Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants

Title

"This is the Best Day of Your Life" (Creative Work Presentation) / "Doing it the Hard Way: Perspectives on Handmade Cinema" (Panel Presentation)

Department

School of Communications

College

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Disciplines

Business

Abstract

Creative Work Presentation: This is the Best Day of Your Life (16mm film) Conceived as part of a continuing series of short portraits, this film chronicles the efforts of a woman as she struggles to force a stuck zipper. A playful meditation on representation, subjectivity, and the limitations of visual evidence as a source of knowledge, the film unfolds in the unmappable space of the formal photographic portrait. The static camera, close framing, and lack of spatial cues create a tension between onscreen and offscreen, access and denial. The viewer is granted intimate, but ultimately limited access both to the events as they unfold and to the subjective experience of the woman represented onscreen. The foleyed soundtrack, drawing from a minimalist palette of exaggerated sounds, works with the image to complicate the viewer's construction of unified space, and encourages the audience to elevate a small, intimate moment to the level of high drama. Panel Presentation: Doing it the Hard Way: Perspectives on Handmade Cinema In an age where accessible digital technology has streamlined and simplified independent production workflows, why would individual makers choose to go against the current, embracing hands-on techniques and "obsolete" technology, "doing it the hard way?" How has our conception and practice of the handmade shifted with the introduction of new technology? I will present a historical overview and preliminary taxonomy of the conceptual and technical parameters of this mode of film production, with particular attention to shifting trends in contemporary practice and the positioning of handmade cinema in relation to digital technology.

Conference Name

2012 UFVA Annual Conference

Conference Location

Columbia College, Chicago, IL

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