Photo by Winter Coleman
“ON YOUR RADAR” IS A WEEKLY GRAD FILM NEWS SEGMENT THAT FEATURES A STUDENT PICKED AT RANDOM.
BLAIR MCCLENDON & HARRY CEPKA ARE CURRENTLY THIRD YEAR STUDENTS AT GRAD FILM, WHO COLLABORATE. WE ASKED THEM A FEW QUESTIONS AND HERE’S WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY:
Where you from and what is it like there?
We each hail from the same west coast, but on different sides of a border. We grew up 1,400 miles apart, but with the same healthy hatred for the east coast and respect for the importance of g-funk and streetball. We also recognized the necessity of secretly having a hot 16 just in case a cypher broke out (it never broke out). It’s verdant, rainy and paradisiacal in Vancouver. It’s warm, slow and paradisiacal in San Diego. When the time came, we both moved east anyway.
What or who is inspiring you right now and why?
We’re really inspired by people who just make the work and make it rigorously, no matter what means they have at hand. To quote a poet: everything is everything. Right now that means we’re taking in work from all over the place: teens shooting dance videos (especially @matt_swag1 on instagram), Kanye’s performance of All Day at the 2015 Brit Awards, Rihanna’s BBHMM and the partnership of Deleuze and Guattari. Carlos Reygadas’ Post Tenebras Lux and Aleksei German’s Hard To Be A God were touchstones for both of us, too.
What has been your most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film so far?
One of the most interesting film projects we made was produced in our third year for $300. Our crew was entirely made up of our friends and the set was one of the smoothest and most fun we’ve run so far. After two years of experiments and missteps, this film signified to us pretty clearly how far we’ve come in our practice. More than anything, film school gave us a few years to experiment and our own partnership is a testament to what can happen when you’re allowed to wonder, wander and provoke new ideas.