Patrick Williams | kind of captured
I created a 5 minute video reinterpreting and combining my previous projects. The video itself consists of images from my model, drawings, and collage, footage of 100 feet of clear 16 mm film leader I treated with various objects and substances, and sound from several sources, including the soundscape I created. Using Final Cut Pro, I brought together these elements in a manner that acknowledges the greater world of these works and harnesses movement within the lines and shapes within it.
Watch the video in full:
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Direct Work on Film Leader
I treated a roll of 16mm clear film leader with various materials and tools.
Watch the leader in full:
- Dry Highlighter tape
- Bits torn from the model I built
- Sumi Ink
- Red, Black, Yellow, & green India Ink
- Clippings from a filmstrip instructing viewers to compose proper paragraphs
- Correction tape
- Various stamps used in the creation of invitations to my wedding
- A 1970s Urban Planning textbook
- Film splicing tape
- Paint brushes
- Ink-dripping film leader
- A dusty green 1960s Royal typewriter
- Hot Lime, Orange, and Brown Sharpie markers
- Masking tape
- Grease pencil
- Paper clips
- A fork
- The concrete porch behind my apartment; sticks and leaves and dryer lint found in the vicinity.
I began by covering parts of lengths of leader with masking tape, making various marks with the sharpies and grease pencils and stamps. I then took the leader outside and began to apply india ink using the air brush. I intended to paint on the taped-up side, but as I got more into it, I started spraying and marking on both sides of the leader and liberally applying ink to the bunches of leader that collected in different spots on the porch as I unrolled the reel
After the ink dried, I peeled off the tape and began to treat the previously covered area, again with the stamps and markers. I also used the fork and paperclips to scratch off some of the dried paint
I then took the model pieces and used them as stencils to apply more ink with the airbrush. The long sequences of repeated stencils gave my leader a twisting/vibrating action. During this phase I also began dripping ink of different colors directly on lengths of leader and bunches of it, allowing the colors to mix and run.
Once I was satisfied with the amount of ink I had applied, I began taping the filmstrip clippings into stretches where they seemed to fit. Among the clippings were a tiger's head, a bridge, people walking, and a collection of wrapped gifts and sporting goods, all of which were mostly brown. While doing this, I accidentally soaked some splicing tape in a puddle of ink. I applied that to the leader as well.
The last phase of my work on the leader before I viewed it on a Steenbeck machine was to run it through the typewriter. I primarily typed lowercase and uppercase Os, hyphens, period, and astrices, using two methods: soaking the typewriter ribbon in sumi ink and painting on the letters and having them strike the leader directly.
I used Frame Thief to make short animations (one of my collage, one of drawings based on my leader work).
Once I projected the film leader and digitized it— and saw these feet and feet of still work made active— I started to think about the process of making still things kinetic. I was surprised in many ways about how the act of projecting the leader transformed the content, with which I had become so familiar.
Does that process have an opposite? I wanted to find a way to give the illusion of movement to the static leader and pieces of the model I built before I brought them into the computer for editing.
I began scanning the different components, in different arrangements, variously moving them with my hands as the scanner took them in. I was able to fool the scanner in many ways, sliding pieces, twisting them around, and shake them as it operated.
Rather than suggesting movements, the resulting images showed treated and mutated version of what was scanned, and in most cases the treatments and mutations did not resemble anything I would be remotely capable of doing to these objects in the physical world.
I was very excited by the realistic qualities of some of the images and the impossible, gnarled look of others.
Shapes & Masks
Shapes used in the video were derived from four types of images:
- Scans of the curved section of my model
- Scans of the "feet" section of my model
- Scans of the curved section of my model being moved across the scanner glass
- Scans of the "feet" section of my model being moved across the scanner glass
I used these pieces to create the shapes to serve as masks and filters in the editing process. I layered several of these images (with certain shapes transparent, certain shapes in the foreground) and set them in motion, the background footage that shows through reveals some of the relationships among these images.
- Bottom Layer: Edited leader, live, and animation footage
- Middle Layers: Curved section scans and "Feet" section motion scans.
- Top Layer: "Feet shapes" and shapes from curved section motion scans.
Gray sections are transparent in the video.
The audio in the video is comprised of three sources:
- guitar sounds previously sampled and arranged (I cut the source footage with this as a soundtrack, never intending to keep it in the final project. But in as my work progressed, I noticed a relationship between the sound and visuals that increased with each set of new edits.
- my entries in the < 1 second of sound project
- soundscape from this project