Friday, 9 December 2016

More OFU films now available on YouTube

Just uploaded: three "new" OFU films from the archives. If you liked seeing the early shots of Stag Hill in the Rag '69 and Under Construction films, why not take a look at Peter The Cow, in which a panto cow tours campus? Then, head over to our most mysterious film, Kidnap!, a short thriller.

Finally, for a more modern look at student life, check out our coverage of River Sports Day 2000.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Danny Leigh: "Digital technology saved a dying medium"

"The ritual of 35mm is gorgeous. But it's only a ritual. It's not the movie."

Article in The Guardian by Danny Leigh.

It's an argument we've heard before, and with which I largely agree: it is more satisfying to make a film (or a photograph) without artificially constraining yourself by the technology. Unfortunately, one of the article's specific examples backfires: comparing David Lynch's gorgeous, thoughtful analogue Mulholland Drive with his interminable and impenetrable digital Inland Empire. Had Lynch shot the latter on film, the constraints of the medium would have put an automatic check on the director's over-indulgence.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Quit your job, become a projectionist

Article in Time Out.

Admittedly it's easy to be critical, but I'm really not sure about the inelegant job title "technical services technician". Or the hours. Or the prospects. The quoted pay seems pretty optimistic too ...

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Super-8 is back

Against all the odds, Kodak - which went bankrupt as recently as 2012 - has announced that it's "reviving" Super-8 cameras and film. Kodak's got a press release from CES 16 and here's the Super-8 Revival product page. They've also lined up a load of top Hollywood directors to sing the praises of this "analogue renaissance".

It appears that the camera will have built-in audio recording to SD card. When you send off your reel of exposed film for processing, Kodak will return it to you in digital form with the soundtrack synchronised.

Returning to the Guardian article in the first link, commenters seem reasonably split over whether this is a good idea or whether it is simply pandering to hipsters. At issue: can you do something with analogue film that you simply cannot do with digital? Years ago, I'd have thought this was a brilliant idea - shooting on OFU's 8mm and 16mm cameras brought an implicit level of professionalism that mucking about with a camcorder could never have achieved. But the convenience, cost and quality of digital makes me doubt this. Should we not be spending our creative efforts on the actual creative process, rather than simply selecting a tool for the sake of nostalgia?