“Island” mood board:

Island (mood board) from steven eastwood on Vimeo.

Of Camera from steven eastwood on Vimeo.

London-based artist-filmmaker Steven Eastwood talks about:

His East London neighborhood of Hackney, where he’s been for 15+ years, and the evolution it’s gone through from dodgy to hipster haven; the divisiveness not only between London and the rest of the U.K., but also between generations, as in Steven and his father, with whom his values vastly diverge, who voted for Brexit and perceives London as intimidating and full of cultural elites, and ultimately wants the country to go back to the way it was; his productive time in the U.S. teaching film at SUNY Buffalo from 2004-07, after a 48-hour interview process (in the U.K. you’re in and out the door in 45 minutes, he said); his evolution as a teacher, which lead him to a Reader teaching post which allows him significant time to devote to his films; the complexities around distribution of art-based films – when and where to release and in what addition;

how his ongoing state in making films is to feel alien, how feels like a stranger to himself when he’s making them; his film Island, which will begin as a multi-channel art gallery installation before its release in late 2017/early ’18 as a feature film, and is about the end of life (literally); all of the complex logistics with legal as well as emotional contracts and the navigation of ethics that allowed him to be a first-hand witness on more than one occasion; how art has always had a relationship with death, but it’s been somewhat taboo dealing with it through film; and finally a story about a harrowing night on a Scottish isle that he and former guest Kysa Johnson shared.

In part 2 of 2, Kysa Johnson talks about:

Why she and her family left NYC for Los Angeles, and how she’s come to like L.A. after some initial concerns of leaving New York, including hating to drive; how she doesn’t drive in L.A., but takes the bus and Lyft (not Uber); the finer points of Lyft surge charging; what she hates about American culture, including its classism and judgement of the poor and worship of the rich (after having lived for several years in Glasgow, which she loved and didn’t want to leave but had to because her visa ran out); artists’ day jobs, and the perception around them from others in the art world; her own day job working as a designer for Fashion Week shows, which she had to leave behind as a gig when she left New York, and isn’t sure what she’ll do should she need to her well dry up in L.A.; some reflections, as a former Mormon, that she had on the conversation with ambivalent Mormon Casey Smith; taking the bus, which she insists people are taking, is a great equalizer and finds bus-goers to be very respectful; her time in Glasgow, with its vibrant art and music scene, affording her 2nd hand connections with members of both Franz Ferdinand and Belle & Sebastian; the self-deprecating humor of the Scots (which leads to a brief final (perhaps) analysis of the “P”-word (‘practice’)), and how she considers she might move back there after her youngest child is in middle school; and she points out that artists are well-suited to be activists, because of their perseverance, stamina and playing the long game.