The ‘Time-Slice’ camera was first devised in 1980 by Tim Macmillan at Bath Academy of Art during his BA. Fine Arts degree course. Originally a painter, Macmillan was interested in combining Cubist theory with contemporary technology. Initially using hand-made photographic emulsions and photo grams, he went on to create a series of cameras creating multiple viewpoints of a space which were then collaged together. The multiple camera concept then made a lateral leap to being applied to cine film. The first camera involved a length of 16mm film negative, clear Perspex spacers providing a focal length and a strip of opaque 16mm cine magnetic tape with a pinhole drilled into each frame. A simple shutter over the magnetic tape then provided the means of exposure. The result was a tracking shot through a space. The profound revelation was that while the viewer experienced a move through space, time was frozen. A paradox! The effect is also known as ‘temps mort’ (dead time) & ‘virtual camera’, with various companies advertising under names such as ‘Timetrack’, ‘Multicam’ & ‘Big Freeze’.

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