Cherry Kino is delighted to be running an 8-week film course working exclusively with Super8 film!
TO BOOK, EMAIL: CHERRYKINOCINEMA@YAHOO.COM
The aim of doing a longer course is so that people can work intensively with this gorgeous format, to actually create finished film-works by the end of the course which will be shown in venues across the UK and submitted to International Film Festivals. Whilst weekend courses are great for learning the basics, a longer course run on a once-per-week basis over 8 weeks will enable a much deeper connection to the creative processes involved in working with Super8.
The courses will run from week beginning Thursday 9th February or Friday 10th February (depending on which day you choose) at East Street Arts (Patrick Studios, LS9 7EH), and each 8-week course will be limited to 4 participants so that each person gets individual resources and personal attention. The cost per person is £300, which includes all equipment, film stock, chemicals, and resources. Participants will shoot, hand-process, hand-edit and project two colour films each, and one black and white film collaboratively (we will also transfer these to a digital format at the end of the course). The course structure is outlined below - as you can see, it's totally packed! It's designed as a dream Super8 course - the course that will give you a truly solid creative and enjoyable experience of Super8, with finished works at the end. By the end of the course, participants will be fully equipped with the knowledge and experience necessary to continue a Super8 filmmaking practice. TO BOOK, EMAIL: CHERRYKINOCINEMA@YAHOO.COM stating which day and time you prefer:
There are only 16 places in total (4 courses, with 4 participants each), so if you're keen you're advised to book promptly to avoid disappointment.
Analog Film Course Feb – April 2012
We will begin the session by collectively applying direct film animation to Super8, painting, scratching and drawing on film, as a strong physical introduction to the Super8 format as an artistic medium. We will then cover the history of the format, its contemporary use (both commercially and artistically), and a discussion of available film stocks and how film actually works, including ASA ratings, emulsion types, colour and black and white film. Various types of analog film will be passed around and discussed, and we will cover contemporary web-based Super8 resources. Each student will be provided with a link to the Cherry Kino DIY filmmaking hand-booklet full of valuable information. A screening of experimental films made on Super8 will help the students start thinking creatively about what is possible, including a screening of the direct animation film we worked on at the beginning of the session.
The first hour of this session will be spent unearthing a pre-buried film to see the effects the micro-organisms in the soil on the film emulsion, and learning how to partially bleach the image off film with household bleach, offering the students the chance to experiment physically with some found footage and look at the results. Students will then proceed to learn how to operate high-end Super8 cameras, covering every aspect of the camera’s functions. By the end of this session, students will be able to use the camera in multiple ways, and will have learnt tricks and tips on better focusing, setting the camera to each individual eye, depth of field, film speeds, exposure, and how to obtain special effects. Optional lenses and filters will also be covered, with effects demonstrated through a demonstration of films made in this way. Each student will be encouraged to explain their thinking and what they might like to create, and will receive guided support and ideas about how to achieve this.
This will be the primary filming session out and about in Leeds. Students have one top-end Braun Nizo Super8 camera each and one colour Super8 film each, using the filming techniques learnt in Week 2. They will have access to all the camera accessories, such as cable releases and trick and coloured lenses, in order to make the most of the experimental possibilities. They will be encouraged to move away from linear narrative tendencies to explore new ways of recording images, with an emphasis on being present whilst filming (moving towards the ‘in camera edit’ approach), rather than the ‘capture everything now’ mentality that often accompanies digital filming methods. Students will be encouraged to make good use of the camera’s many functions, to really explore the potential of their first Super8 cartridge.
Hand processing the films in the dark room. Students will learn how to process their films professionally using the famed Russian ‘Lomo Tank’ method, as well as how to process in a more DIY fashion using more easily accessible equipment. They will learn about how film processing actually works, where to obtain the chemistry, and how to process economically. The session will function as a masterclass on alternative processes too, including cross-processing the films to obtain different colour palettes, solarisation methods, as well as replacing one chemical step with another using a technique I personally developed to achieve strong colour saturation (similar effects to the now discontinued Kodachrome 40 stock, a long-time favourite of Super8 filmmakers). By the end of the session, students will have hands-on experience of processing their own film, and full information on how to apply new and exciting processes. The session will end with a screening of the processed films. Students will be encouraged to take their films home to work directly on them in the various hands-on ways they have learned, in preparation for Week 5.
