Project Number Eight: “Light & Time”

Despite only being one day into this project it’s already shaping up to be my favourite so far. The brief is to investigate lens based media, i.e film and photography.

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Francois Truffaut- Jules et Jim

Photography is well trodden ground but film is something that I am immensely interested in but have not worked extensively in, mostly completing a few small scale amateur projects in the past.  Maybe doing something new is why it’s so far so fun.

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Federico Fellini- Otto e Mezzo

First things first I researched a lot of experimental and art filmmakers whose ideas I could use in my own project. Our films are capped at around two minutes long, so I decided right away to investigate short films and experimental techniques and ideas that could be interesting, because in a piece so short some kind of narrative ideas are probably not hugely viable. I also investigated films that have made extensive use of light or time.

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Krysztof Kieslowski- Three Colours Red

Investigating the history of cinema is the most important thing for me when learning to make a film. My first thought was a short film by 60s documentary maker DA Pennebaker called Daybreak Express, in which Pennebaker took a small camera on to the overground portion of the NYC subway at sunrise, with spectacular results.

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DA Pennebaker- Daybreak Express

I also really liked the experimental methods employed by Jean-Luc Godard and his cinematographer Raoul Coutard in the early 60s. These included shooting films in the streets of Paris, guerilla style, and wheeling Coutard around in a wheelchair in lieu of proper equipment.

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The famous Champs Elysee scene from Godard’s Breathless. Coutard put the camera inside a post office trolley.

I also thought about initial ideas, and immediately hit upon the idea of filming in London. This is because I am there for open days three times in the next two weeks so filming there will be much easier than usual. Also the light in London is often very beautiful, and there is lots of artificial light of interest.

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Bob Mazzer photographed the London Underground.

I linked this idea to the Pennebaker film and Godard, and an idea I had in Paris of making a film running around labyrinthine subway tunnels. So I’ll probably shoot something tomorrow on the Underground tomorrow, or on buses. I am going to Goldsmiths’ open day which involves using the London Overground line, coincidentally.

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Jim Jarmusch- Down by Law

In preparation for this I took a leaf out of Godard and Coutard’s book and have constructed a makeshift dolly out of a stroller, as seen carried by old women worldwide. This should make smooth filming in the street possible. Also got some new film for the trusty SLR.

I’ve already looked at a lot of photography for the street photography project, so this is currently less of a priority. Taking pictures is something I’m already more or less confident with.


Research sheet for this project.



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