Dangerous and Disturbing - Accepted to IFP Spotlight on Docs!
For the past year I have been developing a documentary about Mark Pauline and Survival Research Laboratories currently titled Dangerous and Disturbing: The Mark Pauline Story. I am thrilled to announce that we have been selected by the IFP for this year’s Independent Film Week/Spotlight on Docs - which is the largest doc pitch event in the US and one of the top doc pitching events in the world.
I was fortunate to see my first SRL show back in 1980 titled "TERRIFYING SCENES FROM THE BATTLEFIELDS OF TOMORROW”, and it is still seared into my brain cells. Soon thereafter I became a part of the seminal SF punk documentary collective Target Video and I was soon shooting and editing Mark’s early performances. This morphed into a 10 year relationship with Mark and SRL creating all of the early documentation of SRL and the short film “A Bitter Message of Hopeless Grief”, which went on to screen at Sundance, Berlin Film Festival.
What first fascinated me about Mark’s work (causing me to devote much of my 20s to working with him) was how it represented power relationships within our society in unique, humorous and terrifying ways. I felt (and still feel) that his non-didactic, non-literal approach has an incredible ability to break through audiences’ jaded sensibilities and cut to the core of what ails our society and institutions.
Thirty years later we are waking up to the more dystopian possibilities of humanity's relationship to technology from facial recognition to data collection, behavioral algorithms, social media, fake news, covert secret drone strikes and near appearance of Autonomous Lethal Weapons (killer robots).
The intention of the film is to use what Mark is working on now - e.g., The Predator Arm - as a narrative structure to tell the history of SRL. I have been able to film Mark and the development of the predator arm off and on over the last year and we will continue shooting into 2021.
I was fortunate to be the Senior Lab Leader at the IFP Filmmaker Lab for ten years and to have also participated in Independent Film Week as a speaker/panelist/mentor but now I am super excited to be on the other side pitching Dangerous and Disturbing!