Sunday, November 25, 2012

Rising Star, Jewelry Designer, Yvette Cortez of sal miel

sal miel
 When I meet the pint-sized diva, Yvette Cortez, founder and creator of the jewelry brand sal miel, which means "salt and honey" in Spanish, I'm blown away by the designer's delicate power. In five-inch wedges, lycra leggings only the tinniest of gals can get away with, waves of thick, long, black hair, she navigates the south Williamsburg cafe with ease. As a child, Cortez loved to collect gems, rocks, minerals, and other earthly treasures, so "it makes sense that I moved to New York to do this."
By doing this, the talent and brains behind the brand that's taking off, Cortez means designing jewelry and running a business on her own -- "of course it helps to have friends in the industry," she says. As a woman in my 30s, I've found my style to be grounded in a basic uniform of  jeans, cigarette pants, tees, and cardigans with killer accessories. A self-proclaimed jewelry addict, my new fav brand is sal miel for its dark, edgy, yet classic aesthetic.

This season, sal miel is doing tons of rings, which Cortez calls "little sculptures." Indeed, her process is akin to a sculptor's, as she starts with a wax mold and carves away until she gets the right shape, curves, and angles. Stacking rings are hot right now, though Cortez says she  likes to "avoid the editorial trends and be more of a trendsetter. Besides, living in New York, you see all the trends on the street -- the good, the bad, the ugly -- you can't help but to be informed by them. I let them inspire me."

My favorite of the sal miel collection is the "Two-Spike" ring, which proves to be a most deadly accessory. The designer looks at me deadpan and says, "Sometimes you're out alone at night and you don't have any mace, but you have your 'Two-Spike.' Better than brass knuckles."

Cortez works in custom media, but to keep a lower price point, uses mostly silver, bronze, brass, and even petrified wood. Up next, she's working on cufflinks (inspired by Don draper, but a fabulous unisex accessory) and men's rings, which according to Cortez, who in addition to running her brand, works a full-time job in fashion, is "an untapped market." When it comes to mixing gold, silver, brass, and bronze, Cortez is all for it, as long as you keep your wardrobe sleek and minimal, and only wear clothes that work for your body. 

Though she spends time in the Meatpacking District and the Lower East Side, Cortez's home and studio are in Williamsburg. The designer loves the pace of Brooklyn, and, you guessed it, finding "hidden gems." Some of her favorite places to shop are Catbird, A Thousand Picnics, and Love Adorned

As for storing her jewelry, Cortez favors a vintage cigar box (lined with fur to protect the jewels) or an old Tiffany wine glass box. And like many jewelers I know, she advises you to "stack it wherever it can go," so you can always see your adornments. 

For purchase information visit sal miel online, Facebook and instagram @salmiel

I just adore this brand for being a gem in the rough, so thanks, Yvette!
xx BG

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jill Meets Perez Hilton: Blogger to Blogger

The other night, at La Maison Cointreau, I met the Queen of all media, Mr. Perez Hilton. When I asked him the secret to his success, he said, "Sleep your way to the top!" But he was kidding, of course. "Be unique," was his for real answer. Uh huh. xo

