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Resident film turns helpful videos into humorous ones

Joe Sola and Will Eno, Watercolor, 2006. Credit: Courtesy of Tif Sigfrids

Joe Sola and Will Eno, Watercolor, 2006. Credit: Courtesy of Tif Sigfrids

While instructional videos are helpful, they aren’t always humorous. That’s where director Joe Sola comes in.

“Watercolor” is a 2006 short film that Sola made with playwright Will Eno in the Columbus area. It is about four minutes long and portrays a dark, comedic take on instructional art programs like those seen on PBS.

As part of the Wexner Center for the Arts’ 25th anniversary, an entire year of programs that were produced by the Film/Video Studio department will be screened.

“Watercolor,” which is Sola’s third project with the department, will be shown until Dec. 31.

Sola said he has an affinity for the city of Columbus.

“I knew that making this film in Columbus would be much easier and faster than if Will and I were to shoot it in New York or Los Angeles,” he said.

Sola said he found inspiration from the late painter and art instructor Bob Ross.

“Depicting the relationship between creativity and death was an interesting proposition, one that I live with still today … I was inspired by the Bob Ross painting shows and the simplistic aesthetics of instructional (and) educational film,” Sola said.

“The Joy of Painting,” hosted by Ross, ran on PBS from 1983 until 1994. For 11 years, Ross instructed viewers on how to paint his chosen landscape of the day using different techniques.

The Film/Video Studio’s program at the Wexner Center mainly focuses on the post-production process, which is when the filmmakers and video artists take on the job of editing, along with doing the sound mix and color correction of their works after all the filming has been done.

The program is fronted by Jennifer Lange, the curator for the Wexner Center’s Film/Video Studio.

“The way the (Film/Video Studio Program) is structured is that every month, a new video shows in that space, and it follows the calendar month exactly,” Lange said. “So, this entire year, the programming is dedicated to works that have been supported through the Film/Video Studio Residency program.”

The program has been active since the Wexner Center first opened 25 years ago and still continues to offer free support to filmmakers and video artists enrolled in the program.

Admission for “Watercolor” is free and open to all ages.

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