Archive for December, 2010
I was recently privileged to take part in a fantastic workshop run by the Australian Network for Art and Technology – ANAT – in Perth at the University of Western Australia. The workshop was on fulldome filmmaking – making films for fulldome projection in planetariums or other dome environments. Because I work with multi-projection as much as I can, and have a research interest in Expanded Cinema and, really, all forms of projection that break the classical cinematic relations and modes, this was deeply exciting!
20 artists from around Australia and a bunch of national and international dome practitioners came together to nut out experiments in live action for the Dome environment. The organisers had given us a bunch of young actors to work with, so we put them through their paces (well, in the case of the production team I was in, that involved tying one of them up and filming him wrapped in black plastic, lit with a strobe light, and locked in the boot of a car…) while trying to wrangle the idea of shooting for a round space that stretches behind and around your audience. A bunch of pictures and other info available on the Domelab blog here.
Shooting for the dome is strange! Firstly, we were shooting on Canon 5Ds with fisheye lenses, so a 180 degree field of view. Very hard to keep yourself, or your tripod legs or dolly, out of frame. You have to frame in literally the bottom 1/3 of the frame; none of this rule of thirds business; central framing in the very bottom of the frame was the go, in order that the ‘sweet spot’ appears basically in front of most audience members’ heads. It does get into your head, though – I left this week-long workshop seeing everything in fisheye…
The result of our group’s efforts is below. This was a collaborative effort with myself, Donna Kendrigan, Teresa Crea, Lindi Harrison, Paul Ricketts and Yvette Coyne. You have to imagine that you’re sitting with a dome directly above you and on all sides; the top of the round image you see here stretches right above and behind your head.
I recently had the opportunity to perform a collaborative project I’ve been working on for awhile, with musician Peter Rickert, an incredible multi-instrumentalist friend from Bundaberg. We performed Burnett_LIVE at the opening of the CRUSH festival, an arts festival run in Bundaberg during the month of October. This show features incredible, meditative music by Peter on an insane array of instruments – voilin, shakahachi, zither, gamelan, gongs, singing bells…. – with live-mixed video of Burnett River country taken from a documentary I made a couple of years ago. Peter was doing some live-looping as well, via Ableton, while I was mixing in Modul8.
Most exciting, I got to mix it over 5 screens strung round the sides of a band rotunda in the park; I strung up 5 screens of Rosco back-projection vinyl (great stuff for back-projection by the way, definitely recommend it if you’ve got a bit of a budget – was about $800 for 14 metres at around 1.5 metres high), and projected from the centre. Used a triplehead2go for the central 3 screens, and mirrored the middle screen on the 2 edge screens. And – it was just beautiful. The bats flew overhead, and it looked just like a huge Chinese lantern sitting there in the middle of the park. Magic.