Thursday, December 27, 2012

Words at the end of December

Conquest Acquisition, Arrival, Occupation, Departure, Reflection.

Also, Self-Forgetting, Repetition, Not Figure, Not Ground, Vision, and so much the naming of things.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Stills from Wenham Shoot 12/16

A chilly evening of exteriors with Leon Vuong, and Dino Traite doing PA. That's Grant trying to stay warm and look like Winslow Homer. Looks more like Byron though. The primary function of this scene is to help get the Grant character out of the film. Shot projections on the smoke. Have not seen the video that Dino shot yet. It looked great in the viewfinder but I have learned...both good and bad to tune to the  the discovering of the image on the film.
Shot Orwo 400T on the borderline. I am superstitious about loosing blacks when pushing this stuff. Off it goes to Burbank tomorrow. The crew were great troopers, ACL worked great in the cold with a body warmed battery. Not much but titles left to do... again I have learned. I know there will be some shots to  pick up.
Photos by Dino Traite

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Velocity Film Update

I will be shooting the last bits with Grant and Amy over the next two weekend, compiling the rolls for telecine transfer, and designing the text for inter-titles. This is my structural solution to how I can incorporate text into the film while presenting an episodic narrative. I have gathered a lot of the sound and will be recording Grant and Amy this weekend reading from Ruskin, Krauss, Crary, Dickinson and Whitman along with their own poems. Another structural idea for incorporating the text that I want to sort of lay over the film. 
I'm not sure just what I was thinking when I started this in June, but it has changed into something more poetic than my original idea. Where I was perhaps thinking of an austere alternating of images and text I now am imagining something denser and more expressive of the mean-ness of the time. I have given myself until the end of December to finish the shooting. I will make the film out of what material I have at that time. After the telecine transfer  I will be editing the digital and conforming the original.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Velocity Update

 My modification of the Eclair for the Arri matte box seems like it will work with a 12mm lens. Nothing is as good as a rail system for this kind of work but this is the cheapest mod I could think of for now. It will allow me to shoot the text elements with images together instead of double exposing in the Bolex.  I imagine this poetic element as an important element of the film since it will carry some of the content for the two models who do not speak. This is how the beginning sequence of the film will work as well, black text over carefully selected images.
Here I am in late October shooting exteriors just before a hurricane. I need the actors for two more short sessions and the rest (I think) is copy work and titles.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Ardelle Project

 Photo by Gabrielle Keller while shooting on the Ardelle in Gloucester Harbor last Friday. The Ardelle left for Washington D.C. on Saturday. The boat's designer and builder Harold Burnham is receiving a National Heritage Award at the Library of Congress on October first. Harold says he will trade a lecture about the boat for a copy of the finished film. I wonder if he knows that what I shot that day will cost about $200 to process and transfer. This project is not a front burner project right now. Maybe this moves it up a bit. Maybe some film education is necessary.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

"Velocity" Update

Shooting in Salem on Saturday.
It was a run and shoot day, all handheld. I think we covered about 12 shots that will carry the story forward. It is tricky to do this project with just the three of us and Amy and Grant have been great to work with. A crew of three plus Amy and Grant would be perfect.  The shooting is exciting and the anticipation is still there. So now I have about 600 feet ready to go off to the lab. The new Orwo film looks great.
On parallel track, I have been recording and mixing audio and designing titles for the next studio sessions. Needing to spend time with musicians making sounds that don't sound like music.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Filmmaking and Printmaking

Sitting at the editing console and looking at the images going by for the first time is an moment of discovery. The images either confirm or deny the judgements made with a camera. In this sense, the editing moment is a continuation of the impulse to make meaning with images. This waiting period is part of the uncertain and potentially expressive edge that I really am pulled toward. Making a print involves a similar engagement with material. A plate, a matrix is constructed which has the potential image  embedded. The striking of a print confirms or denies the choices made in the making of the image on the plate. In between the making and the seeing are a number of operations which also have the potential to alter the image. Film image can be developed in different ways to emphasize grain or contrast, lightness or darkness.  The same or similar thing is true in making a print. To me this has always been a condition of creating: The image is generated from a combination of experience and intuition. Technical processes can be creatively applied to continue the making of the image. The result is carried forward in an altered or unaltered state to the state of presentation either as a time-based work or as a discreet image as in a print. This description sounds a bit dry compared to the anticipation that is inside the process. There is a guarantee of surprise at each point.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Brief Description of the Velocity Project

