In ‘The White Album,’ Arthur Jafa Invents a New Film Language to Take on the Clichés of Empathy

As I delve into the world of independent cinema, I am continually inspired by video artists who have the ability to create something that is both watchable that also deeply emotional. I strive to learn as much as I can about how to break free of the rules of editing I’ve learned in Hollywood when the story calls for it.

“In Jafa’s 2016 video, Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death, music did the emotional heavy lifting, with a rapid-fire barrage of images of black life carried by Kanye West’s gospel-laced vocals in “Ultralight Beam.” But the overwhelmingly affirmative responses to the piece forced Jafa to reassess its timing, messaging, and emotional impact in this new work: The White Album sets out to confront the crutches white viewers rely on when in search of absolution.

The inability to retreat into the safe place of detachment is what sets The White Album apart from Love is the Message. And its timing couldn’t be more relevant as weekly reminders show us that our unwillingness to address racism continues to perpetuate it.

As I sat through the video, only a handful of people remained through the entire 40 minutes. Being confronted with a mirror was perhaps too uncomfortable for some to endure.”


A Creative Director’s Guide to Building Trust Within Creative Teams

Once again, keeps me feeling motivated and creatively confident just when it’s needed most.

“It’s important for directors to understand this. There is tremendous value in the process of trying different and unexpected creative possibilities. Editors (and pretty much all post-production collaborators) have creative instincts of their own, which can often mold a project into something greater than what was initially imagined. Of course, these experiments don’t always work on the first or second go, but this kind of failure has to be OK if you want to build a creative team that trusts each other and works together to push past barriers towards greatness.”


The Ten Commandments of Working with Editors

This cheeky article written by Zach Arnold for made me laugh a little and even though I consider myself more social than the stereotype there are quite a lot of truths in here. A fun little read for Editors and those who work with them.  

“ Editors are the children trapped between many divorced parents. We get feedback from a lot of places, and every single person’s voice is important, but there are only so many hours in a day to make everyone (and thus no one) happy.“


The End of FilmStruck

This is really quite a shame but I am hopeful that another company will acquire the rights to the FilmStruck library. I believe that the Criterion Collection is still free with a library card but these titles need to be available online.

“The FilmStruck indie, arthouse and classic film subscription-streaming service will shut down next month, Turner and Warner Bros. Digital Networks announced Friday.”

“FilmStruck offered a lineup of some 1,800 contemporary and classic arthouse, indie, foreign and cult films and also was the exclusive internet-streaming home to the Criterion Collection of movies. Earlier this year, it added Warner Bros.’ library of classic films; WB shut down the Warner Archive service and migrated customers over to FilmStruck.”