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  • Emily DeForest

VOL. 6


A YEAR IN THE MAKING

It's been an entire year around the sun for this art collective. An entire 12 months. 12 months of learning and growing and sharing. This zine started as a giant swing in the dark. An inkling that it was something I needed to pursue. Whatever divine force that is...thank you.


I'm so proud of all the honesty and beauty that's been expressed in these virtual pages. Endless gratitude for all the artist who have shared their works. Endless gratitude to those who pushed me to keep going.


The goal of this space is to be a platform for artists to express anything and everything. All the messy, vulnerable, unfinished bits. To give artists a place to put their work, without the pressure of money, clout, agents, press, who the fuck knows. This is a playground to exercise that ancient and animal desire to make shit that wasn't there before.


I'm so excited for this new year and all that it will bring for this community.

The Next Deadline is Feb. 15th, 2020. Wow. Thank you. -E

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

From rap to painting to poetry, some real fire work this time around. As is the nature of this zine, give it a scroll and give attention to whatever calls to you!


This zine's Featured Artists are the folks over at 5th Floor Pictures, a movie making squad makings the goods in New York City and Florida! I love these guys a lot. I met them back in 2017 working on their movie Nora at the Beach, and I fell in love with each and every single one of them. They are a group of professionals that foster and create a beautiful community of artists and friends, all while making movies! They deeply impress and inspire me. Scroll to find their words <3



new world, unfinished - Kelly O'Grady


older, taller

[and wiser, i pray]

assumptions, proprieties inverted

a fixed air fantasy 

the Achilles heel

“your body is a machine

designed to make you fall...”

heart to skin, skin to heart

you’ve been this way for years

she says, fixed earth

texts to my brother, ventricular twins

time is relative, so i dilate it,

nights into days, days into nights, replaying, breathing life into the imprint

even this will change

i can walk here, when it’s warm

you say, mutable fire

it’s so fresh and barely fall, 

dead silence and slow flutter shake the trees, inside to outside exposed

heart to skin, skin to heart

like jumping off a swingset, landing wrong

x-ray of a nervous system

i should probably get health insurance

i think

fire breathes air, poorly rolled cigs, no witness

a prayer

texts to my brother, cardinal water, 

tiny, enormous things cutting new rivers

a Body Without Organs, mortar the cracks, a spiritual Singularity

like Fire Balloons

i like you this height

you say


UNTOUCHED by Nadezhda and Fairysplice


sky - URBVN ARCHITECTS


Contaminated - Katie Weinstein

Nauseous nausea 

In the shower, on the ground

I can’t hear myself until I hurl


I’m fake clean


I never know the hour or the day,

An elixir of liquor treats me the same:

A masochistic mistress 

Whisper wishing for something more

The nicotine might finally be getting to me


I’m fake clean


Stain my teeth with one more drink

Stain my sheets with one more kink 


I’m fake clean


Maybe I tainted my pilgrimage 

From all the beds I visited

Untested, unsure

A black-out, burnt-out babydoll 

Searching for something more


Acid called since I was a preteen

I’ll never be truly clean



What is 5th Floor Pictures?

5th Floor produces short and feature length films in NY & FL. 

The company is a labor of love that grew out of our first apartment in Brooklyn. Ryan and I had just come off of working on our last short film at film school together and we knew we wanted to keep making films with each other. Our first apartment was a pretty cool (but mice infested) spot in Bushwick on the 5th floor of an industrial building. Naturally the name took off. 



Who makes up the core team at 5th Floor?

Ryan Brown and I co-founded the company in in 2016 and were joined by Alexandria Sherman and Byron Leon shortly after. 


What was the intention behind creating 5th Floor?

The company has evolved quite a bit since conception. At the core, the idea has always been about community building. In its early days, 5th Floor was a place for creatives to pitch and share ideas on our building’s rooftop, a place you could go to to get feedback on a piece or project. We founded the group with the idea of finding a collaborative space for creatives who wanted to make something to share with the world and hopefully make the whole experience a little less lonely. 

