have towards nature. In the end, there are a lot of things I would definitely do differently now. I wish I had spent more time with it. My partner had a baby just a little after we finished filming so my focus on the film was limited. But still, when I watch it I see moments I feel proud of and I’m happy we pulled it off with just the three of us in two days.

You find yourself getting the most creative when you have very little resources and have to really problem solve to get these ideas out of your head. All the wind sounds in the film are just me whistling and blowing air through my teeth. The lighting when Nina is sleeping is a just a small house light with an even smaller blue gel, and I was holding an 8mm projector on my shoulder with a red gel taped on the front of it, with a water bottle in my other hand swirling the water around in front of the light to get that kind of swirly light effect on Nina. And the scene at the table with the candles, we didn’t have a slider so I built one out of metal rods and we slid the camera on top of felt scraps. Things like that, that’s my favorite way to work. Just being in the moment and creating.