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“Let the Sleepers Sleep, and the Haters Hate:” An Interview with Dale “Rage” Resteghini

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Dale Resteghini directing; photo © 2012 Kristen Glaze.

From my article “Let the Sleepers Sleep, and the Haters Hate:” An Interview with Dale “Rage” Resteghini” in Quarterly Review of Film and Video 29.1, 2012:

“On a plane coming back from a research trip in Los Angeles, I fell into a conversation with one of my seatmates, who turned out to be Dale Resteghini, one of the most prolific music video directors of the contemporary music scene. As it happened, he was on his way to Omaha to shoot a music video the next day. We swapped contact information, and this interview is the result. Rage, as he is professionally known, directs two to three videos a month, and by his own estimation has created at least 400 music videos in the course of his career. At one time, these videos were a staple of programming on MTV, VH1 and BET, but as these outlets turned to longer form programming, the music video has become something of a luxury for many performers. Yet the market for Rage’s services remains unabated. There are many interesting aspects to Rage’s work, but one of his chief attributes is his versatility. Rather than favoring one musical genre, his videos swing all the way from heavy metal to hip-hop, with numerous stops in-between, on budgets that range from several thousand dollars to large, complex productions with significant price tags. Nothing seems to faze him: as he told me when we first met, “I function best in absolute chaos, when everything seems to be falling apart. Everybody else is losing it, but I see the opportunities that arise. That’s the time I come up with some of my best ideas.” His production company, Raging Nation Films, is a joint effort between Rage and his wife Kim, who handles the business end of things.

Some of the artists he’s worked with since he broke into directing in 2003 include Anthrax, Busta Rhymes, Cypress Hill, P. Diddy, Fall Out Boy, Guns N’ Roses, Ice Cube, L’il Wayne, Method Man, Redman, Cam’ron and numerous others across the musical spectrum, usually wrapping up a video in a day or two of hectic shooting. Rage is something of a paradox: a tough customer who by his own admission was involved in more than few brushes with the law during his youth, he is nevertheless an artist with a definite visual signature to his work, which keeps him in constant demand as the “go to” guy for sharp, compelling concepts and cost-conscious execution. While he’s completely at home in the digital era, Rage still prefers to shoot 35mm film rather than high definition video, and at this point in his career, is poised to make the jump to features. Forthright, direct, and honest, Rage is a self-taught director whose street smart attitude allows him to create work that is commercially viable, while at the same time retains an edge that sets him apart from the rest of his peers. He’s an “up from the streets” auteur, which is what makes his work that much more real.”

You can download the entire article here.

About the Author

Wheeler Winston Dixon

Wheeler Winston Dixon, Ryan Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is an internationally recognized scholar and writer of film history, theory and criticism. He is the author of thirty books and more than 100 articles on film, and appears regularly in national media outlets discussing film and culture trends. Frame by Frame is a collection of his thoughts on a number of those topics. To contact Prof. Dixon for an interview, reach him at 402.472.6064 or wdixon1@unl.edu. Visit him at his website wheelerwinstondixon.com.

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