Under the Tree is the world premiere of a dark and quirky exploration of the holiday rituals we all take for granted, created by Angela Kiser and Ian Bivins and their newly-formed company, On the Precipice (OTP) Productions. The show features video projection created by Juliette Machado of JmWorks.
Tell us a bit about JmWorks. When and why did you decide to start it? What kind of work do you do?
JmWorks was officially formed in the summer of 2014. I decided to brand myself and start an official business after graduating from WWU because it made a lot of sense given the work I was already doing. JmWorks offers photography and video services; I shoot a lot of live dance and theatre performances, take headshots, make wedding videos, and work on independent film projects. It’s the perfect part-time gig for me because it allows time and space for awesome projects like Under the Tree!
How do you approach multimedia work differently because of your own experience as a performer?
My own dance performance experience has allowed me to work with video in a number of shows, and I appreciate when it feels like it’s part of the piece and not something that is just tacked on after the fact. I really love the way that multimedia is being thoroughly integrated in this show; that way, transitioning from a live scene to a video is less jarring for the audience to watch and more interesting for me to develop.
What else is interesting to you about the process with Under the Tree? What kind of material are you creating?
My goal for Under the Tree is to design a projections sequence that feels like an organic outgrowth of what is happening on stage. We are using two projectors in the space, which will add visual variety and hopefully keep the audience engaged. Some of my favorite pieces we’ve worked on are really hilarious, including a phony holiday infomercial selling the fake product, “Nut Nog.”
What influences your work as a multimedia artist?
I like to make work that is both aesthetically pleasing and surprising. This can be found in the composition of a particular shot or in the way a series of video clips are edited. Surprise often goes hand in hand with humor, and I really love creating things that make people laugh. Under the Tree has been a joy to work on so far and appeals to me because of it’s ability to be so weird and so funny at the same time.
Photo by Becca Freimuth