More from the Enchanted Forest! Music video and making-of clip!

In August 2014 we ventured out to the Eastern Townships in Quebec

to be swept into a land of pixies and fairy dust.

Forest Lumina was a light installation dreamt up and made tangible by the Moment Factory

in the gorgeous provincial park of Coaticook Gorge.

Here is the music video we made for Ilichna Morasky’s song ‘We Fold In’.

https://vimeo.com/118448565

As a little extra, here’s a behind-the-scenes tid bit featuring music by Silver Pools:

https://vimeo.com/118980855

Advertisements

Chromaflex film experiments

Long neglected blogosphere,

A few things to post about –  In the past few months, I presented my film, ‘Lament’ at a festival in Spain, moved to Vancouver and joined a film coop :), shot a music video for singer-songwriter, Syd, and am experimenting with some new handmade techniques.  Here’s a little video showing the results of the workshop led by Richard Tuohy from Australia. The technique allows you to develop colour negative, colour positive and black&white on the same film strip.  Lots of fun to be had breathing in darkroom chemicals 🙂

here you can see the combined efforts of our workshop – each of us did a few strips and spliced it all together to project.

Summary: Artscape Toronto Island – handmade filmmaking residency

IMG_0376IMG_0373    IMG_0391  I didn’t post this at the time — sorry! Got caught up with filming, processing, and enjoying the island.

Here is a little more about the wonderful week i spent at Artscape Gibraltar Point in June 2014.

We shot our super8 cartridges on our own, sometimes teaming up if we wanted to collaborate. Some people had arrived with specific ideas of what they wanted to shoot, others more eager to experiment with new techniques.
I knew i wanted to try various different styles with Super8 as well as regular 8.
Since i love handmade filmmaking (drawing, painting scratching directly on the celluloid), i wanted to incorporate some of that into the residency. In the past, I’ve mostly manipulated film that already contains images. But this time i wanted to work with a blank canvas and have the whole film strip to create on.
For that you need clear leader (basically just transparent film). It’s easy to find 16mm clear leader, or even 35mm but super8 and regular 8 clear leader doesn’t exist (to the best of my knowledge), so i decided to try to make it myself.
After researching ways of wiping off the emulsion using various chemicals, I went into the dark room. It turned out to be much easier than I had anticipated and the image came off the film easily, using the bleach from the development process. I just recycled some test film that people had shot on but didn’t want to use anymore, and there we had it – clear super8 leader to paint on!

IMG_0377

There is a kind of apocalyptic undertone to a lot of handmade/experimental filmmaking culture. From people i’ve talked with and websites i’ve come across, there seems to be this persistent assertion that: “we’ll never stop making films! …Even when there is no more apparatus left and all the labs have closed and no one is manufacturing film anymore!”.
Along with that comes some amazing invention! Some folks have begun physically making film by hand, others have developed new ways of processing. One lady, from Germany has a method of developing her film with sea water, and another with coffee. A friend from the residency and I decided to try out the coffee method. Its quite a complicated process and we had a few too many variables to keep track of (she had also opened up her cartridge to rewind the film and double expose) so it was hard to tell which part of the experiment didn’t work. I’ll have to try this coffee development method again.

Every night, after a day of shooting, processing and sharing ideas, we’d all gather for a screening. We would watch whatever footage had been shot that day and give feedback. We’d also watch each other’s previous works and other films that inspired us. It was fantastic to see what other short films had been made by my colleagues. Such imagination! One in particular that a friend from the prairies shot was so rich in colour and they had used only natural light and Ektachrome film. It’s a great reminder that you can truly make a film using whatever resources you have, even if they are few. And that you can make a film about anything!

Collaborating on each other’s films was one of the highlights of the week. A friend from Saskatchewan was inspired by teen witch/séance type scenery. So we found a nice little clearing in the forest and performed a levitation ritual which she filmed.  IMG_0390
On the last day of the residency a couple of us stayed up late and built a fort in the main studio. We had our final screening projected into the fort ☺  ..(followed by a mariah carey video marathon) IMG_0490

I posted some stills of the film I’m working on below. It’s a super 8 dance piece shot black and white, with some colourful hand-painted sequences intercut within.

It was a fabulous week of learning, experimenting and playing with small gauge film. The team was talented and fun, the location was stunning, and the atmosphere was inspiring. Looking forward to working with this great team of film nerds again and hearing about their projects!IMG_0330 IMG_0458 IMG_0462 IMG_0463 IMG_0466

Handmade filmmaking residency on Toronto Island! Day 1

Im on a handmade filmmaking adventure on an island! 

