Thursday, September 22, 2011

Adventures in Filmmaking: Direct Films & Projecting

Like this.
 I have always known that I want to have a library when I have a house of my own. I can picture it in my mind with from its worn leather chairs, to the wide windows showing a picturesque view of the garden outside, to the roaring fireplace. Today however, was the first day I imagined that library having a wide, blank white wall where I could project old movies on a projector.
We learned how to use a projector in my film class today and even though it was only for a few minutes I was hooked. That whirring sound, watching the film spin through the machine and onto the reel, the flickering of the image as it sputtered onto the screen all left their marks on me. For once, something about cinema that I can understand and do; there are steps, I follow them, and bam! my movie shows up on the screen. Pretty cool.
Another thing we did in class was make direct films. A direct film is when you do something directing to the film stock rather than recording anything on it. We each received a piece of clear and a piece of black film. On the clear film we had to draw images, pretty much anything we wanted. I drew lots of random lines and then attempted a sequence of pac-man eating some dots and then being killed by a ghost. For the black films we had to scratch the surface of the emulsion with a razor blade and then wet the film to change its color ala Stan Brakhage's Black Ice. We haven't gotten  a chance to watch our creations, but I am interested to see how they will come out.
I am just enjoying these small workshop type activities that bring me closer to feeling that I am actually learning something about cinema. Still waiting on my film, it comes back Monday. I'm more than slightly nervous.

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