Renowned Cleveland-based artist DEREK HESS has tested the waters of both the music and art world for over 20 years. Recognized internationally for his poster work with bands such as Pantera, Pink Floyd and Pearl Jam, as well as being featured brands like MTV, Vh1 and TLC, Hess’ art has been featured everywhere from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to the infamous Louvre in Paris.
After enriching the art and music world with his intricate and emotive drawing-based-art for over a decade, Derek Hess has finally translated his medium to film by way of his new documentary, Forced Perspective. This intimate self-portrait was directed by filmmaker Nick Cavalier and has already won awards at the Cleveland International Film Festival, the Beverly Hills Film Festival and many others. Forced Perspective isn’t just your average docu-story or even a biopic, but rather a journey through Hess’ struggle with alcoholism and bipolar disorder and how these demons affect his artwork. This exploration presents a voyeur into Hess’ personal life, revealing his process and philosophy. Forced Perspective showcases the evolution of a celebrated artist and his effect on music and culture while highlighting the link between creativity and mental illness.
Today, Forced Perspective is available for purchase via IndieMerch in DVD and BluRay formats, as well as for download and streaming On Demand via Vimeo. IndieMerch has several physical packages available, including signed limited edition posters, a 125-page Forced Perspectivecompanion book, limited edition silk-screen prints, and more. In addition to the full-length film, the DVD/BluRay includes deleted scenes, a film premiere Q&A, behind-the-scenes footage, teaser vignettes, trailers, and more.
In celebration of today’s release, two exclusive film teaser vignettes are available for viewing now – one via Inked Magazine and another via Cleveland.com. These particular selections explore the connections between mental health, fine-tuned consciousness and artistic expression.
Derek Hess first drew attention to his art by creating posters to advertise the bands he booked at Cleveland’s Euclid Tavern. Posters for bands such as Helmet, Cop Shoot Cop, Jesus Lizard and Soul Coughing attracted people to the growing underground music scene in Cleveland while gaining Hess notoriety all over the world for his artwork.
In the early 2000’s, Hess began holding concerts in Cleveland named Strhessfest where Hess’ favorite bands would play such as Clutch, Converge, Every Time I Die, Unearth and Stretch Arm Strong. The bands were mostly hardcore and metal bands, both local and national, whose songs had the same subject matter as Hess’ art: dark tones, heartbreak and depression. Strhessfest eventually expanded into Strhess Tour and lasted five years, touring both the US and Europe with bands such as Shadows Fall, As I lay Dying, Thursday, Bleeding Through and Poison The Well.
“Forced Perspective offers incredible insight into the life of Clevelander Derek Hess and his struggles with addiction and bipolar disorder. Nick Cavalier’s presentation of the world-renowned artist’s life and his work is visually stunning and engaging – while digging into the complicated issues that many people face.”
– Patrick Shepherd, Cleveland International Film Festival
“I met Derek Hess on the Victory Tour, I believe it was in March of that year. Cold and snowy, the show got moved to his art gallery and it was a great show, made some new friends. He’s had such an important role in music with his art. So many great metal covers and hardcore bands. Designed a shirt for us and every day I walk out of my room and see his painting he gave me a long time ago. Good guy, that Derek Hess – great artist. This documentary is filmed beautifully and also gave me a dark, emotional feeling. It captures the true Derek we know and appreciate. And how his struggles with addiction and life affected me in my own struggle. I think we all grew up with flyers and shows and he was a big part of that for the Cleveland scene.”
– Eddie Reyes, Taking Back Sunday
“Nick Cavalier’s study on Derek Hess is an affirmation for people stirred by the underdog spirit. You don’t need to be a rarefied art scholar or a street-elite music fan to feel for Hess’ failures and triumphs. The only people who won’t enjoy this film are the ones who prefer their culture served to them on a stick.”
– Jason Pettigrew, Alternative Press Magazine
“Forced Perspective is raw. It is emotional. It tells of Derek’s story and struggles, as well as the stories of those who connect with his art. This film has given me a new perspective on Derek’s work. As a person who also struggles with mental illness I am able to connect on a very personal level. As a fellow artist I am empowered to dig deeper into my own psyche to deliver something more. This film boldly tells the story of what it is like for an artist to create, deliver, maintain and continue on despite the darkness and the pressure of fame. As I am sure Derek could affirm, the struggle to be loved can be harder than the struggle to be known. This film will touch many and I look forward to seeing the impact.”
-Amy Bleuel, Project Semi Colon
Official Selection – 2015 SXSW Excellence in title design
World Premier – Local Heroes Award – 2015 Cleveland International Film Festival
Best Cinematography Award – 2015 Beverly Hills Film Festival
Official Selection – 2015 Indy Film Fest
Official Selection – 2015 Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival
Best Documentary Award – 2015 Kingston Film Festival
Best Feature Film Award – 2015 Reel Indie Film Fest
Best Art Documentary Feature Award – 2015 Atlanta Docufest
Directed & Edited By: Nick Cavalier
Produced By: Martin Geramita
Executive Producers: Chris Rentner, Evan Hareras & Beau Miller
Cinematography By: John Pope & Sergio Salgado
Titles And Color By: Coat Of Arms
Location Sound Mix By: Ben Stockton
Post Sound Mix By: Chuck Bein (See Music)
Original Music By: Matthew Santos, Chihsuan Yang, Joel Coan, Dustin Currier & LT Magnotto
Additional Music By: The Felix Culpa, Thereafter, Chris Zabriskie
Distributed By Gravitas Ventures:
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