365 vs. videohaiku

From: Kevin Obsatz (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Jan 23 2007 - 19:55:01 PST

Let me use that as a segue into a topic that I tried to bring up before.
Jonas Mekas is now about a month into his 365 film project on his
I really love the spirit of this project. I've downloaded most of
the days
but have only watched a few of them so far. A lot of it is profoundly
uninteresting, and I can't decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
I'd much rather watch all of Walden straight through than watch some of
these 5 minute videos. I don't think it is a film vs. video issue in
of image quality or technical concerns, it just has to do with the
fact that
sometimes it's a bit too easy to let the video camera roll. Of
course, a
formal analysis of the 365 film project would in many ways miss the
but that doesn't make it any easier to watch. I find the project far
fascinating than the films themselves.

I was unaware of Mr. Mekas's "365" project until you mentioned it - I
searched around his site, and found the project but not an
explanation or statement of purpose or anything like that - maybe
that's not his style. But I'm assuming it's a short segment-per-day
kind of thing.

Partly inspired by Walden, I've been engaged in a similar project for
about 10 months now on my blog - it's called Video Haiku

There's no way I could maintain a rate of 5 minutes per day, every
day. but on my site I post 2-3 videos per week, each 2 minutes or
less. So far I've posted about 120 videos, and I think I'll hit at
least 140 by the time the year is out.

I shoot most of them on my digital still camera, in movie mode - the
memory card in the camera can hold exactly 3 minutes of footage, I
was happy to discover - very similar to a cartridge of super-8 at 18fps.

I carry it in my pocket whenever I leave the house, and I think I've
captured some very beautiful images over the last year. And the fact
that I only have 3 minutes to work with (before I have to go home and
discharge the camera) helps me to be very judicious when choosing
what to shoot - fortunately I don't have the option to let the camera
run for an hour. Then I edit the three down to less than two, with a
self-imposed rule of five cuts or fewer in the piece - which gives me
a little bit of flexibility, but not too much.

This project has been really important to me, and even though it's
video and not super-8, I feel that it's true to the spirit of the
diary format. Being able to post the compositions online within days
(or hours) makes it an effective way to share my life with my family
and friends around the world. Internet Video meets Film Journal. I'm
also planning on creating a longer project, an amalgamation of haikus
(Epic Video Poem, if you like) after I've completed a year.

Definitely planning on crediting Walden as a major influence for
that, it goes without saying...

Anyway, I'm not big on self-promotion, but since somebody else
brought it up I thought I'd mention it here.

Please visit if you're interested, comment on the blog, and/or let me
know what you think - constructive criticism is welcome - offthread
if you like. my email address is below.

Thanks for your time, everybody.


Kevin O
email suppressed

Video Haiku
(scene as seen)

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.