Experimental Filmmaking and the Motion Picture Camera
An Introductory Guide for Artists and Filmmakers
Experimental Filmmaking and the Motion Picture Camera is an introductory guide to experimental filmmaking, surveying the practical methods of experimental film production as well as the history, theory, and aesthetics of experimental approaches.
Author Joel Schlemowitz explains the basic mechanism of the camera before going on to discuss slow and fast motion filming, single-frame time lapse, the long take, camera movement, workings of the lens, and the use of in-camera effects such as double exposure. A comprehensive guide to using the 16mm Bolex camera is provided. Strategies for making films edited in-camera are covered. A range of equipment beyond the basic non-sync camera is surveyed. The movie diary and film portrait are examined, along with the work of a range of experimental filmmakers including Stan Brakhage, Rudy Burckhardt, Paul Clipson, Christopher Harris, Peter Hutton, Takahiko Iimura, Marie Losier, Rose Lowder, Jonas Mekas, Marie Menken, Margaret Rorison, Guy Sherwin, and Tomonari Nishikawa.
This is the ideal book for students interested in experimental and alternative modes of filmmaking. It provides invaluable insight into the history, methods, and concepts inherent to experimental uses of the camera, while providing students with a solid foundation of techniques and practices to foster their development as filmmakers.
Supplemental material, including links to films cited in the book, can be found at www.experimentalfilmmaking.com.
Table of Contents
1 Dream-vision of the pulldown claw and the hidden workings of the camera
2 The machine of light and time
3 Camera eye: from cine-flâneurs to experimental optics
4 Cine-magic: the trick film and beyond
5 Tool of the experimenter: the Bolex H16
6 The camera-roll film: the fi lm with no editing
7 Custom camera commandos, and the quandaries of obsolescence
8 Camera as diary, the film portrait, and the remembrance of filmed past
Joel Schlemowitz is an experimental filmmaker who works with 16mm film, shadowplay, magic lanterns, and stereographic media. He teaches experimental filmmaking at The New School, New York. His first feature film, 78rpm, is an experimental documentary about the gramophone, and his short works have been shown at numerous film festivals, including the New York Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and Ann Arbor Film Festival. For more information visit www.joelschlemowitz.com.
"An excellent introduction to the basics of experimental filmmaking, with a welcome emphasis on film rather than digital work, and the use of a simple camera, a Bolex. As the author notes, all you need is a roll of film, a light meter, and a camera – add to that inspiration, and you have a handy and accessible guide to DIY independent filmmaking."
Wheeler Winston Dixon, Professor of Film Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
"Joel Schlemowitz’s Experimental Filmmaking and the Motion Picture Camera: An Introductory Guide for Artists and Filmmakers gives the reader a concise and informed overview of the history of experimental cinema methodology and application. This is the kind of book that gives those of us with the itch to innovate lots of fun ideas!"
Peter Hartel, Filmmaker and Associate Professor, Cinema and Television Art, Columbia College Chicago
"Filling a major gap in the literature while being exceptionally clear, detailed and passionate, Experimental Filmmaking and the Motion Picture Camera: An Introductory Guide for Artists and Filmmakers is a step-by-step guide replete with historical and technical information and creative examples to train a new generation of cinema artists working in celluloid to develop their own camera-based artistic practice."
Kathryn Ramey, Filmmaker, Full Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Visual and Media Arts, Emerson College Boston and author of Experimental Filmmaking: Break the Machine
"This unique book is a love song to the Bolex and all the mechanical tools and tricks of artists cinema. Beautifully organized, bursting with clear technical detail and inspired devotion to the art of films and filmmaking. Three cheers for Experimental Filmmaking and the Motion Picture Camera: An Introductory Guide for Artists and Filmmakers!"
Jeanne Liotta, Artist/Filmmaker, Professor of Cinema & Moving Image Arts, University of Colorado Boulder