Jill Di Donato and Perez Hilton

Friday, September 28, 2012

Rising Star, Semi-Charmed Life Novelist, Nora Zelevansky

On my way into S'nice, a vegan bakery in Park Slope to meet ELLE writer, novelist and super chic city chick, Nora Zelevansky, Debi Mazar is exiting with her kids. I think what a perf star sighting -- this quintessential New York-turned LA babe-- to kick off my interview with Nora Zelevansky, New York native and author of Semi-Charmed Life, who's fresh off her LA book tour. First off, I love the title of Zelevansky's debut novel, as it speaks to something I think I lead, and something most New York/Los Angeles women in their teens, 20s (and even 30s can relate to). To me, the term connotes a lifestyle that is marked by a series of glamorous disasters. It also speaks to a kind of self-importance or entitlement that marks our generation. Even if we don't have evil or narcissistic intentions, it's hard not to be self-obsessed in this "cult of celebrity," that defines our society these days. With the constant status updates, the notion of having "followers," and collecting "likes," not to mention the easy infiltration into the privacy of celebrities' lives, it's no wonder the "everyday" person can feel an illusory sense of social relevance. This, essentially, is the satire that marks Zelevansky's novel. The author agrees with me. "These days, everybody's a celebrity -- you're in the minority if you're not." Semi- Charmed Life, which has been lauded as a comedic satire and cultural critique by critics in both the upmarket literary fiction and the super popular YA genre.

When I ask Zelevanksy if her novel is a YA book, she says it could be, "But really, it fits into a lot of categories. It is a coming-of-age book, so in that way, yes. It's also literary fiction, comedic satire, a mystery and a love story." In the novel, Beatrice Bernstein, an Upper West Side ingenue takes on the job of ghostwriting a socialite's blog. Beatrice, who, like Zelevansky, grew up in an artsy family on the Upper West Side -- here, Zelevansky pauses to add that unlike the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side has "more soul" -- is a bit of a naif. Beatrice is swept up into the seductive world of parties, romance, and glitz that comes along with her new job, and social circle. Goodreads praises Zelevansky's artful depiction of Beatrice's identity crisis in the city that's too hopped up on ego to ever sleep." With her own magical touch, Zelevansky deftly explores the world of rarified Manhattan in this sparkling modern fairy tale of first love, finding one’s voice and growing up." In this way, Semi-Charmed Life also fits the "New Adult" genre -- one that categorizes books that appeal to both teens and adults. Zelevansky explains, "Someone having a hard time in the world is something that comes into play majorly in your 20s, but also resurfaces over and over again throughout your life. The book raises a lot of questions like family dynamics, morality, female friendships, and finding oneself." So, although Semi-Charmed Life may have similar glamorous and dark undertones as Gossip Girl, don't expect Blake Lively to be starring in a TV adaptation of the novel any time soon.

"The novel is perfect for book clubs," says Zelevanksy, "Especially because it brings up Girl Code and makes a statement on the value of friendship. You can take your friendships for granted when you're younger, but they're so important to your happiness."

As for enjoying her own success as a debut novelist, Zelevanksy couldn't be happier. "I walked into BookCourt two days before I was to read there, and the people who work there ushered me over to my book. Although this is something every writer dreams of seeing one day, I told myself I wasn't going to react. But when I saw the books on the shelf, I started crying, then quickly excused myself. It's not that often in life when you feel proud of yourself. In that moment, I was profoundly proud."

And deservedly so! The book is fabulous -- characters intriguing and quirky; the writing  witty, fresh, and taut. But don't take my word for it; come to Zelevansky's final Manhattan reading this Tuesday, October 2, at 6 PM at the Lexicon Lounge. For more info on this event check out the Facebook invite
@Hyatt48LexNYC #semicharmedlife

Be sure to visit The Pocket Lint, Nora Zelavansky's blog on "unexpected gems for quirky food, beauty, travel, and style-obsessed explorers."

Here at Beautiful Garbage, we love coming-of-age New York novels about quirky, artsy chicks! Thanks for sharing yours, Nora! xo

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rising Star: Novelist, Courtney Elizabeth Mauk

New, daring literary fiction alert! Courtney Elizabeth Mauk's debut novel is about a woman who takes her pyromaniac brother into her home after he is released from prison, where he spent twenty years for killing a family of four. As she attempts to help him in his rehabilitation, she starts slipping, becoming paranoid about his motives and losing touch with the peaceful life she had created. To find relief, she escapes into a nocturnal New York where the line between reality and dream blurs.

