Midi Onodera


PHOTO CREDIT: Sammy by Shelley-Ann Mathewson

Midi is a Toronto-based moving image artist who likes to keep busy. Obsessively driven to make work, she likes to infect others with her passion. As a small child she imagined herself in her own movie by rapidly blinking her eyes to re-create the motion picture flicker of the big screen.

Websites: midionodera.com

Vidoodles.com (for mobile devices)

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/midi


How did you select which person would work on which task and video?

When I sent out the invitations to become involved in the project I asked people what they would like to do – write, shoot, etc. This gave me their parameters which I made a note of so I could assign the appropriate tasks to people. Everything was distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Obviously I did not want the same person to do two assignments for the same video.

What did you discover in producing the project?

The process was a surprising on a number of different levels. At first I thought of my role as more of a coordinator, but then as the project took off I realized that in some cases, I was the singular voice reflecting back the participant’s creativity. In a sense I became the audience for their contributions, so I began to respond more to their creations and give them some feedback. It was never my place to judge what they had done, but rather be encouraging and responsive.

I was also excited to see how each video progressed. Of course, I imagined how I would work with the different text components or images and in the end, what I envisioned was always different from how each video turned out.

What did you want people to gain from their involvement in the project?

My immediate goal was to try and insert some creativity into people’s lives as we were all isolated and distanced from each other. As the project progressed and more people became involved I realized that what I wanted was to make people aware that doing something creative doesn’t need to involve a lot of preparation. I wanted people to experience some satisfaction with their contributions, be happy with their achievements and perhaps consider integrating more creative moments into their daily lives. To me, creating something is fun, it’s what drives me forward and gives me energy and I want others to feel that as well.

If you had to pick one component (Writing, Shooting, Editing and Sound), which is the one that can make or break a video created through this process and why?

That’s a difficult question. All of the components play such an important role. If I had to choose one, I would say the writing. On the surface coming up with 19 words seems really easy and straight-forward. But actually, this is the backbone of the video. All of the elements are generated or need to be connected to this original text. Of course, narratively speaking, “no script, no movie”. I was sometimes astonished by how the text was transformed in each of the stages, sometimes providing reinforcement of the ideas, sometimes catapulting the words into new meaning and opening the door for different interpretations. It was such a gift to receive the final videos and I am so pleased and thankful that so many people took the time to contribute. To me it was the best thing that came out of the Covid-19 isolation.

How were the titles chosen?

The titles were either the first three words of the text or the first sentence.
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