Point Of View0 minutes 49 seconds  ©2012
It's nothing new for an artist to show his audience the world from an odd perspective, but Christopher Westfall takes us to a place we see every day, yet would never want to be. It is a place universally reviled, and Westfall keeps us there until he makes demonstrably certain that we understand palpably where we are. While humorous in its absurdity, it is mercifully short at forty-nine seconds.
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Film Festival Screenings
2012-Nov-17 MIX NYC
Back Story

Warning - may contain spoilers

Something changed the following year. I got a GoPro camera. And with it I got something I hadn't had in quite a while: inspiration. I didn’t find the GoPro device to be particularly easy to use. The user interface was about as inscrutable as you could imagine. There was a tiny little LCD screen where settings and options were represented by incomprehensible codes you needed the user manual to decipher, but I was willing to put up with that. As soon as I got the thing, I had a lot of ideas for what I wanted to do with it. I didn't have to search for inspiration.

What drew me to the GoPro was that it was rugged. You didn’t have to baby it like the delicate conventional video cameras. It could be tossed around and otherwise survive rough and tumble situations. But more than that, much more than that, was the fact that it was waterproof. These qualities opened up all kinds of opportunities for video shoots, and I had lots of ideas that I wanted to pursue.

The first idea I had for a compact, waterproof camera seemed completely obvious to me. It was the very first thing I thought of when I learned that the GoPro camera was a thing. It was as if God himself told me what to do. There was no other choice in my mind. I would put it in the toilet facing up, submerged in the toilet water, and pee all over it. I mean, what other options were there, really?

There wasn’t much setup for this shoot. It was really just a matter of setting it in the toilet and turning on the bathroom light. But I did also get nude for it. That seemed obvious too. I would have to do it in the nude. And there was the fact that I had to wait until I needed to pee. There wouldn’t be much of a video without that.

So as soon as my bladder was full I stripped down, got the camera recording, and put it in the toilet. I started with the toilet seat down, so that lifting it up would open the scene. After I got into character, I lifted the toilet seat and began my performance. The only thing was it took a few seconds to get the urine stream started. I almost paused production to try another take where it would be more prompt, but then things started flowing, so I went with it. I had a normal pee, and when it was winding down I made sure to do the multiple squirt thing at the end to empty my bladder. It seemed that would be conspicuously absent if I didn’t include it. Then I reached over and flushed the toilet.

Once the water stopped swirling I turned and walked out of frame, and at that exact moment the camera fell on its side. I thought that would ruin the shot and I’d have to do another take, but it actually worked out perfectly. It closed the scene in a natural and wryly apropos way. This was the most perfect, 1-take video shoot I had done since G*I*J*O. I threw a title on the front, credits on the end, chopped a little out of the middle to adjust the overall pace, and I was done. No music, just the natural sound of pee splashing into toilet water. Running time was a mere 49 seconds.

I submitted it to MIX and was very confident that it would be accepted. It was, and once again was scheduled to screen in their Saturday night erotica program. I attended the festival and walked around in a jockstrap with a plunger over my shoulder the whole night. One of the organizers told me that it was a unanimous choice among the selection committee. Every single one of them who viewed it said they had to have it in the festival. It was a perfect example of how less is more when it comes to experimental short subject video.

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