Through cinematic and compositional practices my work explores under seen people, objects or phenomena in our everyday world
While studying filmmaking Sarah began shooting video of the wild spectacles of the Austin punk-indie scene of the 90s of which she was a member in various musical projects such as the New Girl Art Trend Band, Rock Hudsons, and Yellow Fledgling. Using performative and autobiographical approaches in her film and musical work, she enjoys the intersection of sound, vision, and experience in experimental, narrative, and documentary forms.
As a person of mixed ethnic heritage and an adoptee, she considers her sense of identity a fluid amalgam of multi-cultural familial experiences and biology.
She received her MFA in Film Directing from Northwestern University. As an undergraduate, she began Editing for Emmy award winning Cinematographer Nancy Schiesari on her short, “Loaves and Fishes,” which played at several film festivals internationally and aired on PBS’s The Territory. She also edited and assistant edited Schiesari’s feature length Documentary, Hansel Mieth Vagabond Photographer on one of the pioneering women photojournalists of Time Magazine, Hansel Mieth, whose legacy was largely forgotten after she was later blacklisted during the McCarthy era.
In May 2006, Sarah traveled with a group of visiting Artists to do a Video Installation on the side of the war-torn Hotel Europa for the Sarajevo Winter Festival. Sarah Carlson’s Dramatic short “Chicken,” about a lowly poultry worker and his relationship with his immigrant mother, was accepted into competition at the LA Shorts Fest. Lines Triptych, featuring original scores by composers Lee Weisert and Kristen Broberg, utilizes an early video cell phone with a zeiss lens to get a macro view of the lines and textures of a Chicago sidewalk. Through incremental enlargement and projection, the original images blur into abstraction and moving collage.
In 2009 Sarah founded an outreach organization, Grow Awareness Media and created a half hour television doc, Food Deserts in a Land of Plenty, about community based solutions to fresh food access challenges in urban and rural communities throughout the midwest. This film was requested to air on several public televisions stations in Illinois. She premiered the piece at The historic Jane Austin Hull House, partnered with a discussion on community solutions to farm and food justice issues and a panel including african american farmers, community parents and children, a state local food lobbyist, and a senator.
Sarah lives in the Hudson Valley, working as a Director of Photography, editor, and producer, and teaching at the college level while developing creative projects. Her work professionally as a documentary filmmaker and a camera woman has taught her the patience and reward of waiting and watching.
Food Deserts in a Land of Plenty Excerpt
Producer / Director / Shooter / Editor
LINES TRYPTYCH : STILL IMAGES
NARRATIVE SHORT FILM
directed by Sarah Carlson
Elgie Shafe brings home a chick from his-- job at the poultry dealer and finds himself decidedly attached. His life begins to blossom for the first time in years, but when the chicken dies unexpectedly, Elgie must decide whether to reach out for a new connection with a human face.