A graduate of New York University’s Graduate Film Institute of Motion Picture and Television Production (MFA,1975), Collis Davis (left) has an extensive background in film and video production, including narrative, documentary and pioneering research in interactive video narratives based on the rhetorical practices of African-American speech. Using a second-generation speech-recognition interface, Elegba’s Strategem incorporates what Davis terms “Cinematic Backtalk” as a means of facilitating audience interaction with the unfolding story about an artist. The interactive video draws on the Yoruba myth of Elegba, deity of the crossroads in the West African folk tradition, and interfaces it with the random-access capabilities of three computer-controlled laser disc players.
Links displayed on this page lead to descriptions of completed videos or works-in-progress here in the Philippines. First and foremost is a documentary on the historical development of Philippine jazz. Co-produced with Richie C. Quirino (right), jazz musician and scholar, and Gus Lagman, Pinoy Jazz: The Story of Jazz in the Philippines is 59-minute video that traces the development of jazz in the Philippines and the role of Filipino musicians have played in spreading the music throughout southeast Asia, China and Japan from the 1930s to the present day. Most importantly, this documentary reveals how Filipino jazz musicians are attempting to forge a new musical identity by drawing on indigenous and folk sources as the basis for improvisatory compositions. Check out a recent review of PINOY JAZZ by Filipinas Magazine, November, 2006.
Headhunting William Jones, a documentary project, is a profile of a Native-American anthropologist (1871-1909) who came to the Philippines in 1907 to research a community of then head-hunters, the Ilongots (now Bugkalot) in northeast Luzon. This film examines American-Philippine history of the early 20th century, the state of early ethnology and its interrelationship with the American colonial administration in the Philippines, and the character study of a Native American scientist uneasily negotiating the fault lines of the three worlds of Native America, academia and the Philippines.
Several industrial video projects have been completed for Ilog Maria Honeybee Farms and Bayani Consulting, a nurse recruitment firm based in Manila, consisting generally of promotional videos aimed at the U.S. market of hospitals wishing to hire Filipino nurses. These 15-30 minute projects have been released on videotape and DVD-video discs.