Q&A with the author of SPARK:

BG: Tell us a little about the press that published SPARK and how people can order it:

CEM: SPARK is being published by Engine Books. Victoria Barrett runs the press and does an amazing job. She has made a commitment to publishing no more than four books a year, at least half by women. Working with her has been a revelation. She puts so much attention and energy into each of her titles and produces beautiful books. She also works hard to create a sense of community. The Engine Books authors promote each other, cheer each other on. There's so much goodwill and support. I love being a part of it all. My novel will be released in late September and is available for pre-order now

BG: Your protagonist sounds like he might be unsympathetic. For many editors, this seems like it could be a turn-off -- even though some of the most culturally relevant protagonists have been unsympathetic, unreliable, even insane -- from  Holden to Humbert Humbert. What's up with that? I'm personally intrigued by an unsympathetic narrator; I think it's closer to life than the fairy tale stories as educated post-modern thinkers we've been taught to dissect.

CEM: I love unsympathetic, unreliable, insane characters! Really, I think few well-crafted characters are truly unsympathetic. They may do things that the reader does not approve of, or finds disturbing, but a skilled writer is able to evoke the reader's empathy anyway. The reader has to be willing to go on the journey with the character, though, and some readers don't like being taken outside their comfort zone. I do. I agree with you that these "unsympathetic" characters are closer to real life. We're all flawed; we all have good and bad sides. That complexity is what I find interesting.

BG: One of my favorite protagonists, Meursault from The Stranger is known for his cold, indifference to the world, yet The Stranger is a book that grows more and more beautiful each time I read it. I was thinking about Meursault in reference to SPARK. I've come to realize that Meursault is not a composite character, but there are shades of him in the human experience. Is this how you feel about the characters in SPARK?

CEM: Yes, definitely. Delphie, the pyromaniac, gets in trouble for giving in to his impulses. He then must work hard to shut out those impulses, to reprogram himself. He has to change so that he doesn't do any more harm, yet he loses an essential part of who he is. It's sad. His story is an extreme example of something everyone deals with. We all have desires that might not be "good" for us, some of which we control, others we do not. Our impulses can hurt others and ourselves, but they also can lead to amazing experiences, to living a full, self-actualized life. It's a push and pull as we negotiate society. How much of ourselves do we let come out? What aspects have we suppressed for so long, we can't even access them anymore? And what happens when those suppressed impulses break through?  

BG: How does landscape play a role in your novel? Not just physical landscape, but the cultural landscape in which the novel is set?

CEM: SPARK is set in New York, mainly in Brooklyn, and the city is a huge presence. One of the things I adore about New York is how layered it is. There's the shiny veneer that the tourists see, the flash and pop of Times Square. There's the New York for those with money, which is cleaner and more self-contained than for those without. There's the New York for those struggling to make it. There's the New York for those who have stopped struggling. Everyone co-exists, moving over and around and through each other. There are so many secrets, so many stories.

People talk a lot about "how New York used to be" - grittier, more dangerous, more free. There's a sense that something has been lost, some sort of truth. Everywhere seems to be gentrifying. I explore this change in SPARK and turn it on its head. Maybe the surface of the city has become better groomed, but New York has not lost its dark impulses. It's a very human place.

The author, Courtney Elizabeth Mauk

BG: As a writer, what's your practice? Do you write everyday or are you a binge writer?

CEM: I try to write every day. I don't stick to an exact schedule, but I tend to do my best work in the morning and early afternoon. I set myself a word count goal, usually 500 or 1000 words depending on what else is going on. I usually exceed that, but I set my count intentionally low for me so that I can feel good about going past it. Little tricks like that can really help. If I don't write, I become anxious. I need my time alone with my imagination.  

BG: You've got an MFA in fiction from one of the most prestigious (and expensive) programs out there. While there are fellowships available at a place like Columbia, they are uber-competitive and far and few between. To an aspiring writer who wants to pursue an MFA, what advice would you offer?

