“Victor Solomon is a man without a name. What is a man without a name? Someone that people say, ‘Who is that guy? What’s his name?’ But people want to know, who are you?”
M.I.S.S. presents Blooming Visionaries: Victor Solomon
Good morning ladies and gents:
Today we are proud to present you with our very first Blooming Visionary here at M.I.S.S. To kick off this investigation of emerging artists local and abroad, we have been fortunate enough to encounter the talented Victor Solomon. He is a film making enigma without a name: a creative force of unknown origins. Our people talked to his people, and an interview was agreed upon. It was delivered to us in secret with a few smuggled pictures of the talented inventor. We finally discovered that Victor does in fact live in San Francisco proper, yet his awe striking films leave not a trace.
Below you will find a collection from Solomon’s Anthropology series, based on the book of short stories by Dan Rhodes. You will find his full length audio interview conducted by Todd Hudson. You will find quotes from Victor and a few stolen photographs. Tune in to hear Solomon’s philosophy on the creative vessel, why film making is so difficult, and if he can really pull off 101 short films in a year.
I’m not an enigma. I’m very normal.
This is the thing about film that’s so frustrating and difficult: it’s hard. I have huge respect for anyone that finishes anything in film, because it’s a really overwhelming process. You have to get people together, there’s a lot of heavy lifting involved, literally. And in that time, in the execution, things are getting lost and you have to find a way to guard the idea.
I want to talk about the idea of the creative vessel. This is not meant to be self-deprecating or false modesty, but I don’t think there’s anything different about me, creatively, than anyone else in the world. I don’t think anyone else couldn’t do what I’m doing. It just goes through me, I’m the laborer. The initial inception of an idea is outside of my control.
I’m in the shower, I’m driving around, and something just pops up and I shoot a letter or something. There are radio waves of ideas that just flow through, and they could easily flow through you or me or anyone. The execution is really what anyone does. If I have an idea and someone gets around to it before I do, that’s fine. They caught the same signal.
So, Anthropology. I went through this really weird phase the year before last. I shot a bunch of music videos and none of them came out they way I wanted to. I was just in this bad spot when a friend of mine handed me this book of short stories. It was Dan Rhodes’ book called Anthropology. It was 101 stories, all 101 words each; I sat in the park and read the whole book in one sitting. I just thought they were brilliant, I felt like they needed a visual representation.
It just spoke to me and seemed like something really fun. When I sat down to figure out how to shoot them, I felt like I wasn’t making the decisions. When we shot it, it was a very charmed experience all the way through. Everything just fell into place and then they came out really well. If I put more of myself into the process I probably would have messed it up.
Victor on set, attempting to translate his vision to his crew...
When you really intellectualize filming, it’s ridiculous.
When you’re making film there’s money on the line, there’s time, there’s all these people waiting for you, there are many external pressures. I’m really jealous of writers and artists. They just get to sit in a room and create, there’s very little risk.
The idea is all in my mind. And then thirty people need to get hired to make this idea come out of my mind. I have to manufacture these people’s emotions into feeling this way, I have to get the lighting to look the way I want it to through my gaffer and grips, I have to get the image to look the way it looked in my head through the director of photography, I have to get the production designer to create what it looks like in my mind, I have to get all these people to literally working very very hard to realize my vision.
Filmmaking is everything but a hobby to Victor...
I think of filmmaking as a hobby more than anything, I’m just wielding this creative energy, it’s not mine. I’m just reining it in and guiding it to the output.
If I could just shoot the Anthropology films for the rest of my life I would be completely satisfied creatively. I could shoot those forever and I would feel happy.
A true visionary—and creative vessel—Victor Solomon.