Re: Research question

From: Roger Beebe (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Jan 21 2010 - 10:11:33 PST


This has been a really interesting thread to follow, and I've loved both the anecdotes that have popped up in response as well as the more theoretical musings on this topic. However, I do want to trouble (again) one of your assertions below, about the economics of filmmaking. There seems to be some idea that making video is "cheap," and I want to suggest that that's a total illusion. For the price of even a consumer-level HD video camera, I could make several years' worth of short 16mm films. With video technology constantly evolving, you're forced to upgrade (camera, editing software, computer) every few years, thus requiring expense after expense; with film on the other hand, I'm still shooting on cameras that were made 30, 40, or 50 years ago. Plus, since everyone's decided that film is basically worthless, you can pick up 16mm, super 8, and regular 8mm gear for a song. I've got a fleet of 16mm projectors that I've purchased for $5 or $10 each; I shot a film on a ca!
 mera that I got for $4 at a flea market. Sure, once the film starts running through the camera, you'll start spending real money, but with the tremendous startup costs for making work in video (costs that recur regularly), it'd take a lot of shooting before the price of 8mm or 16mm filmmaking began to approach that or working on video. Of course, there are ways to make your experimental celluloid works really expensive (like having someone else conform your negative, for ex.), but one certainly can avoid many of those costs.

2 (more) cents,

On Jan 21, 2010, at 12:23 PM, Jonathan Walley wrote:

> Hopefully I cleared this up in my last post - that I was looking for examples in which filmmakers emphasize the constraints of their medium in ways that could be either positive OR negative, but that in most cases the constraints or limitations are characterized by said filmmakers as essential for their art and thus valuable. The one major exception, so far, seems to be economics - the expense of working with film, as in the case of James Benning, is a difficulty that is harder to "embrace."

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