Director: Haoyue Zhang
DP: Evan Kimball
Assistant Camera Operator: Andrew Jackson
This is the second short film made for So Ill Film Club. We randomly chose experimental as the subject of this shoot, and that came with its own unique challenges. For one thing, what is an experimental film. We thought of many ways to define it and finally we decided that making a film that strayed far away from narrative would be best.
The result is a non-narrative abstract piece that explores the subject of infancy and Spring. These two subject were readily available and relevant to the directors life.The result is somewhat jarring and we learned that experimental films require a very distinct idea with vivid imagery and sound to be really effective in creating a mood. We are somewhat found of this film, but not proud of it. I think we've hit the low-end of this genre.
Technically we succeded in being experimental. An old video camera, the Panasonic AJ-D700P, was used to record the images. The VTR was shot, so we hooked up a analog to digital converter box, the AVC Canopus 210, to run a fire-wire signal into FCP. The lens was also taken off and Nikon Nikkor lenses were used, a 35mm Non-AIS and 55mm Macro Non-AIS to be exact; we simply held the lenses over the sensor as we shot. We put together a custom tripod head for this (a board with a screw drilled through it :). The 1/2" sensor caused a 3.6x crop factor, so most shots had to be done telephoto. A cool effect of this was being able to move the lens around in a circular motion to create pans and tilts. Surprisingly the images were fairly crisp, just had terrible knee drop off and dynamic range. The Nikon lenses managed to get hyper focal distance and focus fairly sharp. We were disappointed, so we bumped up the gain all the way, which is awful in old digital cameras. On top of this, the RCA cable kept popping lose and giving noise, so we worked with it and tried to use it in the film. An experiment for sure.
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