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#1 mdsteves

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 07:50 PM

Hey everyone. Okay this is my newly launched blog for my experimental films. So far all have been shot with my trusty Canon A95 which is okay because it works for the web. At some point I'll probably use a real camera once I sense that I'm on to something, but for now the conveniance of the little camera has won out.

Critiques are welcome. I'll try to have a new one up every week or two. I'm hoping that keeps me on my toes. Thanks for looking.

Matt

Imprinted Time

I freely admit to stealing a chapter title from Tarkovsky's Sculpting in Time.

#2 Thom

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 11:18 AM

Happy New Year, Matt.

I am looking forward to new installments and to see what you are doing.

#3 M. Leary

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 11:23 AM

Thanks for bumping this Thom, I missed it the first time around.

Hope to see more of your work, Matt.

#4 Thom

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 11:34 AM

It is my pleasure. Matt has some very evocative imagery and editing. The melancholy of the music lends itself to leading the viewer in an emotive direction but I think it can almost be considered a reflective direction; something that almost forces us to be introspective.

Here is a bit more reference for you Mike, Matt is shooting with the Canon A95. This is a newer version of some of the cameras used on a “Sherlock” investigation; however, I do not want to hijack this thread.

Here is another blog/thread to peruse. Matt may not want these two blogs linked and I apologize if that is so and will remove if requested.

#5 M. Leary

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 11:36 AM

I like those smaller Canons, as one can see in Matt's films they produce a nice quality of light even in lower light situations. Isn't that a bit of an improvement over thier earlier model?

#6 Thom

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 12:04 PM

QUOTE(MLeary @ Jan 3 2007, 10:36 AM) View Post
I like those smaller Canons, as one can see in Matt's films they produce a nice quality of light even in lower light situations. Isn't that a bit of an improvement over thier earlier model?


Actually, I think I need to make a clarification, or ask for one. I think Matt might be using the Canon ZR95, otherwise that video is being shot with a digtial camera video funtion.

If it is the ZR95, I am not cetain of the night (low light) shooting mode changes/improvements or how well lit the area (location) being shot was, which would make a difference.

#7 M. Leary

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 04:22 PM

It doesn't look too far off from the video function of something like a Canon A95, the video function on those little Canons have great low-light resolution. If he is using the smaller camera, then I appreciate those installments even better (I still can't quite bring myself to use the word "film" for a short done on digital video, regardless of its quality). The personal and durative quality of each one is enhanced by the lower scale of the camera he is using.

I missed out on an entire year of short films last year, I wonder how many shorts on the festival circuit were shot with cameras of this size and resolution. It would be interesting to compare Matt's films to them.

#8 Thom

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 12:09 PM

QUOTE(MLeary @ Jan 3 2007, 03:22 PM) View Post
It doesn't look too far off from the video function of something like a Canon A95, the video function on those little Canons have great low-light resolution. If he is using the smaller camera, then I appreciate those installments even better (I still can't quite bring myself to use the word "film" for a short done on digital video, regardless of its quality). The personal and durative quality of each one is enhanced by the lower scale of the camera he is using.


The quality of the finished project is still, somewhat, an interpretation of what actually is. By this I mean that we don't really know if these were produced for the web or if the quality of the image is due to codecs and resolution for web display. I like the quality of what I see on the blogs, it is good quality. These installments remind me of the French New Wave.

If these were shot with a digital camera's video functionality then I would agree with you, it makes each installment even better. This is because it adds new dimensions for me, the viewer. It becomes much more of a personal experience, as if looking through someone's video diary or somehow one is transformed into the looker, using the same gaze. The lack of polish makes it much more real.

QUOTE(MLeary @ Jan 3 2007, 03:22 PM) View Post
I missed out on an entire year of short films last year, I wonder how many shorts on the festival circuit were shot with cameras of this size and resolution. It would be interesting to compare Matt's films to them.


There was one online festival that only wanted films shot with a cell phone.


#9 M. Leary

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 04:12 PM

QUOTE(Thom(asher) @ Jan 4 2007, 01:09 PM) View Post
There was one online festival that only wanted films shot with a cell phone.


