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2020 Festival Interview: VIDEO SKETCHBOOK

Melissa McClung talk about her animated video sketchbook of four months in quarantine during a pandemic.

23 Sep , 2020  

Written by Hope Johnson | Posted by:

 NewEnglandFilm.com talks with Melissa McClung about her film Video Sketchbook: March – June 2020, which screens in the 2020 Online New England Film Festival.


NewEnglandFilm.com interviewed filmmaker Melissa McClung, who documents her experience during the COVID-19 pandemic in her latest film Video Sketchbook: March – June 2020. The experimental animation premieres at the 2020 Online New England Film Festival.  

NewEnglandFilm.com: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker? And how did you learn to make films? Did you just start doing it or did you go to film school?

Melissa McClung: The Christmas when I was 10, I unwrapped my first video camera– Hi-8, for those who know– and burst into tears. It was love at first sight. I haven’t put it down since.

NewEnglandFilm.com: What inspired you to make your film?

McClung: When the pandemic hit, every day came with new information, shocks and surprises. I felt the urge to document this surreal time, but/and I only had my imagination, my computer, and my camera. I aimed to get down my audio/visual ideas as quickly as I could, and not get bogged down in polishing each segment– after all, everything changed so fast day-to-day! I like the idea of presenting works-in-progress (in this case– always in progress!), so I started to screen this Video Sketchbook segment as-is. I plan to continue adding to my sketchbook, and some segments from my sketchbook may become more complete pieces.

NewEnglandFilm.com: What do you hope people take away from watching your film? 

McClung: I love screening films because the audience always brings so much to films that I didn’t even think of myself while making them! Viewers make me understand my work in new ways. I have no expectation for this film– I’ll be excited to hear what people think and feel! 

NewEnglandFilm.com: What other projects are you working on?

McClung: I am in post-production on a fiction children’s short, and I’m starting to edit a short documentary I’m calling “Wild Blueberries,” that I shot a few summers ago at a wild blueberry farm. I’m also starting the festival circuit on a video collage short film about climate change called Elevator of Earthly Destruction.

NewEnglandFilm.com: Any advice on making films you want to share?

McClung: There is no “should,” or right way to make a film.


Video Sketchbook: March – June 2020 screens at the 2020 Online New England Film Festival at NewEnglandFilm.com.