Take Aim: Amy Sciarretto vs. Lance Bangs
Wed, 26 Jun 2013 15:05:10
Lance Bangs is the director behind the web series Young Americans, which explores issues that the current youth generation is dealing with. It's a detailed look at WTF is going on with the future leaders of the world. Bangs, who has a history of directing music videos by the likes of Nirvana, Pavement and Odd Future, to name a few, stepped into the Take Aim ring to give us the goods on the show and why YOU should be watching.
Trust us – this is an important series and your eyes need to be on it. But first, let's hear from Bangs. Then you can watch an episode, since we've posted one for your viewing pleasure below.
Can you give us the elevator pitch of Young Americans and why our readers should watch the show? What are TWO things that are critical for us to know?
Young Americans shoots throughout the United States, where I find young people and ask them about their thoughts or experiences. I head through workplaces, parking lots, campuses, and the countryside looking for characters, and then sculpt the edit based on the themes that emerge from the conversations.
What's your procedure or your thought process for picking topics to explore on the show?
The subjects and themes that are coming up repeatedly in conversations tend to steer how the topics are assembled into individual episodes. This season people talked about the shift in how the LGBT community is being treated, how technology affects their lives, and how they perceive their own identity.
What other topics would you like to explore in future seasons?
How they view ambition and power, their sense of social responsibility to other people, whether they think about the United States in relation to the rest of the world, their generation's place in a historical context, how they view institutions of marriage and family units, privacy and how the government and online companies interact with them, the criminal and judicial systems.
You've directed a lot of music videos -- which was your favorite and why?
Nirvana's "Seasons in the Sun" because of my deep regard for the band and the emotional weight of crafting it together in a way that specifically reflects the underground culture and camaraderie that they emerged from. Three friends playing a cover song together, shot on Super8mm.
Back to Young Americans. The show is so youth-directed -- why did you zero in on this generation's challenges and issues?
In my other work (producing Loiter Squad, directing music films with bands, working with young artists and comedians, etc), I keep spending time with young people and am interested in the generational shifts to how they encounter the world around them.
What would you coin this generation, from your experiences filming it? What's after millennials? Can you even theorize?
I'm pushing for it to be a Highest Common Denominator generation. I see many things becoming better designed and being "nicer" than they previously were. More thought and consideration is being put into well crafted items and living situations than in the past, partly because the internet allows people to see quick examples of other options for things they may have previously not considered. Hopefully this extends to people in all different economic, regional, and cultural pockets.
What's the one thing that you were surprised to learn about a group or a sect or a culture of youth when making this series?
I was surprised at how quickly the previous generation's stigmas against homosexuality have been outmoded by this younger generation. Even in rural areas and less progressive communities, I found many people who no longer proclaim the sort of views that were common 15 or 20 years ago.
Any non-film-related hobbies/skills/talents?
I'll jump into almost any water I see.
Watch Season 2, Episode 3: "Media Representations." It's embedded below for your viewing pleasure. This is our favorite new series and it will become yours, especially if your are 21 and under.
Will you watch more of Young Americans? You can, at ScionAV's Young Americans Season 2 YouTube Playlist.