The photography industry isn’t the only one transitioning away from film and into digital; Hollywood’s undergoing the exact same thing. Side by Side is an upcoming documentary film produced by Keanu Reeves that offers a look into this major transition that’s underway
For almost one hundred years there was only one way to make a movie — with film. Movies were shot, edited and projected using photochemical film. But over the last two decades a digital process has emerged to challenge photochemical filmmaking.
SIDE BY SIDE, a new documentary produced by Keanu Reeves, takes an in-depth look at this revolution. Through interviews with directors, cinematographers, film students, producers, technologists, editors, and exhibitors, SIDE BY SIDE examines all aspects of filmmaking — from capture to edit, visual effects to color correction, distribution to archive. At this moment when digital and photochemical filmmaking coexist, SIDE BY SIDE explores what has been gained, what is lost, and what the future might bring.
Vivian Maier, Photographer is a beautiful short film about the life and work of Vivian Maier, the unknown amateur photographer whose massive collection of street photographs was discovered at an estate sale after her death.
In the summer of 2010 we were asked by curator Jeffrey Goldstein if we could create a short film using images and 8mm film shot exclusivly by the now famous nanny / street photographer.
Armed with a couple hundred scanned images and hours of digitized 8mm film, we began to lay elements out to gather a sense of what was really being reveled. This along with some investigative research played into a wonderful script and an energetic performance that hopefully sheds a little light the mysterious and life of Ms. Maier.
The photograph you see above isn’t the result of Photoshop or infrared photography. Captured by Spanish photographer Palíndromo Mészáros, it shows what the landscape of Ajka, Hungary looked like half a year after the Ajka alumina plant accident — an industrial disaster in which 35 million cubic feet of toxic waste flooded the land to a height of around 6.5 feet. Mészáros lined up the thick red line caused by the sludge with the horizon line to obtain this surreal image. Read more…
Here’s a beautiful short film by Arden Oksanen titled “Pictures of a Cowboy”. It’s about the life and work of Carl Oksanen, a cowboy-turned-photographer who documented the beauty of Wyoming through stunning landscape photographs. Prepare to be inspired.
In No Great Hurry – 13 Lessons in Life with Saul Leiter is an upcoming documentary film about influential American photographer Saul Leiter, who was a pioneer in the use of color photography in the 1940s and 1950s. Despite his accomplishments, Leiter — who is 89 this year — has never been driven by “success”, preferring instead to live and photograph his own quiet way. One of his notable quotes is,
In order to build a career and to be successful, one has to be determined. One has to be ambitious. I much prefer to drink coffee, listen to music and to paint when I feel like it.
Directed by British filmmaker Tomas Leach (who spent 1.5 years trying to get Leiter to agree to the film), the film is currently going through post-production and raising funds to cross the finish line.
School Portrait is a project by documentary filmmaker and communications student Greg Ward, who asked a number of adults to show and share about their old school portraits. Ward writes,
Most people are embarrassed or find it funny to look back on their old school portraits. The photos where taken at a time when life was simple, school was fun and hairstyles where dictated by our parents.
Many years have passed since the photos were taken; physically they have all changed, but to what extent are they still the same people? In general, most people have had school photographs taken of themselves when they were younger. The photos are fantastic visual records of how people once were, however how often do we look back and reflect upon what we were like as kids? Sometimes in order to know where we are going in life, it helps to remember where we have been.
Ken Burns is a documentary legend, and even though he comes from a filmmaking perspective, his ideas on what makes a story worth telling (or, in our case, a moment worth capturing) are universal and universally inspiring. In this short interview he did with Redglass Pictures he talks about finding subjects where one plus one equals three — where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. He also talks about sincere emotional manipulation, and how he believes it is at the heart of his greatest documentaries. “Emotional truth,” maintains Burns, must be pieced together and created.
And it’s these abilities: the ability to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts, and the ability to “manipulate” the story to piece together an emotional truth that may not be obvious to the casual onlooker; its these abilities that should be at the center of every artist’s tool chest, be they photographer or documentary filmmaker.
If you’ve never really understood conceptual art, the video above will only serve to confuse and frustrate you more. Purple eccentric dinosaur eating mayo. If you’ve never heard of John Baldessari, the video above will bring you up to speed. Baldessari is an internationally renowned conceptual artist who’s known for using found photography and appropriated images in his work. Photographer Cindy Sherman counts him as one of her biggest influences. The short documentary above gives a brief overview of Baldessari’s life and work in six bizarre minutes.
Nokia made quite a splash earlier this year by unveiling the PureView 808 — a smartphone with a large 41-megapixel sensor and a high quality Carl Zeiss lens. The 8-minute behind-the-scenes video above — filmed entirely with the phone, by the way — is the story of how this device was born, starting from a napkin sketch in a Tokyo bar. Nokia is currently the world’s largest manufacturer of cameras, and devoted 400 employees toward the creation of the PureView 808.
Legendary photographer Alfred Stieglitz was one of photography’s pioneers. In a time when the arts, photography included, were stuck in the past and unwilling to change, he drove the art of photography into a new erra of expression. Because of this he is known by many as “the father of modern photography.” As the documentary explains:
What Stieglitz was driving at was a new vision for a modern world; to teach America to see, and photography was the epitome of a new way of seeing… to shock the world of the arts out of its blind attachment to the past.
Part of the PBS American Masters series, The Eloquent Eye is an in-depth documentary on the life and work of this great man. And it’s well worth an hour and half of your weekend if you can spare it.