¿What the hell is "Vertov Industries" anyway?
The name "Vertov Industries" is taken from a pioneering filmmaker of the early 20th century. Dziga Vertov, possibly the only Constructivist filmmaker, took an abundance of passionate risks with his work, and was often criticized harshly for what he did. Although there is no genetic relation between the Hawaii based Vertov Industries and any actual Vertov family member alive today, we feel a strong kinship with Dziga's innovation, risk taking and scorn receiving. Likewise, in the face of adversity, we go on.
Vertov Industries is comprised of independent, not-so-like-minded individuals, seeking to weild the power of storytelling and to build culture on the copycat driven landscape of Hawaii. This proto-culture manifests itself in such places as an odd new word or phrase in your everyday lexicon, a change in your behavior, or a shift in your paradigm. Our team has been pooled from a wide range of those (including bum-hoes off the street) who wish to participate in a creative process that yeilds results, but requires elbow grease. We work with people that want to work; degrees and titles not required. A doctor pays just as much for a soda as a drop out.
Ideally, Vertov Industries is run by no single leader. There's no one director, one camera operator, one star. Everyone can share in the group effort, contributing what they choose. If an actor isn't on screen, there's a good chance he or she is doing something behind the camera. The path Sleepless takes, in both content and style, is worked out by the participants. In addition, the majority of the funding for the show comes out of our own pockets, though we have been fortunate to receive a grant from the local Community Access in 1992. Our debts, financial and otherwise, are kept to a minimum. Conflicts of interest are all but eliminated and our integrity is enriched.
To further this, we design and execute as many facets of what we need as possible. A scene that requires special effects and stunts mean that we have figured out how to do them. This makes the group like and odd cross between an old movie studio with contract actors and a farm that needs its land worked every day. If we need a loaf of bread, we grow the wheat. It's cooking from scratch, not thawing and microwaving. Mechanically perfect or not, this gives our wares additional texture, unexpected camp, and a sense of effervescent joy that is difficult to find anywhere in the modern adult world.
It has nothing to do with Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks, or Seattle.
Sleepless is a television project produced by Vertov Industries for broadcast on 'Olelo: The Corporation for Community Television. It serves Oahu [metropolis of the Hawaiian island chain], over the Oceanic and TCI cable systems. They are wired to over 200,000 locations across the island.
Sleepless is a fiction anthology that links multiple characters who have trouble with sleep. Their insomnia is only a small symptom of what hammers at them. The re-telling of how they became sleepless is often the cornerstone in finding a resolution. The simple yarns exchanged over a table top cement together to form elaborate flashbacks. This allows us to fabricate a fresh roster of personae with each episode, and explore a vault of themes which bring them together, as well as keep them awake.
Read the label for maximum value.
Sleepless illuminates many diverse escapades, but is constructed around a central theme. The trick is to put a spin on the material so that it responds to the context of today. Our episodes are steeped in classic mythology, but you'd never know it by just glancing.
In our episode, "Glue," the inmates of a mental institution are troubled by recurring nightmares which all share the same mystery antagonist. The irony is that rather than causing direct harm to the inmates, the antagonist is always at the end of the dreamer's abusive actions; the dreamer's internal ugliness is revealed. "Above the Line" exists on an epic scale. Each protagonist is nothing less than a hero, each from distinct genre, who faces fantastic foes. Film Noire pulp fiction, 1930's Horror, and even Comic Book martial arts conflict make appearances before the nearly 3 hours wind to a close. In "Comparing Scars," each character has an external blemish that corresponds with an internal trauma.
With material like this, it should be noted that Sleepless is not a show for young children or close minded adults. Because of the graphic action, the possibility for strong language and controversial subject matter, we cannot stress this enough. Sleepless is a series that is meant for a good humored, mature audience. Our air times are always later at night and parental discretion is advised. If a viewer feels offended by our series, we encourage them to change the channel and breathe into a paper sack for 10 minutes.
Why a pith helmet and not a Popehat.
The style and design of Sleepless is intended to meet several goals. The first is to tell stories. The anthology format of the show allows us to do that in corpulent saddlebag sized packages. Each protagonist has a unique tale (usually unraveled via flashbacks); one can be horrific while another can be humorous. Our imagination and plasma supply are the benchmarks which determine how long we can play in the traffic.
Our next goal was to make the show as visually dynamic as possible. While there are no M.P.A.A. type ratings for Community Access Television, it is known that many people stop and glance at its programming while surfing between channels. With this in mind, we have worked to make Sleepless as eye-catching as possible; actions can be graphic; editing can be stroboscopic, and the videography can be disorienting. Content wise, the subject matter can be controversial, and the characters are often as extreme in their personality as their couture.
Also, we wanted to present a different side of Hawaii. Network television portrays Hawaii as nothing but beaches and rain forest. Likewise, Community Access often presents local locations in the form of the producer's backyard or the plastic plant in the studio. Sleepless attempts to leave no stone unturned in spotlighting places longtime residents didn't know existed or re-present well traveled locations in a new light.
Putting it together for a new whole.
Sleepless strives to get the audience stewing and brewing; to catalyze some kind of action or energy beyond being amused at the guys in the silly hats. The program is meant to be provocative, and even polarizing. "I loved it" is as welcome a response as "I hated it," or "I can't believe you did something like that."
This promotes the flow of communication both ways. Beyond that, we make multiple attempts every show to elicit feedback from the audience via the phone, computer, or correspondence. The opinions of the viewers, complimentary or scornful, matter more than the polishing of the Vertov ego. Responses to the show will help shape the course of the program in the future. Furthermore, actual viewer commentary becomes incorporated into the body of the program during the introductory disclaimer sequence.
Accessing the community in many ways.
Besides designing and executing Sleepless, Vertov Industries also produces supplementary materials to the show including soundtracks, books, patches, shirts and more. Vertov Industries has also been known to be behind several live events as well as screenings and gallery exhibits such as "The Battle for the Planet of Sleepless" which invaded the Kapiolani Community College in the Spring of 1999.
Rounding out the schedule of activities, Vertov Industries is also involved in producing videos or presentations for educational and community purposes.
From within to without in an endless spiral.
Like a spider constantly spinning silk to ensnare it's prey, so has the Vertov Industries web been constantly constructed and deconstructed over the past few years to snare viewers and unsuspecting web surfers. This version is only the latest incarnation of the work that had been started a long time ago. Many Bothans died to bring you this information. A long list of people have spent long hours building the different components to the Vertov Web over the past few years and undoubtedly many more will contribute as the web grows ever larger, increasing it's ability to capture the imaginations of the curious.