I'm glad I got my MFA, and Columbia was a good choice for me (partially because it got me to New York). The degree has enabled me to teach, and I made many good friends in the program who are still my best readers. But I don't think an MFA is required to strengthen your writing or have a writing career. There are many wonderful private and community workshops (like Sackett Street, where I teach) and informal writing groups that can be just as helpful.

One thing my friends and I often talk about is how we wish we'd been better prepared for the realities of a writing life. My program taught me very little about the business side of things - rejection, contracts, book promotion, juggling priorities, paying the rent. I learned what I know from being out in the trenches, which is probably the best way to learn. Still, more discussion of the practicalities would have been nice.

I would advise aspiring writers to think long and hard about why they want to pursue an MFA. Do they want to teach? Work with a particular writer? Spend a few years away from the "real world?" All of these are valid reasons, but if you don't have a clear sense of what you want to get out of an MFA, you probably shouldn't do it. The cost should be considered carefully, too. Writing is very rarely a high paying career path, so the debt will most likely be carried for a long time.

Thanks, Courtney. I can't wait to read SPARK! xoxo 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Rising Star: Jeweler and Creator/Owner of Bijulesterie, Jules Kim

Forget the A-list celebrities downtown designer Jules Kim has outfitted with her exquisite head-turning jewels; this bohemian flower child trapped in the body of a supermodel inspires all of us to adorn our bodies with her edgy new collection, Il Futuro. With the opening of her flagship showroom in the belly of the Bowery, Bijulesterie, you can experience an appointment-only jewelry consultation. “There’s a tension that builds as you descend into my new showroom,” explains the designer. “You let go of the stress of your day, and once you start trying on the pieces …” Jules flashes me a coy smile, and I can see how clients fall under her spell. “The client has an intimate, undivided collection of moments inside my four cool walls. It’s not an ordinary retail experience, which is based on the client being vulnerable and then experiencing satisfaction,” explains Kim. “And I don’t design based on the season or trends. My jewelry will last forever. You could bury it and dig it up in 1000 years.” For years, Bijules jewelry has primarily been about gilding the body with ornaments, but with the opening of her showroom, the designer is taking the brand beyond the flesh and creating an organic, inventive, and artistic experience. She calls her Bijulesterie a “spatial interpretation of the work.”

Aside from her innovative aesthetic in jewelry, which has been worn by Beyonce, Rihanna, and Rooney Mara in the 2011 film The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Kim is a savvy businesswoman who is well aware of who is ripping off the designs she showcases on her website. Of this, she dismissively says, “My clients know where to get the real thing.” Subsequently, she’s known as being tough in the business. But, she points out, when you’re dealing with male-dominated diamond vendors, some who won’t even shake a woman’s hand, Kim says, “What do you expect me to be?”

Additionally, she has an extensive silversmith background because, as she explains, “You have to understand your medium, how the metal moves.”

So far, her signature pieces are the Nail Ring,™ Handlet, (a bracelet for the hand) the Bar Ring, and the Bony Knuckle Ring. One of my favorite pieces of the Bijules brand is the Nail Ring™ Bling Privee, which has a concealed diamond (facing the person wearing it, as opposed to a traditional diamond ring, where the diamond is facing the public). “It’s like lingerie,” says Kim. “Only for you.” What’s fantastic about the Nail Ring™ is that it’s totally functional and won’t slip off, and Kim will customize her pieces to meet each client’s personal aesthetic.

Here’s a quick Q&A with the designer:

BG: What’s your inspiration?
JK: Different parts of the body.
BG: What goes into creating a collection?
JK: People can become super obsessed with what they wish they could have. I like to make things that will become peoples’ icons.
BG: For the jewelry novice, what’s your advice on how to build a jewelry collection?
JK: Respect the element of comfort. You must be comfortable with the jewels on your body. Start simple, going one piece at a time. There’s a world of opportunity in the art of adorning yourself. Then, gradually, learn how to diversify. Push the elements of style and play with different shapes and colors.
BG: How should people store jewelry?
JK: That’s up to you. I have a porcelain lotus flower candleholder by my bedside. But my whole apartment stores my jewelry; I have a coo-coo clock with necklaces hanging from it.
BG: What’s the best way to care for jewelry?
JK: Every piece is different based on how your body chemistry works with the metal. But, a great trick is to use a soft bristle toothbrush, soap, and warm water. The piece will look new afterwards.

