Re: 365 vs. videohaiku

From: Shannon Silva (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Jan 23 2007 - 21:04:24 PST

Im one of the lurkers but thought Id chime in after
reading Kevin's post. I too use a small still camera
to do diaristic videos week to week and post them to a
blog. And like Jim Ive been downloading the Mekas
films more than watching, but still love that the
project is happening.

For the past few years (during grad school mainly) I
found that I was missing the fun I use to have when I
first started making films. When I first got involved
with filmmaking it was through a Super 8 coop and I
would just load up my super 8 on any day, go out and
shoot, then get it processed. When it came back I
would watch it with friends without worry that it
wouldn't be this or that or that it would be critiqued
to death. In grad school that spirit changed and
filmmaking became about assignments, thesis films, big
plans. But no longer. Using this little camera has
freed me up to enjoy the process again. Very
liberating. And the Mekas project absolutely inspired
me to get started.

--- Kevin Obsatz <email suppressed> wrote:

> 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
> website.
> 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
> terms
> 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
> point,
> but that doesn't make it any easier to watch. I
> find the project far
> more
> 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
> Kevin O
> email suppressed
> Video Haiku
> (scene as seen)
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at
> <email suppressed>.

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