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Interview with Voltaire

Tell us about your film work.
My childhood obsession was stop-motion animation. Ray Harryhausen’s movies were a big inspiration to me, like Jason and the Argonauts. That got me started, and as I grew up I kept trying new and different things. A lot of people who follow me don’t know that I directed a lot of the early MTV station IDs circa 1987. I’m currently working on a series of short stop-motion animation films. They are all weird as Hell, and all narrated by singers. The four that I have finished and that have made the festival circuit are narrated by Debbie Harry of Blondie, Richard Butler of the Psychedelic Furs, Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, and, most recently, Danny Elfman. I hope to keep making these films as long as it makes sense to make them. There’s no way to make money making short films, that I’m aware of, so it really is a tremendous investment that I make, just to express myself in this bizarre way (laughs). I may enter forty or fifty film festivals, and with entry fees of fifty dollars each, this adds up, and becomes extremely expensive to do this stuff, but I just love doing it.

Glass Eye Pix, the horror film production company that commissioned me to make my third film, X-mas Detritus, have asked me to make another film for a project that they are doing, a radio show called “Tales from Beyond the Pale”, so I may be working with them again, which is great.
I hope to continue to be able to keep making these films (you are going to be writing a lot, transcribing all this-laughs). It is a privilege to be able to make something with no commercial value, just because I love it, just because I want to see it come to life.

I so much appreciate you taking the time to speak with me. Are there any words with which you’d like to leave our readers?
I have a really, really, truly wonderful life. I feel really, really privileged because my childhood daydreams are what occupy my daily adult life. All the things that I wanted to do for fun as a kid are the things that I do professionally today. There isn’t a moment that goes by that I don’t realize that it could all go away. People could cease to be interested in what I’m doing; I could stop producing work that people find entertaining. So, I just cherish the moments, which is probably why you’ll never see me backstage. The people that buy a ticket to see my show, the people who buy a CD at the merch booth, those are the people that enable me to keep doing this. That’s why I’m always front and center before and after the shows, because I want the people who buy my CDs to know how much I really appreciate that they have given me the opportunity to do what I love for a living. It’s been a pleasure talking with you.

Voltaire was a true gentleman, and a great joy to interview. His website is in the process of overhaul/moving, but you can find it at Voltaire.net (http://www.voltaire.net), and you can buy some of his merch here (http://www.deadybear.net/products.html), but you can also find him on Amazon and iTunes. While his site is being overhauled, you can check out some of his music (there are embedded players with different content at both the top and bottom of his page), see his tour dates, and see some of his short films on his MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/voltairenyc) and there is a Facebook fan page.

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1 comment

1 Redstone Science Fiction #3, August 2010 | Redstone Science Fiction { 08.13.10 at 9:09 pm }

[…] An Interview with Voltaire, musician, video artist, and popular convention performer by Paul […]