Filmmaking | Interviews

Film for Art’s Sake or Want a Cookie?

1 Nov , 2004  

Written by Melinda Green | Posted by:

Director David Lachman talks about his transition from painting to 'video art' with his films 'Flower to Flower' and 'Homemade.'

David Lachman spent most of his life as a painter — until he realized that many of his ideas would work well as experimental videos. The North Adams resident has recently been expanding his talents into the world of "video art."

In an effort to "become more involved in his work," he created the short films "Flower to Flower" and "Homemade." "Flower to Flower" involves the pollination of bees and features Lachman petting the bees. Yes, petting. "When I was young, the bumble bees always looked so soft and fuzzy that I wanted to pet them. You have to be gentle but it’s quite easy."

Homemade involves something that anyone can try at home. The four and a half minute short is all about what happens when making baked goods from frozen treats. It will be screening on Sunday, November 14th at the SNOB (Somewhat North Of Boston) Film Festival in Concord, NH.

MG: What brought about "Homemade"?

David Lachman: I wanted to take more of a first person, physical involvement with my work, which led to me getting into video in the first place. My background is mainly painting, but it limited me in some of the things that I wanted to do. There are just some ideas I had that would not work in any other medium. So I do not really have that typical filmmaking background. I call it Video Art because that is exactly what it is. A lot of the video I had previously done was the sort of thing you would see as experimental art, meant mainly for art galleries and shows. Both "Flower to Flower" and "Homemade" are the first films I have done that have garnered an interest from film festivals. Which is great — because I wanted to do something that could be enjoyed by a larger audience.

MG: Since you said that some of your ideas work better via video, what were you trying to show with "Homemade"?

Lachman: I wanted to show what happens when you take something too literally. And the main character takes the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream in the most literal of senses.

MG: Through video, have you found that physical involvement with your work?

Lachman: Yes, definitely. I am the main character, and it begins with me going to the store to buy a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream. I then bring the ice cream home and begin to strain the cookie dough gobs from the pint. I then take the gobs and bake them, and the film concludes with me enjoying the fresh-baked cookies.

MG: Are Ben & Jerry okay with all of this?

Lachman: Friends keep telling me to send it to them, and maybe I will at one point. I do thank them at the end of the film.

MG: What triggered it?

Lachman: I don’t know if it triggered the idea, but they check to see if the product is made with the proper ingredients through melting it with hot water, which is strained the cookie dough from the actual ice cream. I saw this when I went on a factory tour in Vermont years ago. I’m not sure if it marked the beginning of the idea, but it showed me that the ingredients could be separated with minimal difficulty.

MG: Honestly, this works? The cookie dough found in cookie dough ice cream can be baked?

Lachman: I purchased some prepared cookie dough just in case it didn’t work, but it worked on the first try. At the end of the film, I give the recipe. And the cookies were actually very good. I made 12 cookies, but I think that every pint contains about 14 gobs and 2 of them separated.

MG: Besides the upcoming SNOB festival, has "Homemade" screened anywhere else?

Lachman: It was screened at the Tulsa Overground Film Festival and I received a 2 Star Award at the Canadian International Film Festival in Toronto. It was also shown at the Mini-Cinema Film Festival in West Virginia.

MG: Both "Flower to Flower" and "Homemade" have both been around five minutes. Do you want to do any feature length pieces in the future?

Lachman: I think that my ideas work better in the short film format. I suppose if I thought of doing something that would work in a long narrative process, I would move forward with it, but I really have no interest at this time.

MG: What are you working on currently?

Lachman: I am working on a short documentary on the Williamstown Film Festival and have begun work on a project involving a man who has collected over 5,000 frogs. It began when he was given frogs as a gift, and it seemed to mushroom after that. He’s a great guy, absolutely hysterical.