Oh.

Do you know the weight of the Canon A95 in ounces?

#10 Thom

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 04:43 PM

QUOTE(MLeary @ Jan 4 2007, 03:12 PM) View Post
QUOTE(Thom(asher) @ Jan 4 2007, 01:09 PM) View Post
There was one online festival that only wanted films shot with a cell phone.


Oh.

Do you know the weight of the Canon A95 in ounces?


I do. It is 1.9 pounds or 21 ounces.

I have been testing some of the lighting situations and settings with a Canon A540 and I really like the way it records. I can see why one would use this tool for creating web video. There are many benefits including, but not limited to, file size and transfer times of the unedited footage.

#11 M. Leary

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 04:55 PM

QUOTE(Thom(asher) @ Jan 4 2007, 05:43 PM) View Post
I do. It is 1.9 pounds or 21 ounces.


Is that for the brushed chrome model or the matte black? If I recall correctly, there is a .13 to .174 weight differential in this model due to the different process involved with the matte black.

QUOTE
I have been testing some of the lighting situations and settings with a Canon A540 and I really like the way it records. I can see why one would use this tool for creating web video. There are many benefits including, but not limited to, file size and transfer times of the unedited footage.


I use our Kodak for web video, specifically because of the file sizes and transfer rates. Storage is a lot easier as well, as I can fit quite a bit of uncompressed video on one little CD-R. The benefit of these tools are that they make collaboration far more efficient, as a group of people could make a film simply via email. Yet I am still wary of thinking of such a process of "filmmaking."

#12 mdsteves

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 06:12 PM

Wow, I had almost forgotten about this thread. Thanks for bumping it Thom. Yes, those little shorts are shot with the Canon A95. They're encoded using Google Video but I'm looking at some different codecs that might have better results. Google and Youtube tend to use a quick and dirty approach. Either way I was reasonably pleased as these are for the web. I don't think they would hold up as well being viewed on a full size television...the small dimensions are to its benefit.

I'm planning on putting more out but I haven't had access to the web except at work for a few months now. Blogging as well as editing time have both been minimal lately. As has already been mentioned these are rather crudely produced/edited but that's also the point.

Matt

#13 Thom

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 01:14 PM

QUOTE(MLeary @ Jan 4 2007, 03:55 PM) View Post
QUOTE(Thom(asher) @ Jan 4 2007, 05:43 PM) View Post
I do. It is 1.9 pounds or 21 ounces.

Is that for the brushed chrome model or the matte black? If I recall correctly, there is a .13 to .174 weight differential in this model due to the different process involved with the matte black.

That was for the brushed aluminum model, I thought the black one received a different model number. I suppose the process of adding the black pigment would create a slightly heavier camera. However, holding each at the same time, but in different hands, I do not seem to notice a difference in the weight, therefore, I don't think one would be more difficult to handle than the other.
QUOTE
I use our Kodak for web video, specifically because of the file sizes and transfer rates. Storage is a lot easier as well, as I can fit quite a bit of uncompressed video on one little CD-R. The benefit of these tools are that they make collaboration far more efficient, as a group of people could make a film simply via email. Yet I am still wary of thinking of such a process of "filmmaking."

Storage is quite a bit easier because the resolution is much lower. So, you are using the little CD-Rs? That doesn’t seem to be cost effective.

Collaboration is an interesting idea and has not gone without discussing over the last couple of years. Some other benefits of this size camera is that because of the weight you can get much more fluid (smooth) pans and tilts. You can really get a sense of the smoothness in watching Matt's videos.

I have to note, for someone who is weary to call this type of thing “film” or “filmmaking” you are certainly using that terminology quite a bit. I think the terms “film” and “filmmaking” have been a pejorative term since consumer video cameras came out in the 1980’s.

Edited by Thom(asher), 08 January 2007 - 01:16 PM.


#14 Darren H

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 02:01 PM

Sorry to intrude on your conversation, but I just found an amazing experimental film blog: Expanded Cinema.

#15 Thom

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 02:55 PM

QUOTE(Darren H @ Jan 8 2007, 01:01 PM) View Post
Sorry to intrude on your conversation, but I just found an amazing experimental film blog: Expanded Cinema.


