I had the opportunity to sit down with Dylan, my enigmatic neighbor across the street whom I often catch videotaping me from his front porch as I change into my pajamas. Despite seeing his shadowed silhouette several times I’d never had the courage to approach him, so you could say I was a bit star-struck. He strode out to meet me on the curb in front of his house and as we began to chat I struggled to conceal both my fangirl jitters and can of Mace.
How would you describe this film?
I’d say it’s sort of The Virgin Suicides meets Alice in Wonderland. I’m abandoning the societal construction of privacy for a guerilla style approach to the classic surburban America dystopia trope. The plot centers around a young woman who spends her evenings alone in her room watching bootleg movies online, occasionally watering her plant and changing her clothes. The majority of the film is shot through her window to emphasize her isolation, interspersed with my own hand-drawn animated scenes and experimental erotic claymation.
What inspired you to create this piece?
People leave their blinds up, you can see right in. Sometimes when I go in for a close-up tracking shot I’ll see the window is, in fact, ajar, so I’ll just keep the shot going right into the interior of the house and those spontaneous decisions have created some of my favorite scenes. I have the privilege of capturing that genuine shock and terror that you just can’t get from actors, and this raw emotion has inspired me to continue my work.
Who are your mentors?
Oh that’s a tough one. If I had to narrow it down to just one I’d say Boo Radley, Ted Bundy and Ben Affleck.
That’s three people.
What do you mean?
You named three people.
That I did.
Why these three?
If I told you I’d have to kill you. Do you want that? Do you want me to kill you?
No, thank you. What would you say was the biggest challenge in producing this film?
Probably trying to breathe quietly.
What do you think the public’s reaction will be to your film?
It’s hard to say, you know, because I haven’t actually been out in public for almost 18 years. You’re actually the first person I’ve spoken to in 5. Last time was when I bought that crowbar from Ace Hardware. Jared was his name. Great guy. Hope he’s still alive. But to answer your question I think the public will appreciate the community bond I’m portraying here–mi casa es su casa, if you will. That’s actually the working title right now. I hope this film encourages others to break barriers–both societally and physically–in the name of art.
Do you have plans for a next project?
My ankle bracelet limits me to a 500-foot radius of my house, which I view as an artistic challenge. I’m planning an investigative documentary filmed with tiny cameras attached to the collars of neighborhood dogs. People trust their dogs with everything. They think, who will my dog tell? With my camera strategy, imagine what I’ll learn. I’m calling this one “Betrayal”.