Sibling Films: Duality In My Practice
In what has become a regular part of my practice as a filmmaker, I will typically produce two films back to back, which are "sister films" of one-another (for lack of a better phrase).
The films are not sequels, and they may not even be in the same universe as one-another, but there are thematic concepts, aesthetic parallels, and often technological parallels behind the way they were created.
The "Sibling Approach", as I've come to call it, first started in 2011, when I produced my short film, CAROLINE OF VIRGINIA. Immediately after completing the movie, I went to work on a follow-up short, LIPSTICK LIES. Both films were shot using the same technological set-up, embraced similar main themes (Something Lost/Something Gained, Sacrifice, etc.), and were polar opposite in tone. I found that by making movies this way, I am able to explore similar concepts, and experiment with new aesthetics, while working on tonally stories, existing in different genres, and appealing to different audiences. COV never played at the same festivals as LL and they were never designed to.
My latest movie, FRACTALS, is the sister-film of my 2016 feature, DEATH & LIFE. They too, were made back-to-back, and exist on opposite sides of a coin. As I explained in my "Fractals Process Video: Love and Hate", the themes of each film take a look at New York City life from the perspective of an unsuccessful transplant. DEATH & LIFE is angled towards the transplant struggling to see past the negatives (the "hate" side of the L/H coin, whilst FRACTALS is angled towards the transplant only seeing the aspects of the city worth falling in love with... the "love" side of the coin. Both characters are similarly beaten down by the harsh realities of the city, but their outlook on the city is what informs the tone of each film.
I do not plan my movies this way. It seems to just happen.