Thursday, May 7, 2009

I've worked through this project on the basis of the elements given to us in the beginning, fundamental elements; light fire through to electricity and pixel. I took a visual approach to the project exploring motion picture, starting from 8mm film and that being an everyday medium for the average western family to now modern high definition video. I found the tools for 8mm really fun and interesting. The image in 8mm in motion gave a strong feel of how movies are made, which is fresh because with digital video I feel removed from the structure of film and motion picture.
I also think its an odd regurgitation of mediums analogue to digital so it does portray the relationship between the two quite well.
Installing my work has been relatively simple, I think sometimes with a complex presentation it can take away from the content of the work. In my case this digital 8mm DVD is being played on a small TV screen on a plinth, which focuses our attention on the picture in the screen rather the space in which we view the work. Putting the TV on a plinth is a subtle way of making the TV seem grand and important (to a lesser extent) in which a cinema projection would hold the same grand nature.

motion picture elephant

This was a small extract from the digital video I recorded from the digital 8mm film which was screened on the analogue editor.
The image quality isn't quite what I had hoped for, which could have been adjusted by shooting the subject on a higher resolution video camera, or even a fast shooting stills camera. The size of the image could have had more attention with aligning to fit the projector . But I don't want to feel too down on the poor image quality because it wasn't an exercise to fully replicate motion picture film. The project was more about exploring the aesthetic of the motion picture from modern digital video.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Standard 8

The standard 8 mm film format was developed by the Eastman Kodak company during the Great Depression and released on the market in 1932 to create a home movie format that was less expensive than 16 mm. The film spools actually contain a 16 mm film with twice as many perforations along each edge than normal 16 mm film, which is only exposed along half of its width. When the film reaches its end in the takeup spool, the camera is opened and the spools in the camera are flipped and swapped (the design of the spool hole ensures that this happens properly) and the same film is exposed along the side of the film left unexposed on the first loading. During processing, the film is split down the middle, resulting in two lengths of 8 mm film, each with a single row of perforations along one edge, thereby fitting four times as many frames in the same amount of 16 mm film. Because the spool was reversed after filming on one side to allow filming on the other side the format was sometimes called Double 8. The frame size of regular 8 mm is 4.8 mm x 3.5 mm and 1m film contains 264 pictures. Normally Double8 is filmed at 16 frames per second.

Common length film spools allowed filming of about 3 minutes to 4.5 minutes at 12, 15, 16 and 18 frames per second.

Kodak ceased selling standard 8 mm film in the early 1990s, but continued to produce the film, which was sold via independent film stores. Black-and-white 8 mm film is still manufactured in the Czech Republic, and several companies buy bulk quantities of 16 mm film to make regular 8 mm by re-perforating the stock, cutting it into 25 foot (7.6 m) lengths, and collecting it into special standard 8 mm spools which they then sell. Re-perforation requires special equipment. Some specialists also produce super 8 mm film from existing 16 mm, or even 35 mm film stock.

[edit] Super 8

Some Super 8 footage shot in Wellington New Zealand

In 1965, Super-8 film was released and was quickly adopted by the amateur film-maker. It featured a better quality image, and was easier to use mainly due to a cartridge-loading system which did not require re-loading halfway through. Sometimes, the improvement was not as apparent, since the film gate in some cheap Super 8 cameras was plastic as was the pressure plate, which was built in to the cartridge, whereas the standard 8 cameras had a permanent metal film gate which was more reliable in keeping the image in focus.

There was another version of Super-8 film, Single-8, produced by Fuji in Japan. It has the same final film dimensions, but the cassette is different. The Kodak system was by far the most popular. Super-8 was at one point available with a magnetic sound track at the edge of the film but this only made up 5 to 8% of Super-8 sales and was discontinued in the 1990s.

There has been a huge resurgence of Super-8 film in recent years due to advances in film stocks and digital technology. Film can handle far greater variations in contrast than video cameras and thus has become an alternative for acquisition. The idea is to shoot on the low cost Super-8 equipment then transfer the film to video for editing. In recent years, the format itself has been further improved by enlarging the aperture of the camera to expose into the now obsolete sound track region allowing for a wide-screen image. This has been given the title "super-duper-8" or "max-8" and is gradually gaining popularity despite the availability of affordable digital video cameras.[citation needed]

visited on the 7 May 2009

This material explains the basic ideas and descriptions of 8mm film. It describes the differences between Super 8 and standard 8, which I should have realised much earlier in the project because it could have allowed major changes to the image I produced.

In the holidays I dove into buying two 8mm editors, one super and one standard, not having a clue about either. I figured i'd just have a go seeing as though its an analogue process the materials are all laid out infront of me, so I had a more physical relationship with the medium (as apposed to digital).

My digital 8mm

my 8mm prints

Top two images: Inkjet prints onto laser mylar didn't work at all, but made for a nice mono print because the ink was so wet.
bottom image: my A3 image of 8mm film strips.

35mm slides- film reel

Slides given to me from Pam, They were doubles from the theory department of old NZ art works. I sliced them in 8mm strips and cello-taped together to make a film reel. The end result was a total mash up of colour and form. There was the odd flash of recognition but the majority of the experience consisted in the colour. the flashing shutter added a more viewable nature to the experiment due to the individualising of each opening of the shutter, also adding to the fundamental elements of motion picture.

8mm digital test #1

35mm found slide experiment

len lye experiment

Friday, May 1, 2009