Phil Mucci

director/photographer/boogie man
Phil Mucci (on Vimeo)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Describe what creativity means to you.

Creativity means that when you’re asked what creativity means, you spend way too much time thinking about it. It’s that compulsion to be witty, enlightening, and concise all at once. I don’t think I’m up to the task. Besides, creativity and I have a long-term relationship with so many ups and downs that I wouldn’t dare attempt to summarize it for fear of totally pissing her off. She’s definitely some kind of curse and addiction. The “creative freedom” people always talk about doesn’t really apply to me. I’m hooked. If I don’t get my fix, I go into emotional withdrawal. I have to do it, which to me isn’t freedom at all. I’m a slave with a leather ball gag in my mouth, suffering my mistress’s lashes and loving every sticky minute of it.

What influences your work?

Music. Vampire lesbian movies from the 60’s and 70’s. Soledad Miranda. Danger:Diabolik, Black Sunday, and pretty much any other Mario Bava film except for Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs, which I’ve never seen, but which couldn’t possibly live up to its title. Suspiria, and most of Dario Argento’s films from the 70’s and 80’s. Same for Lucio Fulci. Stanley Kubrick. Murnau. Ralph Bakshi. Kurt Vonnegut. Lovecraft. Poe. Kafka. George Saunders. Hunter S. Thompson. Old James Bond movie posters. The failures and hypocrisies of organized religion. The Island of Misfit Toys. Bodacious fantasy art on Chevy vans. Fumbling conversations with strangers. Fond memories of childhood acid trips. New experiences. Emotional scars. Brief human lives that echo like Hendrix solos long after they’re gone.

What challenges do you face in your work and how do you overcome them?

Coming up with good ideas on a tight deadline is always an issue. I have a love / hate relationship with writing. When I’m rolling and the words are pouring out, there’s nothing like it. Writing generates ideas all by itself. But when I have to come up with a concept that fits a certain budget for a music video – and I only have a day to do it – it’s a total drag. I like having deadlines, but you can’t really force inspiration. I have LOTS of bad ideas that I have to wade through until I get to the semi-good ones. What works for me is brainstorming all the bad ideas out first – literally pages of them. Once I get some crap down, I take a break and do some kind of mundane task like sweeping my apartment, doing the dishes, or going for a walk around the neighborhood. Forced concentration followed by mindless physical activity keeps the ideas percolating. Then I sit back down and squeeze out a few more, repeating the process until my time runs out. Usually the good stuff starts around page 7. If not, at least my apartment gets cleaned.