16mm Film Course with James Holcolmbe, 2020

This course is now fully subscribed and we are working with a waiting list.

This short course with James Holcolmbe is designed to give participants a grounding in both industry standard and DIY and ecological ways of hacking film equipment to repurpose it for creative use. Participants will learn collectively, with an interim period to consolidate their knowledge and think about how they might use this technology, medium and equipment in their practices.

This course has limited places and, due to limited materials (all provided), places are reserved for those wishing to take part in the whole course. You will need to express your interest by emailing louis@openschooleast.org


Session 1: Bolex shooting

Monday 31 August

An introduction to shooting with Bolex Cameras.

Group 1

10-10.45am: Group 1 Introductions.
10.45am-1pm: Run through the Bolex camera. Participants will be shown how the Bolex camera allows you to re-work time in-camera through fades, backwinding for double exposures, single frame shooting, long / time exposures, and fast / slow motion. We will also look at lenses and light metering with apps on smartphones.
1-1.30pm: Lunch
1.30-2.30pm: Group one shoot – also use this time to collect seaweed / grass / flowers etc. for day two.
2.30-2.45pm: Return to OSE / return cameras for wipe down and debrief.

Group 2

2.45-3.15pm: Group 2 introductions.
3.15-5.15pm: Run through the Bolex camera. Participants will be shown how the Bolex camera allows you to re-work time in-camera through fades, backwinding for double exposures, single frame shooting, long / time exposures, and fast / slow motion. We will also look at lenses and light metering with apps on smartphones.
5.25-6.15pm: Group two shoot – also use this time to collect seaweed / grass / flowers etc. for day two
6.15-6.30pm: Return to OSE / return cameras for wipe down / debrief
6.30-6.45pm: Finish and tidy up.


Session 2: Ecological processing

Tuesday 1 September

A workshop on ecological processing for 16mm film using local and natural materials.

Group 1

10-10.30am: Contextual introduction.
10-11am: James will demonstrate how Russian made Lomo tanks are loaded. Participants will then practice with junk film.
11am-1pm: In groups we will prepare different eco-friendly developers out of local materials such as seaweed, grass, flowers etc. We will then use these developers to process films, wash, fix and dry.

Group 2

1.30-1.45pm: Contextual introduction
1.45pm-2pm: James will demonstrate how Russian made Lomo tanks are loaded. Participants will then practice with junk film.
2-4pm: In groups we will prepare different eco-friendly developers out of local materials such as seaweed, grass, flowers etc. We will then use these developers to process films, wash, fix and dry.
4-5pm: Clean and wash up.


Session 3: DIY contact printing and projection

Wednesday 2 September

A practical introduction to DIY contact printing and projection using 16mm film.

Group 1

10-10.45am: Introduction to printing and printers: commercial and DIY printing methods, making prints by hand (flat printing and photogramming)
10.45-11.30am: Making photograms – demo in the light. Participants will make strips in the darkroom and wash and fix by hand.
11.30am.1pm: Introduction to erehwon portable printer and then printing loops.

Group 2

1.30-2.15pm: Introduction to printing and printers: commercial and DIY printing methods, making prints by hand (flat printing and photogramming)
2.15-3pm: Making photograms – demo in the light. Participants will make strips in the darkroom and wash and fix by hand.
3-5pm: Introduction to erehwon portable printer and then printing loops.
5pm: Finish and tidy up.


Session 4: Cameraless filmmaking

Thursday 3 September

This workshop uses 16mm film as a canvas. Participants can embed organic material collected from the local environment, which becomes a natural moving film/image collage when looped through the projector. Other ways of working with film by hand include painting, drawing, collaging onto it. In either case participants are enabled to make personal experimental films by hand. This workshop is essentially how to make the passing of time visible at 24 frames per second without a camera, and finishes with a projection of everything made by participants.

Group 1

10.30-11am: Introductions to techniques.
11am-1pm: Making session followed by screening of participants loops.

Group 2

1.30-2pm: Introductions to techniques.
2-4pm: Making session followed by screening of participants loops.
4-5pm: Tidy up.


Break

During this interim period, all footage shot so far will be telecined and digitised. Participants can use this time to consolidate their knowledge using a set of resources left at Open School East by James, including a Bolex, lomo tank, printer and projector.


Session 5: Ecological dyes

Monday 5 October

A workshop exploring making eco dyes by hand using materials such as turmeric, pomegranate, and local tints such as seaweeds etc. We will then apply these dyes to either found footage and / or work we have made during the break.

Group 1

10-11.15am: Recap on ideas / thoughts from workshops so far and discuss any work made during the break.
11.15-11.40am: Introductio to eco dyeing techniques.
11am-1pm: Making session followed by screening of works.

Group 2

1.30-2.15pm: Recap on ideas / thoughts from workshops so far and discuss any work made during the break.
2.15-2.40pm: Introduction to eco dyeing techniques.
2.40-4pm: Making session followed by screening of works.
4-5pm: Tidy up.


Session 6: Film destruction

Tuesday 6 October

This short course concludes with a look at destruction of images. This workshop combines elements of cameraless filmmaking with pushing of film over the edge, using resources commonly found under the kitchen sink or the cleaning cupboard, including: household bleach, ammonia, drain unblocker, and the mordancage process which cannot help but destroy film in a really beautiful way.

Group 1

10-11.15am: Introduction to film destruction techniques: mordencage, heat / cold, strong alkalis, random stuff, iron toner and HEALTH AND SAFETY!
11.15-12pm: Making session followed by screening of works.
12-12.30pm: Closing questions.
12.30-1pm: Tidy up / reset room.

Group 2

1.30-2.15pm: Introduction to film destruction techniques: mordencage, heat / cold, strong alkalis, random stuff, iron toner and HEALTH AND SAFETY!
2.15-3pm: Making session followed by screening of works.
3-3.30pm: Closing questions.
3.30-4pm: Tidy up / reset room.


About the artist

Holcombe’s work combines a deep material engagement with photochemical film, with the chance outcomes possible through expanded projection and improvisation across both sound and image. Landscape romanticism is collided with abstract handmade film techniques and chemical interventions which often take the image to the verge of failure…
James Holcombe’s work has been exhibited throughout the UK and Europe. His work has been shown at the Serpentine Gallery, Tate Modern, as well as festivals and artist run spaces worldwide.
James ran the lab and taught film at no.w.here.
jamesholcombe.net/


Accessibility info

Open School East is currently inaccessible to those with limited mobility. This short course is very hands-on and we will also be making use of a dark room.