Free workshop at Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth teaches cameraless filmmaking
18 Sep 2017
A movie can be made without a camera – and Chris Barry will teach you just how to do it. – the Taranaki Daily News reports...
"You just need some OHP (overhead projector) pens or vivids and stencils, which can be anything from a cheese grater to the thread on a screw," he said.
The educator at Todd Energy Learning Centre grabbed a clear blank reel of 16 millimetre film and continued to explain the process of cameraless hand animation and direct to film movie making.
The free Saturday afternoon class was offered in coordination with the current exhibition at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre called "Happy Moments", which features two films created by Len Lye.
The first, 1929 hand animation film Tusalava and the second, 1938 direct to film Colour Flight.
Hand animation means to mark with dye or coloured pens on the film, with an object drawn in a different position in every frame so it would appear the object moved when the film is played at full speed.
"Film plays at 24 frames per second, so you can imagine how long it can take," Barry said.
"Lye made a nine-minute film. He did that one and never did it again."
Artist Len Lye then turned to a new way of filmmaking, called direct to film - a technique that was used by only two others at the time, Barry explained.
Direct to film means to scratch into an emulsion-covered film strip or lay a textured object underneath and rub over the top of the film. The varying lines and shapes will portray movement when played through a projector.
There are three layers of colour that could be uncovered with scratching - red, blue and yellow - which creates most of the colour on the final movie.
"Lye was one of the artists who pioneered this form of filmmaking," Barry said.
While the gallery is displaying the two types of film and Len Lye's working drawings and filmmaking tools for each of the films for the first time, Barry offered a single short course for interested persons to create their own.
Attendees were given their choice of blank or painted film, stencils and coloured pens, which were then pieced together to create one single film.
"Each film produces three to 10 seconds of film, so if you make it a collaborative film it will last a little longer.
"I guess you can call it an abstract movie."
The course will not be offered again this year, Barry said, but may return next year.
"It's quite old school so you have to like something a bit different and quirky."