A film by Jim Le Fevre, Mike Paterson and Roops and Al Johnstone (RAMP ceramics), commissioned by the Crafts Council.
Jim Le Fevre is one of the makers featured in the Crafts Council touring exhibition Real to Reel: film as material in making.
Real to Reel presents makers’ films which are artworks in their own right. Jim Le Fevre presents ‘Turntable’ and ‘Heavy Pencil’, which use a digital camera and record deck to clever effect to create contemporary incarnations of the zoetrope, a traditional method for creating animation dating back to the 1830s. For more information on the Real to Reel tour visit craftscouncil.org.uk
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How it Works
The film is based upon the principles of the Phonotrope, a type of contemporary Zoetrope using a turntable created by Jim Le Fevre in 2006. It is similar to a Zoetrope - the difference being that instead of the slits that one would have in the drum around the side of the Zoetrope, it uses the shutter speed of the camera instead.
Jim used 19 'frames' on the pot – a good balance of space per frame (about 4 cm at the outside of the bowl) and amount of animation (0.7 of a second per loop).
To get it up to speed it was simply pressing the floor lever gently until it was perfect in-frame for the camera (essentially it would be 78rpm and so therefore would work on a traditional 78 deck).
'City Lights' is the final chapter from my "Trilogy of Light" time lapse series that began a couple years ago with 'LA Light' and then followed up with 'Nightfall'. It was an nightly adventure that took me to almost every angle of Los Angeles. It was an exercise in patience. A lesson in light. An understanding of what it is to live among each other and to understand the system and order of a city, the seemingly complex organics that make it up and the life form that the city truly is. A visualization of sonder. It was a daily jaunt to watch the arterial freeway systems pump car cells through its body and channel them to the capillaric avenues that are our neighborhoods and homes. It was a chance to break away from the 70mph freeway perspective and to observe the sun slip from view and watch the electric dance of nightfall begin. It was challenging. It was frustrating. Definitely dangerous at times. Sometimes it hurt. I was chased. Yelled at. Warned. But the overall context of things learned, people met, things seen, and places discovered over the past three years shaped who I am today. I didn't always love Los Angeles but I learned to and discovered that this city is much more than temperate weather, palm trees, pretty girls, and beaches; to me the true beauty behind the city lies hidden on the other end of a rusted fire escape to a view no one else has seen.
I'm looking forward to the next chapter of my film making career where I will be concentrating on narrative and documentary films.
Thanks for watching, reading, and supporting my films.
I will be running a limited series of high quality Kodak Endura VC metallic prints based on each series of shots. If you are interested in purchasing them, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the shot (timecode).
Special thanks to:
Mom and Dad (always with the support and encouragement)
M83 (Anthony and D-E-F- Management)
Matthews MSE (Ed, Tyler, and Bob)
Dynamic Perception (Jay Burlage)
This video was created using a zoetrope machine that spools multiple 14 foot long x 3 inch, paper animation belts at very high speed, to produce the animations. The band members of Appomattox were kind enough to step inside the machine and put their faces 3 inches from the extremely fast moving, and loud, paper belts for this piece. Fortunately, no major facial paper cuts were incurred.
Director: Stephen Meierding and Sami Jano
Editing: Stephen Meierding
First AC: Cooper Penn
Animations: Sami Jano
Zoetrope Machine Construction: Stephen Meierding