We started doing all sorts of things: web series, music videos, animation, and short films. Since then, we’ve sort of narrowed down our slate and structure, but still hope to encourage others to create and support them as best we can. Currently, we’re focused on developing short and feature length films.



What are some projects you’re really proud of?

I’m most proud of two recent films we just completed: GILT by April Nations and TIRED EYES by Ryan Martin Brown. Each carries a New York / Florida energy that we want to continue pursuing on screen. But I am also really proud of some projects that are to come in 2020, it’ll be some of our most ambitious work yet. 


What are some lessons you've learned along the way?

We never seem to stop learning lessons. The thing we seem to keep learning over and over is about balance: how much we can realistically manage. We can sometimes be idealists and take on more than we can handle. In early days, the projects would suffer as a result. It takes some time to determine what you’re actually capable of given the time and resources you have, and sometimes that can be a hard pill to swallow.

Our crews are made up of friends and collaborators volunteering their time because they believe in the film and the filmmaker. We have to be extremely intentional when it comes to asking these people for their time. That being said, our mistakes in the past is what has helped us grow and find our focus in the present. The lessons have definitely kept us humble.



What are some goals you have and what are some ways you plan to get there?

We’re hoping to really focus in on some wonderful projects we have in development. We’re looking to get our first feature film off the ground in the next year or two, so there’s a lot of development and re-writing to happen in 2020. 




When choosing projects to produce and support, what are you looking for?

We’re looking for a real and committed relationship with the filmmaker. That means developing a project together from conception through the end of the process (which, there really is no end). That kind of common ground, that mutual understanding and investment in the project, is so important. We very rarely will take on a project that’s just cued up and ready to be shot. 

That’s why we continue to support some of the filmmakers we’ve worked with in the past. The roots of those relationships are strong and we’re excited to be able to grow together. 



How do y'all balance running these productions and also being young 20 somethings in NYC?

That’s another one of those lessons! When we moved to Brooklyn, we threw ourselves into things very quickly. We wanted to do nothing but make films. But it is very hard to run a near-zero budget production company that’s reliant mostly on the help of others. It’s easy to burn yourself and others out. 

As such, it’s been important to learn how to say no sometimes, to balance our lives out, and to try to give back to the community of creators who have given us so much. Luckily, this community is made up of many close friends who like to make films and party together! 



Who are some filmmakers (fancy or not so fancy) that you admire?

We each have a very distinct style and filmmakers we draw from, so it’s hard to narrow it down! But we’ve felt immense admiration for the Moonlight team in a much different way. The success of that film and that group of former Florida-bound college friends has always been something of a guiding light. We’re also fans of Lynne Ramsay, Eliza Hittman, Kelly Reichardt, Sofia Coppola, just to name a few.


Current mantras?

As Ryan likes to say often, “we’re all gonna die anyway.”



Into Character - Giselle Muise


Corrinee Paulson

I’ve felt the melting away.

Small strands of being is all that’s left to my structure.

Am foundation.

Rubble collected over time.

Slow accumulation of ideas.

Made whole in form and soul.

Bits and pieces sewn together

Unintentional collection, unintentional pasted to one another.

In here.

This is the house for pain and regret.

The construction started well enough.

Delays and complications.

Moving along but with intention.

And then…. Push, forced, railroaded.

Collected after ruining yourself.

Realize there had to come a time when it had to be torn down.

This was the tearing, gnashing, great fists pounding the exteriors.

Interiors crumbling, constantly.

We

Here.

I am here.

Dragged through the mud.

Forcing along, terrorizing my very soul into submission.

Terrified of what I might...

There is a cycle within.

The circle, ouroboros of fear.

Striving to obliterate the feelings.

Thrown down a well, seeking the ride down.

Fuck and cry and fuck and cry and fuck and cry and fuck and cry and fuck and cry and fuck and cry



HANG IN THERE - CAVA

alchemy - URBVN ARCHITECTS


WITCH POEM - Emily DeForest

My momma made me feel like

Alien

Both Angel and Demon

When we were witches

I was wondering why

My spells never worked


There was a potion for Love

Required:

lavender oil, dried leaves from the bank of the bayou, 3 drips of my mom’s fancy shampoo.


