Celluloid FILM WORKSHOPS and PRACTICAL info SITES
no.w.here lab is for artist filmmaker (of the celluloid variety) it has facilities, workshops and events space in London. This is THE filmmaker workshop space in London, and runs introductory courses on their facilities (e.g. optical pinter, processing your own film, intro to Bolex cameras) as well as hosting short courses run by an intriguing roster of visiting international filmmakers. (It is currently fighting for its life, fundraising to buy its own building!)
Super 8 resources come and go as the technological landscape rapidly transforms. But just as one film stock is discontinued, and it seems like the end is nigh, another one appears! Here are a selection of useful sites packed with small gauge info:
Want to buy some Super 8 stock and get it processed? Then the long established Widescreen Centre is a good place to visit, with a high street shop just near Baker Street tube. Remember though, it takes approximately two weeks to get it sent off by them and returned from processing so p-l-a-n your schedule accordingly!
This is a commercial/dealer site run by Andrew Alden in the UK, but I recommend it as it has much information and links about the 16mm Bolex camera, including a description of the models you’re likely to come across. Bolex cameras have been very popular with experimental filmmakers for many years due to their flexibility, resilience and light weight; many animators use them also.
A lot of practical information about using film is available in books rather than online. My personal favourite is:
‘Independent Filmmaking’ by Lenny Lipton. This is 100% practical and written from the perspective of an experimental/independent practitioner. As recommended by Stan Brakhage even! It tells you everything you’ll ever want to know about lenses, exposure, film stock, cameras, editing, manipulating film etc.in accessible language. Written in the late seventies so: probably best to ignore the chapter about video unless you’re interested in analogue processes. This book is in the library but out of print. It’s available secondhand from such dealers as:
http://www.abebooks.co.uk (copy currently there for £3!)
http://www.alibris.co.uk (and one for £4.93 here)
I also wholeheartedly recommend the ‘Critical Cinema’ series by Scott MacDonald, currently up to volume 5. This is a series of books made up of interviews with independent/experimental film and video makers. Each of the interviews is extensive and really helps as a way of understanding the field. Volume 1 starts with a good introduction by Scott about how he approaches experimental moving practice as a genre. Available in the library.