If you don’t really think about it, it’s easy to take video for granted. After all, you can pull out your cell phone and be recording video in a few seconds flat (even fewer if you have Pressy). But what if you were limited to older photographic techniques? No, we don’t mean film, we mean wet plate photography.
Capturing even a 12fps animation for only a few seconds would seem an enormous task, and yet, that’s exactly what director Kellam Clark and his 40-person crew — altogether The Living Tin — are doing. They’re shooting video made entirely of collodion tintypes.
Let that sink in for a second. Think about how long it takes to photograph and develop a single plate, and then multiply that by 12 plates for every second of video. The video at the top is made up of over 100 plates, synced to sound as best as they could.
Below, we have another earlier attempt. It was part of a music video they’re working on for song “The Barking Hand” by the band DAS:
Each of the videos they put up on Vimeo is titled the same: “CONTINUITY” followed by the date. As Clark explains in the description, “All of our test are called CONTINUITY because at the end of the day all the issues we are learning to deal with effect the continuity of the final piece.”
The ultimate goal, says Clark, is an impossible one by his reckoning. “Our goal is to make a normal looking film, which is almost certainly not possible,” says Clark. “But that goal guides us in our problem solving process and helps maintain our standards in a crew made of over 40 people.”
To keep up with them as they continue on this crazy quest, be sure to head over to The Living Tin Vimeo page and keep an eye out for updates.