There was a potion for friendship

Required:

essence of elderberry, hair of Bratz, 3 matches- the ones you used to teach me fire


I remember you crying. At first I thought it was a dream but then I looked over and there you were. You were unwell. Mom had to take you home.


Why were you friends with me after I abandoned you at your locker? In the hallway? In Runescape? Fights over dumb shit- really what I wanted was to grow up to become the women we pretended to be,


I never told you when I first had sex. You had already dropped out. Our lives 2 realms, thick bubble walls.


You never told me when you got married. Swedish nights you were too drunk to stand. Shitty guy who records your masturbation schedule. Calls you fat. Applauds starvation.


Why the fuck did you stay?

Why the fuck were you mad at me when I got out?


There is such thing as self abandonment.


Ouch.

Potion for healing.


Requirements:

1 four leaf clover, 2 hours of ecstatic dancing, one bar of our favorite candy.


Stir occasionally


An excerpt from BAD DATE PLAY by Grace Parker Place:

A coffee shop in Brooklyn Time: Now 


MARIE

I saw you on my phone and I thought “dark haired pretty white boy with abs let’s fuckin do it” let’s go--I’m due-- it’s my time-- I thought please God don’t tell me I’ve had my one-- don’t tell me I’ve had my one head over heels love-- please let me get more than one-- you see I’m a closet hedonist and I need the rush I need it I need the rush I need the feeling 

(The monster starts to come apart) 

MARIE

Or I think I need it I think I do-- my dad’s right I only think in the temporary. What I actually need What I actually need God I haven’t even thought about it What I actually need Is someone to lie in my bed with me and watch the Disney live action remake of Lady and the Tramp And someone to pick up toilet paper on the way home Someone to fold fitted sheets with And talk about the democratic debates with Shuck corn with Meet my parents and like them Meet my brother and trust him Someone who hates jordan almonds and like sitcoms-- even and especially the bad ones Someone with hair that doesn’t take long to style and a good taste in jewelry Someone with a heart Someone who can stop talking Someone who lets me know it’s okay to stop talking and just breathe just breathe And someone to talk about my grandparents with Keep secrets Fuck me even though my legs have the slightest scrape of unshaven hair Treat me like a whore in the dark and a princess in the light And love me so completely that I don’t doubt that my life is necessary to the world. 

(Breath) 


MARIE

That’s a lot to want. It’s a lot to need. And I’m not sure it’s fair. Walking in here. Wanting all that. But I’m not sorry Because it feels true. Maybe as I get older I’ll become more reasonable. Although I certainly haven’t been reasonable thus far. So it’s not looking good. (Lights return to normal. Marie’s family disappears. We’re in the charred remains of the Brooklyn bakery. It just looks like there’s been a fire. But everyone’s fine. They’re kinda packing their things and going. The roof is somehow gone. Snow falls.) 

MARIE

I see my loneliness as a failure of self love. 

(MARIE pulls out her debit card and puts it in the little black thing.) 

I got this.

(The waitress takes it.) 

Here’s the thing, Dillon. I’m pretty good at being all of that All those things I said For myself I can buy toilet paper I can roll a fitted sheet into a ball and throw it under the bed I can even tell myself to breathe although I don’t usually listen I don’t really want to do all the things for myself though I’m tired. Gosh, why am I so ashamed of that? 

DILLON

I could tell you to breathe. 

Marie

It’s okay. Don’t worry about it. 


(DILLON gets up) 

MARIE

I hope your dad doesn’t get too angry. 

DILLON

Me too. 

MARIE

It was nice to meet you. 

DILLON

Bye. 

(DILLON goes. MARIE watches where he went for a moment, then sits down at a new table. A moment. The waitress comes up.) 

WAITRESS

Know what you want? 

END OF PLAY

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