Re: [Frameworks] Lookout Mountain films (Pat O'Neill)

From: Mark Toscano (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Oct 06 2010 - 08:16:03 PDT

I don't know how many individual artists sold 8mm prints of their films besides Brakhage and Conner, but there must be some.

Pat, with George Lockwood working with him, put these DVDs together themselves, totally DIY, but at a very high level of quality.  They spent a lot of time figuring out how the films could look and sound their best, and how they could deal with the whole process themselves, as I think Pat wasn't interested in waiting around for someone else to offer to put his films out.

The transfers were done on one of Pat's optical printers, which had been modified to take a digital camera instead of a film camera. The elements (sometimes internegatives, sometimes originals, maybe an IP or print in one or two cases) were run through the printer and captured frame by frame into the computer.  Sound was captured from the original mags, which are very high quality.  In the case of Water and Power, this process enabled Pat and George to realize the intended original stereo soundtrack, which had been jettisoned in compromise when the film was initially finished.

I think in a way the whole process he's gone through is at least in a small way revolutionary, going around any typical process or structure for releasing one's work digitally/for home use, keeping the whole process under the artist's control, which I think has been a hallmark of Pat's work since the beginning anyway.  He has always approached things totally independently, for instance accumulating equipment over the years in his commercial work purely to have all that he needed to make the films he wanted to make under his control.

It's a highly suggestive model, and an exciting one, although of course one also requiring certain resources and a lot of time and work.  As Bev suggested, an arrangement is being made to attempt to get some or all of Chick Strand's films available on DVD through the same process.  Now that Pat has a system in place for doing this themselves, the cost should be a huge amount lower to maintain the setup, I would think.  Data storage and labor will always be factors, though.  Very curious to see how it all proceeds!

Mark Toscano

P.S. The DVDs look excellent, and I hope people will support this endeavor of Pat's to get his work out there.  They put a ton of work into it, and it really shows.

--- On Wed, 10/6/10, Tom Whiteside <email suppressed> wrote:

From: Tom Whiteside <email suppressed>
Subject: Re: [Frameworks] Lookout Mountain films (Pat O'Neill)
To: "Experimental Film Discussion List" <email suppressed>
Date: Wednesday, October 6, 2010, 7:20 AM

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