Day 4 Thursday 8 March

Actions list
1: Officeworks for firewire
2: e-mail Australian Cinematographers Society re Auricon. Discover Auricon reputation is as sound-on-film camera manufactured from 1933- to 1990s so no necessary link to television. Seems very early to record sound on film. Also had mag head for pre-striped film as well as optical record head in camera (which all makes sense for television).
3. pack lunch
4. discover problems with Officeworks purchase, acquired USB instead of firewire, NG
5. Process film – problems in use of tank. Training revision in wind on to tank. Go through steps together, both go through all steps. Processing comes out okay. Also process some Bolex re-film – density okay, 9 min dev, 3rd use of dev, 72 hour old dev. Stock was Kodak neg 400ASA c 5-6 years old processed in LC29 mixed 19+1, then stop, Ilford fixer, wash c. 7 mins.
6. lunch
7. 16mm 2′ 45″ check out framings. Problem with tests. Today’s considered as iteration 1. Shoot this. Seems okay. Have to burn audio to CD for use tomorrow.
8. Commence video. Encounter problems in FCP skills. Break. Go to shops, sit in two parks. Find spider web holding up hibiscus. Encounter Trevor. Buy oranges and chocolate biscuits, find free books inc. 1993 Sydney street directory and illustrated infectious diseases. Come back.
9. Discussion about title for video version 2′ 45″.
10. Develop 16mm film. LI does this. All good except lid on tank jams and problems with stop bath. Exposure looks good. May be inadequately fixed. May be that fixer is exhausted by Curham during development of Bolex re-film colour neg.
11. Curham does drawing for Shaw
12. Text writing.

Expanded Cinema Residency March 8th

wow this is turning out to be an oddball project. yesterday and today we spent learning how to hand process 16mm film (louise already knew, but was learning to do it more systematically, and i was starting from scratch). it’s pretty much the same as processing 35mm black and white still photographic negative, except obviously the film strip is thinner and much longer. louise has this great russian plastic processing tank, it can take 30 feet of film at a time. you have to load it up in the dark, on this spool thing which keeps the surface of the film emulsion separated from itself, and then you can put on the lid, turn on the lights, and pour in the chemicals. i like it a lot, how you have to put yourself into complete blindness for a period of time, groping around in the dark completely relying on your sense of touch, in order to produce this artifact which is all about vision.
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Expanded Cinema Residency March 6th

Yesterday we began our residency at the performance space, working with expanded cinema.
It’s been a bit crazy, making space for this project. Life’s so hectic, but it’s good to have the three weeks laid aside specifially to focus on this stuff, even if we’re not as “prepared” as we might have wanted to be.
Yesterday we came out in the rain and delivered a car load of stuff here: 16mm camera, projector, video player, video camera, sound recorder, tripods, rolls of paper, books, tapes etc. We’re trying to amass everything we have here so that we’ve got expanded cinema at our fingertips as much as we can.

But it was a mad day for me, I had to run off to a meeting and then to the doctor and then speak with estelle on the phone and then off to mindfulness. So not much just being in here, in the space.
And what a space it is! I’m sitting here now, in the north west corner, tapping away on this amazing computer they’ve given us to work on, and beyond the screens (!) there is an immense cube, maybe 20m square, and as tall, but tapering up to a triangular ceiling over the metal I beam rafters. It’s like a concrete box they’ve built within the carriageworks here – the carriageworks is an even bigger box, too big to work at on human scale. So they made these smaller, more manageable sheds inside the big one, and we’re in one of them. At the eastern side of our studio, which is called track 12, are three sets of doors. These doors take up almost all the eastern wall, in fact. (Not sure about the compass points precisely). They’re big old barn doors, maybe 5 metres high, two doors for each of the three openings, arched doors. These are sealed by glass panels which block them in, providing an air lock and increased security, I suppose. The glass boxes consist of four horizontal panels, each about 3 metres wide, and the bottom two panels are frosted, perhaps with a layer of translucent vinyl applied to the glass. The top two panels are clear. The old doors have various gaps and cracks, which let light sneak in, and on two of the three door openings, the size of these gaps is just right to allow the formation of a small camera obscura on the frosted glass panels. The inverted image which appears is of the warehouse outside, sawtooth sheds, concrete and sky.
Inside our box, black curtains hang from a track running around the top of the walls. It’s hard to say how far they expand, but it could be that these curtains close potentially close up the entire room in black drapery. The walls are raw concrete, you can clearly see the construction that has gone into them, they are large panels which have been fitted together and then raised up into position, there are small round shallow holes all over them, perhaps from some remnant of the concrete mold, and very obvious vertical and horizontal joins in the cement.
Yesterday when we first entered, I noticed these walls. They really are quite a feature of the room. I asked Louise if she thought we needed to get a screen to project onto. But she didn’t think so, and I reckon she’s right. The concrete is pale enough, and with 2′45″ the texture of the existing environment is important, rather than having ideal conditions. Besides, given that it’s a nomadic work, you might be able to trace the history of the piece based on the visible characteristics of the wall textures.