Behind the scenes of our latest videos by Nora DeLigter and Faye Tsakas.
1. You made your first film together during the pandemic, tell us a bit about how this time has changed your personal and professional choices.
ND: For one, we were both doing something completely different before COVID hit. I was working as a writer at a creative agency, while Faye was working in film on the executive side. And this decision to pivot into something else -- something more fulfilling creatively -- was what brought us together in the first place.
FT: Safe & Well, the satirical short we made last summer about the language of wellness set against the backdrop of quarantine, was our experimental foray into filmmaking together. Almost immediately, we found that we held a strikingly similar aesthetic and thematic understanding of our work and of the work we wanted to make. This led to a wonderful year of creative thinking and practice that was elevated by our natural desire to collaborate.
2. Can you give us a bit of backstory on the locations — how did shooting in East Hampton inform the feeling of these shorts?
FT: My boyfriend’s grandparents bought the house that you see in some of the pieces in the ‘50s--before the Hamptons were the Hamptons. I think it cost something like $10,000. His grandmother -- Della Weinberger -- was a talented abstract expressionist and she built a beautiful studio -- a wide open, bright space naturally lit by skylights across the roof --
ND: It’s a really unique space -- especially considering the history there. She was actually one of the few female abstract painters in the Pollack/De Kooning era and her work is so striking -- she made all of these large format paintings and sculptures that are both soft but domineering. And her work feels really informed by the surrounding natural environment -- which I think gave us a feeling of like, shared connection. The walking dunes out in Napeague, where we shot a lot of the walking shorts, are particularly inspiring.
FT: Yeah, I spent quite a bit of time in quarantine on long walks, experimenting with beloved DVX100B camera, and Nora and I would brainstorm and explore ideas of shooting in these locations.
3. Favorite shot or edit…
ND: The super long lens shot of me and Aisha at the walking dunes :)
FT: We love a super long lens!!!
4. A filmmaker past or present currently sparking your curiosity is…
ND/FT: Garrett Bradley, Kirsten Johnson, Brett Story, Pacho Velez, Chantal Ackerman, Agnes Varda, Les Blank...the list goes on.
5. Can you tell us a bit about how collaboration has altered the way you work? What in the other person makes this a great partnership?
ND: We’re both natural-born collaborators, i think -- we like the accountability and also thrive off of each others’ energy and creative input. We each bring something different to the table.
FT: Nora’s got a background in writing which has proven extremely valuable for creating decks & pitches. She also keeps us on schedule and makes sure that I don’t lose anything important…
ND: It’s true. Faye does not have the greatest sense of time. Or the greatest appreciation for her valuables. But damn can she shoot!!! Which is huge. And has been inspiring for me as I extend myself and try to learn the camera more.
6. A question you are trying to answer with your work (or outside of it!) right now is...
ND: Oh man. What questions aren’t we trying to answer…
FT: I think regardless of the project--whether it’s a doc about a town in Long Beach or a short about shoes--we’re working on building a distinct voice and vision, and figuring out what exactly that means for us.
ND: We’re trying to look at everything through the same lens, so to speak. No matter the scope of work or genre, we want it to feel like ours.