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January 10, 2011

Native Media

Screen shot 2011-01-10 at 9.51.37 AM

Outside of the context of the National Museum of the American Indian, the word native can mean something else entirely, and it’s common to hear techies refer to “native content” without mentioning a tribal affiliation. I don't think of native 1080p as an indigenous tribe, but maybe some geeks do.

Welcome to the Media Initiatives blog. My colleagues and I would like to take the opportunity to highlight aspects of productions that we’re working on currently, stuff that never made it into the final edit, and older work that has stories behind it. We hope these posts and your comments will become a way to stay in touch and see what you and we are up to.

In this first post I thought I'd tell you a little a bit about working on a video about HOCK E AYE VI Edgar Heap of Birds. This was one in a series of incredible opportunities afforded me to get to work with a supremely interesting artist in a magical setting—in this case, Venice, Italy. With this opportunity came a major drawback, and that was that there was no budget for a crew. Many of the on-site interviews came from me holding the camera, with headphones on, asking questions—less than ideal. But among the great things about making this video was that I was able to write and record some music and pretty much have free reign in how it was put together and shot. Edgar was always patient and willing, and Venice provided plenty of interesting visuals. It was also my first time working in a totally tapeless format (that is a totally tapeless native format). That meant that I could shoot in HD, but also that I would spend hours in my hotel room later sweating through error messages and lost footage. (Whatever weight I lost stressing out and carrying equipment around I regained eating the gorgonzola gnocci and canolis.)

Edgar created a work for the 2007 Venice Biennale entitled Most Serene Republics, and I produced a video about that installation. This video, however, is about the work he did on the island of Murano, where he made beautiful art in glass. If you watch closely, you'll glimpse me (shooting from a tripod at a distance) reflected in the glass. It was very hot in there! I’ll also note that NMAI media archivist Michael Pahn (on acoustic bass) and I (on acoustic guitar) performed the music on this video, “Working In Glass.”

Well, here’s the video. I hope you enjoy it, and I'll post again next month!



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I agree with the amazing work created by Edgar for the 2007 Venice Biennale...The "Most Serene Republics", great name too. I am interested in seeing the video produced on that. Great job!

I am going to Venice Italy this next summer too, so can't wait. It is a magical place.


As a Native American myself, this is awesome. The work and dedication of Edgar is amazing and I'm very happy for him!

Lee - The GMAT Coach

ps- the video was well put together!

This is a really well shot video considering it was a one-man team filming it!

I think not getting a reflection was always going to be difficult whilst shooting such reflective material, although maybe next time try from a bit of an angle instead of face on?

How did you find filming under such high temperature, was it more pressure??

sydney video production

Thank u so much ..

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