Dominic F. Marceau is the man behind F Squared Media, a creative force for video creation, with artists like Orphx, Tribes Of Medusa, Steel Hook Prostheses and Eschaton. Describing himself as Filmmaker, Video Artist, MS Warrior, Photographer, DJ, Blogger, U.S. Political Junkie, and über Film Geek, we cannot resist in asking him for a brief chat with lastdaydeaf.com.
Hi Dominic, you are invited to tell our readers about you and F Squared Media. How did you get involved with video art?
I’d been directing films and music videos for years when I was diagnosed with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. I slowly lost the use of my legs so going out and shooting original material became too difficult for me. So, I started messing around with public domain footage as a way to teach myself to edit with Final Cut Pro X. You see, in film school, we were taught to edit on film and the digital age was weird and scary to me (I’m old!). But I persevered, doing a series of experimental shorts. I asked a few online contacts if I could use their music as accompaniment. Most agreed. People got a kick out of them. Then, my friend Rich Oddie gave me a shot doing a video for Orphx, utilizing this technique. That gave me the confidence that I could do this for other artists. Slowly but surely, I gained confidence, developed a bit of a style, and acquired new tools to experiment with. I’m still learning every day, but that’s half the fun!
Could you tell us about F Squared Media? What’s its purpose and which are your goals?
F Squared Media saw the light of day because my fiancée Kate F. MacDonald and I produced a feature film 6 years ago and we needed a production company name. I directed it, while she wrote it, starred in it, and co-produced it with me. It’s called “Conversion”, and it’s available for free on both my YouTube and Vimeo channels. But why F Squared? Well, both our middle names start with the letter F. It’s as simple as that!
Correct me if I am wrong, but while checking the very interesting Vimeo Channel for F Squared Media, I found out that almost all the videos belong to genre artists (dark ambient, electronic, industrial). How come? Would you make a video for an indie rock band?
Every artist I‘ve ever worked with I owe to Kate. She’s introduced me to the majority of them. And those she didn’t, I’ve met through people she has introduced me to. She’s been involved in this scene for over 20 years as a writer and DJ. As for working with other genres of music, I’m open to anything. Working in this particular genre happened quite by accident. I am, and will always be, an old punker at heart!
What’s your process for a video creation? Could you tell us how your latest work for Tribes Of Medusa was done?
When I get a request to do a video, I first listen to the track (or the whole album if a track hasn’t been chosen beforehand) repeatedly, to see if any images come to mind. Sometimes, I look at the song title or ask the artist for lyrics (if there are any) to see if there’s a theme explored or an emotion apparent in the track. If all this fails, I ask the artist what their intentions were with the track, what they wanted to say. I then listen to it. For instance, the Tribes Of Medusa track is called ‘Betrayal’. Something inside me thought of the crisis in Syria (I’m also a political junkie and watch MSNBC constantly!). I went online and started searching for footage of Aleppo and Homs. It’s a conflict that is covered in great detail, so it wasn’t difficult. Other times, I see something in my head and can spend days, scouring the Internet for something that comes close to what I’m seeing. It’s tougher than it sounds!
You are also involved with cinema as far as you have told me. Could you share some words about the abandoned horror flick ‘Hallowed Halls? Is there a possibility to reincarnate the project in the near future?
“Hallowed Halls” was a labour of love. I was working at Christal Films back then, which was a subsidiary of Lionsgate. I’d been working in film distribution for a few years but was desperate to break in and direct. I’d studied film production and was writing profusely. Sharing our offices was Canadian film legend John Dunning. He’d given David Cronenberg his start, producing his first two films; he’d produced “My Bloody Valentine”, “Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS”, and “Meatballs”. He’d done so much! I guess he saw I was passionate about film and, every day, I’d spend my hour in his office, geeking the fuck out! We’d chat up a storm, he’d show me outtakes he’d amassed over the years… John was as passionate as ever! He started reading my stuff, giving me advice, eventually giving me scripts to doctor. I then thought about writing my own script to eventually direct one, and horror was a genre I knew well. I wrote a script, but it was missing something. A producer friend of mine read it and liked it enough to push me to explore its potential. Then, one morning, I was stuck in traffic, thinking about ways to make my script stand out. I was listening to Wall Of Voodoo’s classic album ‘Call Of The West’ when it hit me: the eighties! Horror flicks were huge in the eighties! I could very easily rewrite the script and set it in the eighties! When I got to work, I told my producer friend and she told me to hurry up because I was sitting on a winning idea! She read it about a week later and told me she wanted to distribute it. So I signed a distribution deal. In the meantime, I’d become good friends with Brad Miska from bloodydisgusting.com (who was toying with the idea of becoming a film producer) and he was exploring possibilities out in Los Angeles. But, I finally chose a local producer who had access to many interesting tax breaks. Biggest mistake of my life. This guy was a charlatan. After we shot the film, he lost his financing for the post-production. I never got paid, and the film was never edited. That was eleven years ago. The contract I had with him has since expired but I’m somewhere else now. There’s a trailer on my Vimeo but it’s hard for me to look at it. It represents four years of my life. Having lived through that, it is the main reason why we produced “Conversion” ourselves.
Which forms of art are the ones you betake, when you wanna chill out?
I always say that I like both high art and low art! It’s the middle, the mediocre that I want nothing to do with. I love films that provoke a reaction. Good or bad. I haven’t seen any of the Marvel or DC superhero flicks, and I have no intention in ever doing so. Ho hum. But I did see Gaspar Noé’s “Love” the day it came out. And I’m a DVD and Blu-Ray collector. I don’t Netflix, I need physical media. I want to look at the art, I want to read the liner notes, etc. Studios like Shout (and Scream) Factory, Arrow Video, and of course The Criterion Collection keep me happy!
US elections in a few days! Are you anxious of what’s going to happen after November 8th?
Yeah, Kate and I are both obsessed with American politics. We’ve always been. But this year’s been special. And by “special”, I mean like a rrrreally slow child. Being Canadian, it’s always fascinated us how long and ridiculously expensive the election process is down there!
2017 is fast approaching! Plans for next year?
I’m going to sound like a fucking “After School Special”, but, I want to be able to walk again. Go out, see friends, see shows, get too drunk… There are new treatments coming out every month for MS and I’m confident that I’ll find the right one. In the meantime, I’m going to continue to do my videos and reach out to the world that way. It could be worse…
Latest video by Dominic F. Marceau: