Monday, October 24, 2005

Film & Empty Space

All matter is made of mostly empty space- it is the way in which the particles within that space interact that makes it what it is. I'm paraphrasing K.C. Cole, science writer for the Los Angeles Times.

I was just thinking that the same can be said of film. I think that's one thing I don't like about working with video (though for the most part, I DO like working with video): there's no space between. Most of my films can be thought of as animation. Whether I'm shooting off of an animation stand of sorts (which seems to be my preferred method lately) or hand painting the frames, there is a certain magic in the filmmaking process that brings the work to life. Most of the time, the camera is off and I'm adjusting things. The actual frame exposure is quite brief. When I do expose a frame, the thing I am photographing is stationary. In the end, though, the light seems to move and interact in its own unique way.

Even still, more than half of the finished film is darkness! The shutter blocks the light as often as it lets it through. The filmstrip itself tends to block more light than it lets through (or every film we saw would be white light). The motion is as much an illusion as the keyboard on which I'm typing!

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