Friday, December 24, 2010

January residency

 I will take the same schedule as a film maker in residence. Moving from testing cameras to shooting film for several projects. I have revised the film making course around the Super-8 format since The Institute now has a number of viable cameras and editing equipment.
Goals for this Winter;
Revisiting the images that I collected in Vietnam I want to examine what the body does in the state of work. I also want to collaborate with a musician on short pieces based on musical forms. I want to catalogue a number of objects from my wife Wendy's collection of beautiful old things. Examining my fascination with what they can mean and the stories they embody. Looking forward to the time filming and editing, being in the state of mind of a film.


I'm also looking forward to setting up a super-8 event here at the college that will hopefully bring people's home movies out of the box in the closet and into my projectors

Saturday, November 20, 2010

!6 mm Film Workshop

Course title;
Topics in photography; 16mm Film Workshop
Submitted by Ethan Berry
Photography Department
Fall 2010

16mm Film Workshop
Winter Session 2011

This course is an introduction to 16mm film making through hands on experience.
The course covers the skills required to produce non-sync films. (Films that do not have sound recorded at the same time) from concept through completion.  The course covers: Basic screenwriting and basic photographic skills, working with 16mmm film cameras, choosing film stocks, knowledge of continuity, coverage and composition, lighting, working with a laboratory, analyzing dailies, logging, digital conversion and non-linear editing.
Students will develop, write shoot and edit a short non-sync film outside of class time using 16mm cameras, basic 16mmm editing equipment and digital editing software.

Course requirements:
1-page scenario for 2-3 minute film
3-6 page script or storyboard for the same project.
Shoot a short film outside of class
Screen footage for the project in class.
Attendance and participation in group discussions and projects
Credit student will also write a three-page paper on one of three topics assigned in class.

Fulfills 200 level studio elective.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Scene One", A Work in Progress

After a very interesting conversation last week with Ronnie Bass at Montserrat. I have been thinking about his comments about the fragmented and unfinished nature of our different film projects. He said that he liked that quality. I do too. I am thinking about how the story and the poem differ. I like how John Berger makes the distinction. To paraphrase, he believes that a story drives its way to an ending. We know that it is going there. That is the purpose of the story, to get to the end. At the same time, a  poem or the poetic moves across the same territory as a story but its purpose is to acknowledge, ..."to give shelter" as he says, to the experience through language. In a way, the poetic is more like the photographic in that it does not aspire to an ending but just is. This seems to me more like the raw experience of life than the structured experience of a story.
This film is a work like that. I want to make it more like the poem than the story. I started this 4 years ago inspired by the memory of an experience had with my father when I was 19 or 20 years old.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Re; 16mm

 I have reviewed almost all of the reels of film that I found earlier. It's charming to see how much I wanted to make these films work like pure silent language. I am so young at this point.  I am  22 or 23 years old at this point and there is so much that I do not know yet about lighting and camera movement and what lenses can do.
I am pulled toward the images by the connection they have to a time and place in my life. I'm aware that the project that I began back then is now gone. Whatever I do with this footage is going to be a new response to what I found.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


My sister sent me a box several years ago. It contained an old 8 mm camera and a projector along with another box of home movies. This was the camera and projector that my father used to shoot home movies of our family. The 8mm films were our home movies.I talked with my sister about maybe tranferring them to digital format. When I checked, the projector was broken and the films were fragile and damaged. The whole lot sat around until this summer. Since June, I have been repairing and splicing the films and repairing (rebuilding) the projector. I have roughly transferred clips some of the films just to check the quality.
Today I wait for a bulb, fuses and belts for the projetor. Later this month I should have the film restored.


I am clearing out my studio this summer. Making space for new projects. I came across this bin of old film from the 1960's and 70's. MY OWN FILMS!
I shot a dance film with Lamama trained actors in 1969 from which I saved out takes.  I shot a noir-ish black and white in Marblehead in 1970 which I never finished. I made a  one minute Western in 1973. I made a film for a sculptor in 1975. That film,(The Kinetic Sculpture of Franz Denghausen) is in the Library of Congress. Several others were shown in the early 70's at open screenings at MIT.
I am excited to find this stuff and somewhat puzzled. I wonder now why I put them all away. Maybe it was a sudden decision to move onto other things or maybe I had to make room for some project.
This rediscovery coincides with a fateful bit of coincidence.  In June, an old friend  gave me an old Bolex that he had uncovered clearing out HIS studio. It needed repair and I am shooting test rolls now. I have much more to say about this 16mm re-birth. It triggers something deep and natural in me that I had forgotten about. The anxious pleasure of exposing film is something akin to riding a bicycle in that you give over  and relinquish a degree of control in return for the excitement.