The story is an examination of the movement and activities of a man and a woman in the late 19th century. Although they are not acquainted their paths cross over a photographic portrait. This film is essentially a follow up to the Super-8 film called After All which I shot last summer. I was inspired by the work of Rosalind Krauss and Jonathan Crary primarily. They both present a narrative of the late 19th century which acknowledges the importance of psychology, optics,  and phenomenology and the emerging cognitive sciences of the mid to late 1800's. This narrative exists in parallel to the more common story of the linear development of technology and modernity. The characters of Him and Her are constructed to represent two distinct and different experiences of the culture of this time. One is grounded in a Cartesian and measurable universe.  He is an artist who uses his skills and his eyes to render and capture the landscape around him. by contrast, her character is more comfortable with her inner mind and the subjectiveness of her experience. She is also connected to the realm of time, technology and speed.

The actors are playing out their roles more as emblems rather than specific individuals. They are graphically accurate rather than being historically "correct". The film is in 16 mm black and white and will add atmosphere and artifacts to the imagery. We are in the last week of shooting in this space. It has been great to have the Eclair NPR for the 400 foot loads and flexible lens system. We will be shooting exteriors in Ipswich, Salem and Lowell later this month.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The last week of shooting interiors. Looked at some rushes today The Nikon lens is much better than even the Zeiss zoom for the close-ups and details. Shot tonight with the ACL and the Angenieux zoom because it's fast. Tri-X has a pretty narrow exposure latitude so I'm using a Nikon D3000 as a test for the lighting ratios. I also realize I should have done this earlier too. I still have about four pages to shoot in here before the end of the week.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

building the set for the telegraph office

Tonight I worked on the set for the telegraph office where the Amy's character works. I am not finished with the wall treatment and these are lighting tests. The table will have more books. Poetry (which she is transmitting), and cable code books lent by John McVey which are also a kind of poetry. There will be black wires running across the table and up the wall. I will be adding a period chair as well. We will be shooting these scenes on Monday and Tuesday night.
Oddly, this window and some of the other elements of the set will eventually become part of Wendy's garden shed.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Interiors from "Velocity" project.

More images from the second week of shooting interiors. After looking at the footage from the first week I am making some changes to the way I am shooting on both sides of the set. I want the images from her side to be more low key and full of shadows and the images from his side to be more full of soft, indirect light. 
This week my actress, Amy Moore is off on a residency in North Carolina. I am using the time to build the set for the telegraph office and prepare the graphics and text elements for close-ups. I did however, shoot some good material near the Ipswich River with Grant two days ago. This was the first 200 ft. load through the recently acquired Eclair ACL 1.5. My first tests in this camera were very good and I am encouraged that I can begin using this much lighter and smaller camera for the exterior shots.
Next week I hope to finish the interior shots. I trust that Amy will return inspired to move and make the characters actions expressive of her impatience and restlessness. This will be played against the male characters slow-ness and deliberate-ness. I hope it's not just a simple comparison but that the images will demonstrate the complexity of each characters state of mind.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

More production stills from "Velocity"

Here are some photographs taken by Lillie Harden and converted to b&w by me. From our second night shooting in the 301 Gallery.

Friday, June 1, 2012

"Volocity" production shots

I am shooting a film the 301 Gallery space at Montserrat College of Art during the month of June.

I will be documenting the set construction, lighting and shooting as the project progresses over the summer.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Super-8 Project Part 1

The One Roll super-8 project is up in it's first version.  Untitled on Vimeo
I am reshooting the titles to include the music credit to Jon Bolles. What is apparent is that the two characters have moved into some dimension of time that is not this one. I have suggested to Amy Moore and Grant Archer that they both think about the next film.

These are the rules that I have form myself on this next project;
black and white
One roll, 3:40 running time
Time goes forward and back
Grant has sent me a poem by Lucy Larcom, a 19th centrury poet from Beverly who may have travelled in time as well.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Number Two; still from 8mm circa 1969

Screen grabs from the 8mm footage I shot in Kutztown in 1968-69.
I am on the left and James Reinbold is on the right. Both images were shot at the 168 /w. Main Street address. For a film called Number Two.