Merrill Aldighieri’s video from the “VJ Diaries” is live!
Multi-award winning Independent filmmaker/artist/producer-
She moved to northern California where she got a job in the first cable TV station in the country, SCATV. She was a camera person and co-producer. Then moving to NYC she landed at the Muppet Workshop working on fund raising films for the Dark Crystal and making puppet screen tests. It was here that she made her first long narrative video-film “Love Among the Mutants” which had its debut presented by Jonas Mekas at Anthology Film Archives. This caught the eye of the media programmer at the nightclub HURRAH.
HURRAH was the first club to make a video installation as a focal point of the club environment, and Merrill experimented to develop a real-time non-stop flow of projected visuals to work with the DJ’s music. She and a co-worker made up the word “VJ” and “Video Jockey” to describe what she was doing. This was how she presented her film in the club. They invited her to work full time. In her break she began filming the lives bands that performed there and did so regularly til she had recorded about 200 hours of live performances. The club closed and she moved on to VJ at other clubs, then opened a production company to release a series of music videos for Sony’s new home video lable that broke music on video. She also made animations for corporate clients, Sesame Street and Beevis and Butthead.
Returning to her early interest in electronic news gathering, she made a trilogy of “Thought Operas” featuring Robert Anton Wilson, Quentin Crisp, and Dr. John Lilly. One in this series won an EMMY. They aired on PBS.
Moving to France in the early 90ies Merrill continued all her pursuits in film. She made 2 music documentaries which reunited her with early collaborators Lydia Lunch and the San Francisco group Tuxedomoon. Since 2000 she has focused on creating films to bring her Hurrah archive to life, and has completed a dozen hour long films so far. Her website has example trailers
a w a r d s & h o n n o r s
Rolling Stone’s Top 10 Music Video Directors Worldwide (1990)
Emmy Award…Best Documentary of Cultural Significance (1992)
Emmy Award…Best Animation in a Children’s Program (Sesame Street)
Montbelliard Video Art Festival Finalist (1992)
Montreal International Film & Video Festival
CinéPause…Best Short Documentary (1998)
Museum of Modern Art, NYC – 4 films in the permanent collection (2017)