To make an appointment at Jules Kim’s Bijulesterie, send your name and contact information to or meet the designer in person at Select Summer Fridays, a party hosted by Kim and Katie Longmyer at Le Bain on the rooftop of the Standard New York 3-8 PM through August 31

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rising Star, Photographer Matt McGingley

Getting an interview out of a strong, silent type who happens to be an observer by trade is tricky. But I brought my journalistic skills to the table, along with a couple of beers, and sat down with portrait/music/skateboard photographer Matt McGinley. I’ve always liked his work because of the grittiness in his photographs that comes across without pretension or making the viewer feel like he or she’s watching snuff on a Super 8. His work strikes me as achieving the right balance of ethereal madness and the weight of something solid.  

©McGinley Robstock

Characterize your aesthetic:
I like to portray people the way they are naturally. I’m not trying to project fantasy on a person. I don’t try to make someone into someone he or she isn’t already. But we all see differently so my view of a person will always be different from yours or their own.

People always have an idea about how they look. Do they see themselves as they are in reality, or is there no such thing as an objective portrait? 
People still see themselves the way they want to, and everyone takes something different away from a photograph.

©McGinley McNett

©McGinley Rittz

What advice do you give people who are being photographed?
Relax in general. Don’t worry about doing something with your hands.
I like shooting real people, catching in-between moments, when they forget about me, when they’re not trying. Models have poses; they know what they’re doing.

How do you get what you want out of a subject?
I’m relentless. I shoot until they give up. I rather not set up a shot; I like to let things happen.

What’s your ideal place to shoot?
I like natural light. Overcast days are great. I fell more free shooting in daylight.  I do studio work where I use lights, which I enjoy as well, but I like daylight best.

How do you put together a portfolio?
It’s a total nightmare. I’ll put a portfolio together mostly after the fact. I’ll shoot what I want without a portfolio in mind. Then I’ll have 200 photos taped on my wall. It drives me crazy.

If you weren’t a photographer, you’d be …
That’s a good question. I haven’t ever done anything that doesn’t involve a camera. 

©McGinley Freddie Gibbs
©McGinley Roxy

What are you working on now?
I’ve been shooting a lot of music artists – a project I’ve been working on in Huntsville, Alabama, where I’m documenting the hip-hop scene. I shoot a lot of up-and-coming artists as they’re evolving. I like shooting hip-hop because they have drive to promote themselves and personality, a hunger which comes through in the photos, some musicians hate being photographed and shy away from cameras. I regularly shoot guests on Ballers Eve Radio. I like shooting people in their studios or homes. I think it says a lot about a person by what they surround themselves with.

©McGinley Bentley

Anything else you’d like to add?
Nope. I never told you this was going to be easy.

Will you photograph me?
Sure. You bought the beers.

Check out Matt’s work here

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Incomprable Women of Style

My favs from:

Incomparable Women of Style: Selections from the Rose Hartman Photography Archives, 1977-2011 curated by Anna Yanofsky, a Masters candidate at the Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC

Jerry Hall and Andy at Studio 54, 1977
Blondie, c. 1984

Making Up At Mudd Club c. 1982
Apollonia backstage at Bill Kaiserman, c. 1979

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Curtis Kulig x Reformation World's First Sustainable Sex Kit

Sex meets fashion for a limited edition collaboration between artist Curtis Kulig, known for his iconic Love Me street art campaign and Reformation, a brand renowned for its repurposed fashion. Former lovers and longtime friends, Yael Aflalo of Reformation and Kulig have partnered to create the world's first sustainable sex kit. Aflalo's brand uses 80% reclaimed materials, as Aflalo is an advocate of sustainable fashion. Recycled material and a recycled relationship inspired the collaboration, which Aflalo and Kulig curated together.