Truly, it is not an intrusion. It is good to have another voice here.

Thanks for posting this blog. I have watched a couple of the films but I am not quite ready to comment. I believe commenting would require a new thread anyway. I am currently mezmerized by Peter Tscherkassky's Manufraktur. I have a deep fondness for found art of any sort.

#16 Darren H

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 04:15 PM

I saw Tscherkassky's two latest films at TIFF 2005 and 2006, and, I'm telling you, seeing them projected in 35mm and with a great sound system is one of those experiences that forces you to rethink the bounds of cinema. Midway through Instructions for a Sound and Light Machine, I realized that my right hand was gripping my left forearm so tightly that both hurt. Talk about an intense visceral experience. If you dig around at Google Video you can find a couple more of his films. (Ain't the Internet great?)

Fwiw, I've decide that 2007 is going to be my avant-garde and "subversive" film year. Should be a lot of fun.

#17 M. Leary

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 05:42 AM

QUOTE(Thom(asher) @ Jan 8 2007, 02:14 PM) View Post
That was for the brushed aluminum model, I thought the black one received a different model number. I suppose the process of adding the black pigment would create a slightly heavier camera. However, holding each at the same time, but in different hands, I do not seem to notice a difference in the weight, therefore, I don't think one would be more difficult to handle than the other.


The difference really only matters when each camera is being used in direct sunlight for an extended period of time, in which case the black matte version absorbs more sunlight and becomes slightly heavier as a result. This becomes noticeable in long takes and slow hand-held pans on hot summer days. Hold one in each hand in direct sunlight for 30 minutes and execute a slow pan of your back yard, you will certainly notice the difference. And this is even with taking into account the additional friction grooves installed on the battery panel of this model as opposed to last year's, which makes it somewhat lighter.


QUOTE(Darren H @ Jan 8 2007, 03:01 PM) View Post
Sorry to intrude on your conversation, but I just found an amazing experimental film blog: Expanded Cinema.


Hey! I used to have this exact blog, titled "Eye Myth." I daily searched You Tube, Veoh, Google Vid., and a few other places for any uploaded experimental films and embedded them in blogger. I also included music vids made by directors also active in producing experimental films. I just don't know why music videos aren't more heavily discussed in the whole "experimental film" scene. I ended up deleting the blog because it started to seem like a lost cause. I was also constantly troubled as to whether or not I had actually "seen" any of the films at all, as they were all subject to compression and the whims of different codecs. Could I really include these on my film journal or not?

Anyway, here is a link to some more short films online. One or two of them is NSFW, as they say. It was wonderful to see that Godard short finally.

QUOTE(Darren H @ Jan 8 2007, 05:15 PM) View Post
Fwiw, I've decide that 2007 is going to be my avant-garde and "subversive" film year. Should be a lot of fun.


If you are interested I can pass along some Lutz Mommartz links.


#18 M. Leary

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 11:02 AM

QUOTE(Thom(asher) @ Jan 4 2007, 01:09 PM) View Post
There was one online festival that only wanted films shot with a cell phone.


Here it is, with many examples.

#19 Thom

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 11:30 AM

QUOTE(MLeary @ Jan 9 2007, 10:02 AM) View Post
QUOTE(Thom(asher) @ Jan 4 2007, 01:09 PM) View Post
There was one online festival that only wanted films shot with a cell phone.


Here it is, with many examples.


You always come through M. Good thing a translated site is available. I am going to start a separate thread for this film festival in case we feel a desire to speak specifically about the pocket camera filmmaking process and technique.

#20 Thom

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 12:24 PM

Here is the pocket camera "films" thread.

So far, the narrative structures seem to be rather conventional and the editing is pretty straight forward.
I only watched a few of the videos and really only found one that I would consider experimental; it was kind of a dream-like, unconscious reflection. It is also a bit difficult to know if it is the low quality of the camera that creates the illusion of being experimental or if it was intended to be more avant-garde.

Anyway, this is why it deserves its own topic and should not cloud the original intent of this topic, which is a persoanl experimental film blog conversation.