Posted from The Citrus Report
This interview was done in two stages, one prior to Alex Tarrant’s Snoop420 life, one after Alex Tarrant’s Snoop420 life. It is significant to note that. You will get a lot of information about Alex working on Upper Playground’s WalrusTV in the beginning, a lot of Alex’s favorite YouTube clips, and then you will get to the second half which will talk about Alex filmming, writing, and producing Snoop420.com with Snoop Dogg, and his new found love for all things Insane Editions. (And, Alex is the technology and new media editor of Juxtapoz, so he can write and shoot photos and be a journalist, too. Full package kids). Okay, just read it. —RB/ The Citrus Report
TCR: Upper Playground sort of introduced itself to video with documentary art with Dithers and The Run UP, but Walrus TV was a major expansion. What is the role of Walrus TV?
Walrus TV carries on that great documentary content that we had in Dithers and The Run Up, but also expand on it. It’s meant to be the video / filmmaking arm of Upper Playground, infused with the arts, pop culture, and humor, but also have it’s own flavor and ideas that hopefully I am bringing to it.
TCR: You are an accomplished filmmaker yourself, and a teacher, but what is your full background?
My mom took me to a presentation by Dennis Muren for my 15th birthday, and ever since then I have been making random little films and other creative stuff, mostly with computers and cameras. Dennis Muren is the tall, lanky white-haired guy that did all the visual effects from the first Star Wars, all the way through Jurassic Park and Terminator 2.
I have a degree in Computer Arts / New Media, which basically means I know how to do a little bit of everything creatively on a computer. I pride myself on being a Swiss army knife of techniques and disciplines. Master of nothing, perhaps, but it makes me self-sufficient if I need to be, and I’m doing something different every day. I teach part-time and pass on my bad habits to around 40-60 students per semester. I worked at a toy design company for 5 years after I got out of school, making films and animation in my spare time. Lately I’m lucky that I’ve been able to focus on it as my full-time work.
TCR: How did you connect with Upper Playground?
It must have been through Jason Bass of JB Classics. He was a roommate of mine when I first moved to San Francisco in 1998. He was in touch with Matt Revelli and at some point must have told him that he knew a couple of huge nerds that hang out in their apartment all day and make stuff. The other nerd was my buddy Shaun Roberts, who is now a great documentary photographer. I helped finish Dithers and worked a little bit on The Run Up with Shaun in exchange for a UP hoodie and a t-shirt.