As I have decided to experiment with film I asked a uni staff member if he had 16mm film available that I could use; he did not, but Super 8 was available and from my research on drawn on film animation,  I remembered this could be drawn on too.  I looked at my favourite drawn on film animators to inform what methods I could use to achieve smilar effects illustrated with the appropriate film below:

Len Lye

His 1935 film A Colour Box, an advertisement for “cheaper parcel post”, was the first direct film screened to a general audience. It was made by painting vibrant abstract patterns on the film itself, synchronizing them to a popular dance tune by Don Baretto and His Cuban Orchestra.(

In Free Radicals he used black film stock and scratched designs into the emulsion. The result was a dancing pattern of flashing lines and marks, as dramatic as lightning in the night sky.

Lye continued to experiment with the possibilities of direct film-making to the end of his life. In various films he used a range of dyes, stencils, air-brushes, felt tip pens, stamps, combs and surgical instruments, to create images and textures on celluloid. In Color Cry, he employed the “photogram” method combined with various stencils and fabrics to create abstract patterns.

Stan Brakhage
Over the course of five decades, Brakhage created a large and diverse body of work, exploring a variety of formats, approaches and techniques that included handheld camerawork, painting directly onto celluloid, fast cutting, in-camera editing, scratching on film and the use of multiple exposures.

Mothlight by Stan Brakhage 1963
A “found foliage” film composed of insects, leaves, and other detritus sandwiched between two strips of perforated tape.

So from this, I have found that I can use a range of materials for mark making such as pens, stamps, stencils etc.  Another style that I wish to experiment with is trapping detritus or interesting forms between tape as in Mothlight by Brakhage to see if I can use this in my animation as the detail in this is great once amplified.  I need to get my hands on black film stock where I can scratch into the emulsion and invert the colours once it has been uploaded in digital format to fit the light mood of the conversation.  I would also like to experiment with multiple exposures.  These kind of visuals better explain some of the parts going on in the conversation such as one person interrupting another; I can combine and overlap two films representing each speaker which in the physical process of doing makes it more realistic and relevant.

I would also like to experiment by recording footage on a super 8mm camera for its old style aesthetic.  Going back on myself a bit as I got an old looking style in my initial film recordings and didn’t like it as it looked a bit cliched, now I will try and achieve the effect with the proper tools.  If I can.

This is more related to the initial abstract style I was going for in my research and will need to get a tutorial for this film based work and rostrum camera work.  My aim is to combine the analogue and digital methods to create a near abstract animation.

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