365 Days Out of My Mind (film)

365 Days Out of My Mind Poster

365 Days Out of My Mind The Self-Portraits of David Arthur-Simons

Logline (48 word)

365 Days Out of My Mind – chronicles in first person a day in the life of New York painter David Arthur-Simons as he works simultaneously on 365 landscape self-portraits (over twelve years so far) while detailing his development from abused child to recluse painter, poet and philosopher.

Long Synopsis (166 words)

365 Days Out of My Mind chronicles in first person a day in the life of nationality non-identified painter, poet, philosopher, singer, songwriter and filmmaker David Arthur-Simons. The film shows his abusive formative years and early awakenings to the potential for escape through art in Sydney Australia; a major turning point involving “falling into” Antonioni’s “L’Avventura” which leads him to explore the inter-connections between inner and outer realities and made him produce playful self-portraits that built landscapes and objects into his face; after migrating to New York in 1995 he used self-portraiture to create a surreal gestalt amalgam of landscapes and self-portraits culminating in his working simultaneously on 365 (one for each day of the year) paintings. Filled with live footage of David Arthur-Simons painting, dancing, singing and speaking candidly about his surreal paintings, as well as animated philosophical aphorisms about painting, 365 Days Out of My Mind offers a unique view into the mind and world of an artist created (almost) entirely by the artist. A film by and about David Arthur-Simons.

Country – Principality of Dasmania
Genre – First Person Narrative
Run time – 99 minutes
Language – English
Format – 16:9 screen format HD
Equipment – iPhone & Movie Maker
Frame Rate – 30 fps
Sound – Stereo

Cast
David Arthur-Simons as Himself

Crew
Director – David Arthur-Simons
Producer – David Arthur-Simons
Writer – David Arthur-Simons
Paintings and Drawings – David Arthur-Simons
Cinematography – David Arthur-Simons
Steve Gross, Aaron Howell
Sound – David Arthur-Simons
Editor – David Arthur-Simons
Choreography – David Arthur-Simons
Animation – David Arthur-Simons
Benjamin Bakija, Chris Purnell, Sonia Rasoni
Words and Music – David Arthur-Simons
Music Arranger – Matthew Errington

Filmed in New York & Sydney, Australia

Website http://www.davidarthur-simons.com/365-days-mind-film/

Contact 365daysoutofmymind@gmail.com

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Interview with
Director, Writer and Producer, David Arthur-Simons
by Anna Miles

You’ve made a film about yourself. Is it just a scrapbook for you or is there something in it for the audience.
Watching my life and work develop will make the audience want to explore their own inner depths and discover the hidden worlds within themselves. My film is a living example of what Basho said: “Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought”.

Why did you decide to make a film about something as dull and stationary as painting?
After I wrote my autobiography – about my process of discovering myself over the years through painting and drawing – I began to make short films of various episodes from my life and posted them on youtube which led me to string these episodes together to make a feature length film.

Filmmaking is a collaborative process but you chose to do every stage of the process yourself. Can you tell me why you did that?
Most of my work has been self-portraiture so I thought that the best way to make a film about my work was to do everything myself since that would be an extension of my painting.

The film 365 Days Out of My Mind is about you painting 365 paintings simultaneously? How is that even possible….
On May 13, 2005 I began to paint a painting a day – one for each day of the year. At the end of the first year I decided to keep working on each painting adding to each one but only on the day of the year designated to each painting. I am now in my thirteenth year and still going.

I’ve never heard of such a thing. Where did you get this idea?
I came up with it myself – an extension of who I am. I tend to work on long, elaborate, extended projects that don’t fit into your standard format or product life span, which is why I decided to make a film about it.

What does the title – 365 Days Out of My Mind – mean?
It refers to the state that I go into when I’m painting – a state of no-mind. It’s a meditation state where you lose all sense of reality, words, shapes, ideas, concepts – it all disappears. You are in a state beyond mind.

You also chose to use fairly basic equipment?
Yes, I wanted it to be as close as possible to the painting process. Every brush stroke I add to a painting is like a frame of a motion picture. So a lot of the animation I did was in fact done frame by frame so that I could control each step. I used my iPhone and Movie Maker. Although I did the major part of the animation the more sophisticated segments were done by Animation Studios: Benjamin Bakija at Motion Graphics and Chris Purnell at Chrispy Designs, and Sonia Rasoni.

How long did it take to make the film?
I started in March 2012 and finished in June 2017.

Do you think it would have taken less time if you had used a crew and more state of the art equipment?
Probably, but that would have been a different film. I let things grow organically – I’m not fixed to deadlines or set requirements which crews and state of the art equipment demand. I allow the script, the images and the editing flow to guide how and when to do things.

Why make a film about painting – isn’t that something for an art gallery?
I wanted to make a film that showed the trajectory that my life has followed through the paintings I’ve done over four decades. It’s a distillation and condensation of my whole life and philosophy.

Do you think the audience will get anything out of watching you painting or will they just walk away bored?
The film is not just me painting. It tells the story of an abused child who grows up through the process of making art and learns that through art he can do anything. There are also animated paintings and drawings that make witty and amusing remarks and there are music videos of me dancing and singing and it’s all tied in to my paintings.

So it’s a musical, mystery thriller with animation?
Yes, all the things I hate in a film – but I’ve made them my own.

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Original Music in
365 Days Out of My Mind

Go Naked

Go Within (instr)

Poet’s Testament (instr)

Cutting Across Time and Space

Context Changes Content

Namaste (instr)

Cutting Across Time and Space (Remix_v3)

Here Lies / Truths David Arthur-Simons

One Plus One is a Half

Be Do Go Dare (instr)

Be Do Go Dare

Nature, Nurture, Nietzsche (instr)

The Truth Keeps Rolling Along (instr)

Words and Music by David Arthur-Simons
Arranged and Produced by Matthew Errington
Performed by David Arthur-Simons and Matthew Errington

Who can Bear my Pain-ting
Words and Music by David Arthur-Simons
Arranged and Produced by Owen Heritage
Performed by David Arthur-Simons and Owen Heritage

Namaste
Words and Music by David Arthur-Simons
Arranged and Produced by Owen Heritage
Performed by David Arthur-Simons and Owen Heritage

Hands Off (instr)

Painting is a Form of Dancing Part 1 (instr)

Painting is a Form of Dancing Part 2 (instr)

History Evolving (instr)

I’ve Become Alive

Painting is a Form of Dancing Part 1

Painting is a Form of Dancing Part 2

Painting is a Form of Dancing Part 3 Universe in my Head

House of Synchronicity (instr)

Cutting Across Time and Space Remix_v3 (instr)

Cutting Across Time and Space

Words and Music by David Arthur-Simons
Arranged and Produced by Matthew Errington
Performed by David Arthur-Simons and Matthew Errington

David Arthur-Simons
Director

David Arthur-Simons, sole citizen of the inner Principality of Dasmania and multi-media artist has for years worked on paintings that combine landscape, figure and self-portraiture to create gestalt double images. For the last twelve years he has been working on 365 paintings simultaneously. 365 Days Out of My Mind is his first feature length film which documents this work in progress and the history that led him to this Orpheus-like descent into the Underworld of his imagination. David Arthur-Simons has an MA from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney and has lived in New York since 1995.

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