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felt, paper, cotton, film

March 21, 2010

Over at vimeo, I posted a short animated film that Sara and I did a while back. We also took pictures of the set, four of which appeared in issue 04 of bailliwik:

p1 - winter

cotton snow, paper trees

(Click for a bigger version, of course.)

p2 - winter

yarn wrapped wire, dipped in paper slurry

These were shot on a 35mm camera, which was probably the last time I used film for still photography (the 16mm movie camera is still going strong).

p3 - winter

hand felted from scrap wool

We shot a few rolls of film for the animation, but our school-loaned cameras ruined much of it. On one camera, the gears that control the film path were out of alignment, resulting in a shaky picture. The snowfall shot at the beginning of the film is one fragment that we were able to salvage. At least, I hope it isn’t too jerky to distract from the scene.

p4 - winter

the felt mother

Another camera had a light leak, so every scene was obscured by a flickering haze. We had a few terrific scenes where the felt creatures were being birthed from the the huge felt mother in the shot above. Looking at the compromised footage, we could tell that the animation turned out quite well. Damned dispiriting.

We talked about going back to the project, but it was impossible to set aside an entire weekend for the intense process.

A few months later, we decided to revisit the idea for issue 05 of bailliwik. This time, we went digital:

p1 - fall

fleece, paper, yarn

I could no longer trust 48+ hours of work – and the resultant 8-12 minutes of film footage – to the overused student cameras from the art school’s media center, so we skipped the animation this time out. Instead, we spent a week painting, cutting out leaves, shredding yarn, and plotting out the scenes in these shots.

p2 - fall

It’s late autumn, and these felt babies have grown bigger.

p3 - fall

My frustration with the media center, and their half-assed compensation for the time and money lost (a single roll of ISO 100T film – not even the 250D I was using), prompted me to seek out my own movie camera. This is not easy if you don’t have a few thousand dollars lying around, but a lucky eBay find got me a very basic model, and my favorite food became ramen for a while. It’s not fancy, but I can trust it: about half of Perennial was shot with it.

p4 - fall

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