This session will begin with an introduction to analog projection. We will cover how to use Super8 projectors, loading the film, adding leader, trouble-shooting and experimental projection (using prisms and mirrors, for example). Students will be shown an extract from a live expanded cinema performance to give them an idea of what is possible with projection alone. Students will also experiment with the varying speeds and functions of the projectors, to actively perform their own film, and will be shown how loops can be created. We will then move on to hand-editing the Super8 films with splicers, using the projectors as our editing tools, and introducing other methods such as using a light box and a Super8 viewer.
Each student will shoot and process a second Super8 colour film using the skills they have learnt, and will individually hand process their film (with the option of using any of the experimental methods taught to them). They will then project their second film in an informal screening at the end of the session. In this way they will selectively apply the knowledge they have learnt, and whereas the first film will have been their first experience of Super8, the second film will enable students to be more disciplined and directed in their approach. One of the great myths to be exploded on this course is that ‘experimental’ film is indeed simply an experiment – whilst it certainly embraces the experiment, it is in fact a highly refined and diverse movement in art, and this will be stressed.
This will be the primary editing session of the course where students will draw together their footage from their two Super8 films into (at least) one completed film, editing by hand with splicers. Students will then share one Super8 film to create the credits for their films using experimental techniques, and hand-process the film. At the end of the session, we will learn how to telecine all the films (with credits added), transferring them to a digital format. Students will then have the option to continue the editing process using a digital editing programme between Week 7 and Week 8, in their own time.
As a group, we will shoot one black and white Super8 film together, and hand-process the film to negative using ‘Caffenol’ – a processing solution made with coffee! Students will learn how black and white film works, how it differs from colour film, and the way that regular household products can be used in an environmentally sound way to process film. This is a fun introduction to collaborative work and the world of innovative ‘underground’ film processes. While the film is drying, we will discuss the history of film as an artistic medium, and the role of DIY film labs in the modern era of analog filmmaking. Whilst many consider analog film to be an almost obsolete medium, this session will invigorate the students by opening their eyes to the vibrant culture that continues to grow around analog artist film, and inspire them to continue to explore it in their own practices. We will conclude the session with a tutorial on getting your work shown internationally. We will look at how best to submit a film to a festival, from writing a succinct synopsis, presentation, and the best film festivals to submit experimental work to. In addition, we will consider the increasingly important role of art galleries, independent cinemas (such as the Cube in Bristol and the Star and Shadow in Newcastle), and distribution. We will conclude the session with a screening of the black and white collaborative film, improvising its performance as a group and filming the results digitally.
The films from the course will be screened at East Street Arts in April from a digital format, since this is most realistic in terms of how analog films are currently being distributed, especially Super8. This screening will be free and open to the public, publicised in the East Street Arts programme, offering students the chance to introduce their films personally in front of a public audience. External examiners and members of staff are very welcome to attend this event if any participants want their work to be considered as part of studies they might already be undertaking, and the programme of films will also be offered as a free programme to cinemas in Newcastle and Bristol.
The lovely and knowledgable Toni Booth who works at the research centre of the National Media Museum will hold a guided tour for all the course participants of the archives of the Museum, focusing specifically on the history of analogue cine film! Considering the regular suspects such as 35mm, 16mm and 8mm film, but also looking at the renegade and obsolete formats such as Pathe's 9.5mm and 17.5mm and even 60mm and 65mm film, the tour is a great chance to see some really beautiful and rare specimens of cameras and projectors, and get a feel for where Super8 sits in the grand scheme of things. The collection is really impressive, and it's also a great chance to make some interesting connections between what we learn on the course and the history of analogue cine film and explore how artisan use of film has its roots in the early days of cinema. A perfect complement to the course!
TO BOOK, EMAIL: CHERRYKINOCINEMA@YAHOO.COM