Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What's up Scratch Film Junkies

I’ve seen experimental films ever since stepping into Introduction to Film Production class back my freshman year. I remember the first time I saw an experimental film, I was awestruck because I’d never seen anything like that before. I didn’t know something you could draw or scratch on would be considered film. I also thought film=camera. When I first started watching the experimental film I remember being mesmerized by the colors that flashed across the screen in which looked like frozen water on a pond. Occasionally the colors and shapes of the scratches would change which would make you realize it was a moving picture, not just a still. After the lights came up in the room our professor informed us that this was an experimental film which is considered “cameraless filmmaking”.
After watching “To the Beat” by the Scratch Film Junkies I was inspired and totally ready to color, scratch, dye, cut, paint, and bleach my own strip of film. Wow, film student’s actually using film? HOW EXCITING :D What inspired me about “To the Beat” was the tasteful choice of colors. The choices of colors were bright and flamboyant. I noticed that for each frame they seemed to use like colors from the same families, whether it be primary, secondary, tertiary or complementary colors. I personally loved the part where the film was mostly black with blue and green puddles of color. The colors popped out against the black backdrop. I remember watching the film and being amazed that the Scratch Film Junkies could scratch or even paint an object through hundreds of frames to look exactly the same shape and size and have it move across the screen or morph into another object with ease. Even when we were given a strip of film to play around with, I had difficulty keeping a line looking the same through several frames, so I can only imagine the time and patience that went into their films. Mad props to the Scratch Film Junkies! It was also interesting that they used found footage behind their tampering methods. I liked how they would scratch away at the film so that you only saw the subjects head or outline a person’s body. Finally, I thought their transitions between shapes and colors were smooth and subtle, nothing too jarring to where it distracted me from the film as a whole. However, the music could be jarring at times, but I thought it fit as a whole. I also thought it was amazing how when the objects moved and bursts of colors exploded it went along to the beat perfectly. That must have been really hard to master and to plan out. All in all, I enjoyed watching “To the Beat” and can’t wait to create my own beat via film strips.

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