Brock Enright, and his girlfriend Kirsten Deirup drive from Brooklyn NY to her family’s cabin in Mendocino, CA to prepare his solo show at a prominent New York gallery. As Enright struggles to produce what could be his most significant work, his relationship with Kirsten, her family, and the gallery is strained by his violent, explicit, and challenging creation.
DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
My first encounter with the artist Brock Enright was in 2002, when he came to the attention of the mainstream media after creating a ‘designer kidnapping’ service called Videogames Adventure Services (VAS). Brock directed the “games,”, which were tailored to each client’s worst fears, and also played Connie, the leader of the VAS team. I intermittently served as the cinematographer.
The outline of each game was almost never followed, and Brock was often in character for days on end. I had very little formal direction as I shot verite documentary footage of violent and disturbing subject matter that was loosely staged.
There was constant media attention surrounding VAS, and Brock intentionally misled the press to create a confusing and inconsistent public persona. However, from early on in our relationship, Brock told me, “I want you to tell my story.”
When Brock asked me to work as the cinematographer for his first solo show with Perry Rubenstein Gallery, I turned him down because I saw an opportunity to create my own film and to express my perspective of his process without overtly interpreting his artwork or defending its subject matter. I knew that the experience I gained from years of involvement in his work put me in a position of understanding and trust that few documentarians and subjects share.
The existing documentation of Brock’s work, (which often involves bodily fluid, violence, and general disarray) often takes on a sloppy, low-tech, and chaotic aesthetic. I tried to capture his process in controlled, sparse, angular compositions, by shooting on a locked off tripod as much as possible. I felt that my visually clean approach could make his challenging art more accessible to an audience who would otherwise reject it entirely.
I was also interested in telling the story of a deliberately enigmatic public figure with as little artifice as possible. For this reason, I eschewed a film crew, and worked alone for the first eight weeks of shooting. Driving across the country, I shared a hotel room with Brock and his girlfriend Kirsten every night, and we all stayed in a cabin deep in the redwoods for four weeks. Intimate conversations, violence, and familial clashes are unflinchingly captured because of the total access I was granted.
As I shot the film, I found that the heart of my story was in Brock’s struggle to create while balancing relationships with his girlfriend, her family, and the gallery representing him. The resulting story transcends Brock’s individual experience and the art world as a whole, and deals with universal issues; what makes a person do what they love against all odds, and how can relationships and love co-exist with this drive?