What Came First The Chicken Or The Screen Test?

by Staff SOURCE Nowness
Photo Credit: La Nana Cartel

Californian chickens and a charismatic duck mug for the camera in director Aaron Rose's Warhol-inspired mock screen tests, set to Dean and Britta's cover of Bob Dylan's “I'll Keep It With Mine.”

The vignettes were shot during a series of Levi’s-sponsored filmmaking workshops about sustainable lifestyle hosted at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles, culminating in the documentary Wild Goodness. Renowned music supervisor Randall Poster, creative director Gelya Robb and Rose masterminded the shorts, with the latter enlisting artist Tobin Yelland to teach the basics of shooting 16mm film within the standard formula of the Factory screen tests, with subject and camera remaining motionless throughout to create a "living portrait." Having sourced the feathered actors from a farm in San Pedro, Rose observes that "when you start focusing on the minutiae of the chicken’s eye, or the way it’s cocking its head, each has its own, unique kind of personality.” Yelland found the plumed stars less diva-ish than their human counterparts, but this wasn’t the only contrast. "It's different to light a chicken from a human, because the chicken's head is so tiny," he says.