Introduction To Film

Introduction To Film
Maya Deren

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I found this picture on the cover of a 1940 instruction booklet for Bolex cameras.

Agenda for Friday September 30th,
We will be looking at your films in the morning and doing a sync sound shoot in the afternoon. I would also like to show a film about Marie Menken. I will be assigning your 2 page paper as well. Time permitting I would like to introduce 16mm production methods.

go to this link;

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Friday 9/23 am. Agenda

• I will be at a meeting until noon. I want you to continue to work on your 3 minute sound pieces in the morning. You should also be saving these files to a separate drive or an mp3 player to back them up and make them playable in the studio downstairs.

• We will be doing 2 experimental exercises in the afternoon. One involves shooting sync-sound in Super-8 the other has to do with the found/handmade film you were working on. I also have the Exquisite Corpse film to look at. Also the poem you will be reading for the sync-sound experiment.

• So... Lots to do so let's be ready to work at 12 :45 downstairs.

Monday, September 19, 2011


We will be working with poems as sources for a short film. Bring poems to class that you are familiar with and have thought about. We will be combining this project with a sound recording exercise using Super-8 and 16 mm film. Be ready to read something for this assignment. Also do not forget the images for the sequences will will be making as well.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Weekend Workshop,DATE HAS CHANGED

Tara and Gordon Nelson are coming to Montserrat to produce a Super-8 workshop in Hand Processing film. The two day workshop will involve shooting, developing, and projecting your own Super-8 films. Check it out trough Continuing the Education site. This is a must for those who want to continue working in the Super-8 format.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Kuleshov Effect

Eisenstein was not the only theorist in the Soviet montage movement, Lev Kuleshov developed his theory of editing before Eisenstein, who was temporary a student of Kuleshov. Kuleshovs theories are closely related to that of Eisenstein in the sense that they both believed that the essence of cinema is a juxtaposition of editorial decisions, to support his theories Kuleshov developed an experiment known as the Kuleshov Experiment. The experiment consisted of shots of an actor intercut with shots of a bowl of soup, a seductively dressed woman and a deceased child, the shots were intercut to create the illusion that the actor was looking at these objects. The film was screened before an audience who believed the actors facial expression changes throughout the sequence, depending on what the actor was seeing. However the actors expression doesnt change and is in fact the same shot repeated. Kuleshov designed this experiment to indicate the importance of cinema editing and the effects it can have on an audience.

Images for FRIDAY

Bring images to work with. Bring magazines and pictures to cut and rearrange into sequences. A variety of views and groupings of figures is good. Even an already existing sequence from a well known movie will work. Preferrably though, it should be a group of at least 5 images that can be arranged to tell a story. I would like you to work with 3 sequences of 5 images for this exercise.Bring magazines catalogs, photographs, stock images.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ernie Gehr Quote on film.

"In representational films sometimes the image affirms its own presence as image, graphic entity, but most often it serves as vehicle to a photo-recorded event. Traditional and established avant garde film teaches film to be an image, a representing. But film is a real thing and as a real thing it is not imitation. It does not reflect on life, it embodies the life of the mind. It is not a vehicle for ideas or portrayals of emotion outside of its own existence as emoted idea. Film is a variable intensity of light, an internal balance of time, a movement within a given space." ‹Ernie Gehr, January 1971

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Notes on Film

Montserrat College of Art
Photography/Video Department
Notes of Film.
Ethan Berry

On Reading Robert Bresson and the Dogma 95 Vow of Chastity

…Among other things it is important to make the distinction between film and video (the electronic vs. the photographic). It is even more important to make the distinction between Cinema and “Movies”. As Robert Bresson does in his book; “Notes on Cinematography”. The Dogma 95 filmmakers go further in their statement and make a distinction between the reality depicted in most films and the potential for reality to be represented in a film. Both statements reveal an attitude that elevates the process of film making to the realm of expression, which has the integrity, and honesty that we expect from artists. This is opposed the to slight of hand and trickery that ascribe to the trickster or manipulator. An attribute often assigned to “Movies”
This position acknowledges film as a language separate and distinct from theater, painting, music, photography, and acting. This is a language that is a little over 100 years old and that is still developing. It is a language that you can contribute to in the same way that you contribute to the language of painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, printmaking and design. Although it may seem extreme this position clarifies the art of filmmaking and creates a context for viewing films that encompasses many of the independent and experimental films that have been made since the advent of the technology at the end of the 19th century.