Each SEX KIT ($195) includes a limited edition silk "Love Me" print thong, limited edition "Never Sleep" silk blindfold in the artist's hand tag, naughty temporary tattoos and  "I Hate Myself" matchbook Trojan condoms in the artist's hand tag, as well as a "Love Me" branded MIA vibrator, distributed by the industry-leading vibrator manufacturer, Lelo. All the contents come inside a limited edition "Love Me" for Reformation bag made out of the highest quality reclaimed materials. The kit makes a sexy gift for a lover or yourself, as the bag can be reused for cosmetics or lingerie. All other items allow you to indulge in foreplay while saving the planet.SEXY! xoxo

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Beautiful Macabre with Indie Film Director, Jeremiah Kipp

As a nod to the auteur, indie film director Jeremiah Kipp keeps it real: (I resisted the reel pun, people) real ethereal and eerie, often making audiences uncomfortable with the juxtaposition of beauty and horror in his films. Unlike the slasher genre that sells tickets with misogyny, Kipp's films glorify the sexy, powerful, and disturbing side of women. Even his A/X commercial captures this aesthetic.

How would you identify yourself primarily—as a director? And if so, what’s your genre? How would you describe it?
I’ve passed through a long apprenticeship as an assistant director on various feature films, while at the same time directing my own projects on the side. Over the past two years, I’ve strongly identified myself as a director and haven’t looked back. As for genre, it’s a little nebulous. I get inspired by guys like photographer Gregory Crewdson, painter Edvard Munch or fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who have a toe dipped in the horror genre, with elements of the fantastic or macabre—but their work is also aesthetically beautiful. 

Tell me about your most recent films. What is the aesthetic you’re going for?
For me, the recent films start with CONTACT in 2009, which kicked off a series of collaborations with my director of photography and good friend Dominick Sivilli.  That was an attempt for us to pare filmmaking back to the very essential, stripping away plot, character, even color, so what was left would be, we hoped, pure cinema. I was going through a very lonely time in my life, and wanted to make a movie about relationships and the fear of connection—ending in a grotesque image where the people kiss and their faces fuse together.  It takes an idea of getting too close to someone, and makes that literal. 

CONTACT was a stepping stone that allowed us to tap into the melancholia of CRESTFALLEN (a film about suicide), which we shot in widescreen (2:55 aspect ratio)—we wanted to make it seem huge, because when we fall in love or hate or despair, everything seems more epic and fantastic.  In our first feature film, THE SADIST, a work-for-hire project, we took the typical “killer in the woods” scenario and tried to shoot every scene as if we were running a gauntlet, in a hyper-aggressive and energetic way.  Dom and I wanted to move from these quiet chamber piece short films into something that felt like a spectacle even on our threadbare budget—where we were setting cars on fire, smashing trailers into pulp with back hoes, and pushing all our actors as far as they could go. The producers are re-cutting the film right now, so we’ll see how it all turns out…

It seems your heroines are dark, sexy, and kind of fucked up women. What’s up with that, and what’s the appeal of this type of character?
It’s probably because I’m interested in characters who take it to the limit, and women often seem more emotionally available than men; you can’t really picture John Wayne or Woody Allen walking the razor’s edge so closely. I also like working with women, and it’s less interesting for them to play the good girl holding the hand of the hero and passively following him on the adventure.  I’ve been fortunate to work with actresses that are willing to go for it—and they deserve all the credit. ZoĆ« Daelman Chlanda in CONTACT, Deneen Melody in CRESTFALLEN, Laura Lona in DROOL and Mackenzie Christine Hawkins in THE SADIST, to name just a few, were truly inspired and charismatic performers, willing to tap into their dark, fearful and obsessive emotions. It’s worth pointing out that after we complete shooting, there’s a sense of catharsis and accomplishment they (and I) go through.  It doesn’t feel sinister at all; it feels jubilant and exciting.
Actress Daelman Chlanda in CONTACT

