States of Independence
Dazed's ultimate guide to US creativity

Artificially inseminating cows with David Gordon Green

The director behind 'Pineapple Express' and 'Joe' explains his first and only documentary

cow

As part of our new summer US project States of Independence we've invited our favourite 30 American curators, magazines, creatives and institutions to takeover Dazed for a day. 

David Gordon Green is best known for his work on HBO's Eastbound & Down and Pineapple Express. However, he has amassed an impressive back catalogue of indie film credits with films like All the Real Girls, George Washington and upcoming thriller Joe. Today on Dazed, he imparts some key career know-how, selects a roster of fresh talent and gives us a sneak peek at his upcoming film.

Director David Gordon Green: "The film is about how to artificially inseminate cows. I wanted to make an educational film. I love the short documentaries that used to be on Sesame Street when I was a kid – 'a trip to the crayon factory' or 'how to make a guitar' etc. This insemination was a process that I became interested in when I met this man, Pete Burnett, during my junior year of film school – he does the voice-over for the documentary. He was a friend of a friend and I thought he had a fascinating job, I asked him if I could film it and he said 'okay'.

This particular film is notable because it was the first time I used the cinematographer Tim Orr – he has shot all of my feature films. This was my first 16mm project and my only documentary, so it holds a special place in my heart. I have a fascination with all animals and science so this was a perfect blend.

I actually also made the music for it when I was learning to play the banjo (notice I was too afraid to take credit for it). My favourite part is when Pete doesn't know what to do with the plastic sleeve when he pulls it out of the cow's rectum – I am also amused by the title sequence where I painted glass black and scratched the credits into the glass, but the light behind the glass got so hot that the glass shattered."

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