I feel so fortunate to be able to attend this weeklong residency with 6 other filmy folks, and have been eagerly looking forward to it for the past month. Now the day has finally come!

I left Toronto this morning after doing a massive grocery shop and lugging a week’s worth of food down to the Toronto ferry terminal.  There aren’t any shops on the island and i’d prefer not to have to go back to the mainland during the week if I can help it!

It’s such a beautiful oasis here. The art centre is an old elementary school building, and there are studios, projection rooms, a darkroom, communal kitchen, gardens, bikes to rent, a beach…

After quite a late night last night, i arrived pretty zonked and really just wanted to settle in and take a nap. And that’s exactly what I did. How lovely – my room has a garden view and its own sink 🙂  After a snooze, I explored around the grounds and walked along the beach, the cold lake water very refreshing!  I can literally feel the energy coming back and I sense this is  going to be a marvellous, creative and rejuvenating week.

We’ll be shooting on Super 8, which despite my keen interest in small gauge film, i have never tried! I’ve shot on 16mm and regular 8mm, but never super 8.   I’ve got a German Nizo camera for the week and am eager to shoot a roll and get into the darkroom to hand-process! 

The residency is sponsored by LIFT (Liason of Independent Filmmakers Toronto) which is the most wonderful place for film nerds.  I have never had anything but delightful interactions with the folks who work there – unbelievably friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. 

 

here are a few pics of the journey and arrival on this first day of the DIY handmade film residency

ImageImageImageImageImage

 

 

 

One of my favourite artists of all time: Norman McLaren

 

You may have heard of him before, or perhaps you even know his work already. If not, I highly recommend checking him out. Many of his films are available on YouTube, and others on the NFB website (nfb.tv)

McLaren worked at the National Film Board of Canada as an animator in the 1950’s and 60’s. He was an astonishingly innovative animator who developed techniques for drawing on film and creating soundtracks by hand by drawing/painting directly on the celluloid.

He made my head explode the first time i saw his work!  It was him, among a couple of other experimental filmmakers, such as Helen Hill and Stan Brakhage who inspired the series of film poems that i created in 2012. https://vimeo.com/63104803

Once, i found a rare book put out by the Canadian Film Research Society (now defunct), that detailed his life, entire filmography and clues about the techniques he used. It was really something special. Even though it was in a small second hand bookstore, it was a bit pricy because of its scarcity. I left without buying it, and instantly regretted it.  To my delight and surpise, it was given to me as a gift a short while later – it lifts me up whenever i need a dose of magic.

Here are a couple of my favourite films of his

This one is a collaboration with Ravi Shankar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XIiWOuDuxc

And this one with the Oscar Peterson Trio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8uktqgKgw0

This is one on which McLaren handdrew the soundtrack to match the imagery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3-vsKwQ0Cg

This film won an academy award: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YAYGi8rQag

This is a video about some of his amazing techniques: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0vgZv_JWfM

————————————————————————–

2014 marks 100 years since McLaren’s birth. 

To celebrate, the NFB and the city of Montreal have set up an event that takes place 7 nights a week until June 1st.

7 films by experimental filmmakers will show on 7 different screens.  The films are all inspired by Norman McLaren’s work.

Check it out: http://www.mclarenmuramur.com/en/

Enjoy!

 

Photography work in ‘Sugar For Brains’ Art show – Montreal

This evening is the vernissage for the Sugar for Brains art show at Cinema du Parc in Montreal, Quebec.  Some of my photography work will be on display.  Unfortunately I can’t be there as i’m still in Colombia but its going to be a fabulous exhibition!  Go support emerging artists and have some delicious wine and cheese!

Vernissage: Thursday March 13th, 5-7pm at Cinema du Parc, Montreal

Show runs until April 3rd. * * now extended until April 28th! * *

 

Cadenza

my film-poem ‘Cadenza’ screening in El Parche Artist Residency, Bogota, Colombia

March 5th, 2014.

See the full film here: https://vimeo.com/44610980

Still life, 2006

Still life, Vancouver, 2006

img003

Still life, Costa Rica, 2006

img004

Shed, Sooke, British Columbia, 2012

img005

Golf balls, Sooke, British Columbia, 2012

These are some of my favourite photographs I’ve taken over the years.  The first one, though the oldest, is one I’m still very happy with and it solidified my love of push-processing back when I spent days in the dark room.

Past Exhibitions:

Aria Studios –  Montreal, 2012

Transference Art Exhibition – Montreal, 2013

Upcoming Exhibitions:

Sugar for Brains – Cinema du Parc, Montreal, March 2014