Actress Deenan Melody in CRESTFALLEN
I wish more women filmmakers were telling stories about disturbed female characters…they have far more to say about it than I do. I recently produced a film called IN MONTAUK for a talented filmmaker named Kim Cummings whose central character has to choose between her art and motherhood, and I think this came from the fact that when Kim had children she had to put her filmmaking career on hold for five years right around the time she was making a name for herself. Women have to go through trials that men, myself included, cannot possibly fathom.

How do you get what you want from an actor/actress?

Sometimes I make them jump up and down and scream at them to lift up their knees until they touch the ceiling—then throw them into the scene.  Other times, I’ll have the actor voice out the subtext until they’re exhausted—then throw them into the scene.  When we’re not doing those physical rehearsals, I tend to go for simple playable actions like, “You’re trying to get her to leave the room” or “You want to twist the knife in him.”  I’ve also worked with child actors where we play “as if” games such as, “Play this scene as if you’re seasick” and it produces a unique effect.  Beyond that, I try to get as much rehearsal as possible so when we arrive on set, the performer is able to leap into any situation and play it.

Because of the troubled times we’re living in, do you think people want to watch films that are fantastical, i.e. transportive, or that reflect the struggles and trauma that we’re going through ourselves?
Audiences aren’t interested in characters per se; they’re interested in themselves. They project so much onto the films they watch, and somehow pick a character to identify with even if they don’t necessarily like the movie. We plug into movies and inevitably bring our own baggage to them. When I made THE CHRISTMAS PARTY, a film about a little boy going to a holiday party run by Christians, the kind who want everyone else to be Christian too, it had a very successful festival run. Audiences around the world interpreted it differently. In New England, they considered the film social realism; on the West Coast they hailed it as a horror movie; in France they interpreted it as a satire on American “Norman Rockwell” values. Christian film festivals viewed it as a cautionary tale.  All of these are correct, because once a film is completed, it no longer belongs to me—it belongs to them.

As a filmmaker, how does our cultural context impact the material you take on?
 It’s inevitable to be influenced by where we are culturally; I don’t think it can be helped.  But I’m also influenced by looking at paintings, reading the newspaper, people watching—it all feeds one’s inspiration.

What’s your latest project?  I know you’re trying to get funding for something, so perhaps talk about how people can contribute—or how your films get funded.
A friend of mine named Joe Fiorillo wrote a surreal short film called THE DAYS GOD SLEPT, which is a kind of quasi-religious meditation about men and women, and takes place in an unusual gentleman’s club.  That sounds awfully pretentious, but Joe’s writing taps into a kind of dreamlike raw nerve about the sexes.  I’m happy to say the fundraising campaign for the project, run by our producer Lauren Rayner, was a total success; they secured the entire budget through getting the word out through social media and highlighting its more sensational elements.  Every project gets funded in a different way.   
Still from DROOL
Still from CONTACT
CRESTFALLEN was produced by a guy who saw and loved CONTACT; THE SADIST was a job financed entirely by two Connecticut producers who had never made a movie before.  Lately I’ve been making movies with a performance art group called The Mandragoras Project which have been doing small experimental films as art for art’s sake, and enjoyed doing a movie called DROOL with them that was made with their few resources and a lot of creativity. Laura Lona, who runs Mandragoras, gave us total support and artistic freedom. If anyone wants to pay for another short film, I’d love to do a 60-second version of CONTACT that would feel more like a hand grenade of kinetic energy.  And I’m speaking with a producer right now about putting together my second feature, which would be a monster movie.  I like to work, and feel like work begets work.

For more on Director Jeremiah Kipp visit his IMDb page. XOX BG