Ginnetta Correli isn’t your typical local filmmaker. The artist and mother of two uses public-domain found footage along with her original material to create visual collages that are more like video installations than traditional narratives. Her debut feature, The Earl Sessions, plays at the PollyGrind film festival this week.
How did you start out with filmmaking?
I was a graphic artist for a few years, and I pretty much got fired from about 20 places when I did that. I worked for a lot of ad agencies, and I would always get the job. They’d look at my portfolio and say, “Oh yeah, this is great.” And then as soon as I got there I’d be miserable. Steve Jobs sort of changed my life, with the iMovie and the whole thing. After I had kids, it was more like, stay home, what are you going to do? Bored. I got into iMovie and got good at that.
What appeals to you about using found footage?
It’s forgotten. And it’s so sad, because I think they have a voice of their own. How can you just let it go? When I look at these things, it’s like, wow. They’re just sitting there. It’s free for the taking, so let’s take it and use it and make something. Everybody’s doing it now. It’s definitely out there. And then people are sharing more stuff, and that’s the great thing about it.
What is your process for figuring out the combination of original and found footage?
I don’t even know if there is an artistic process. It’s more like, “Oh, wow! Ooh, that feels good! Ooh, let’s try that!” Try it and see if it works. Lots of writing and erasing. Lots of putting it there and, “Oh, that doesn’t go with that.” It’s like trying on clothes.
How did you get together with star/subject Earl Woodruff for this film?
It was really weird. We struck up a conversation at the grocery store. He was just a comedian and he was kind of a filmmaker too, but he was a filmmaker that kind of gave up. When his friends grew up, they all went their separate ways, but he had all this stuff that he had from his past. We just started talking. We kind of hit it off. He seemed really open-minded.
Where else has the movie played?
It played at a gallery [the Glue Factory in Glasgow]. That was one of the cool things about it when it first premiered in Glasgow. [The programmer] didn’t want to play it on a regular movie screen. She played it on like six walls, so the people had to walk through, and they couldn’t get away from Earl. He’d haunt them. The music kind of freaked them out a little bit. They were trying to turn it off, because they were freaked out, but they couldn’t turn it off. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s almost like Earl won’t let you.