These are some of the slided from the Jorge Suarez material mentioned by Tim:
Photographed through the OP [optical printer] as a kind of hurdy-gurdy animation, the printed matter illuminated such that it featured the front facing elements juxtaposed with the material on the backward, flip-side.
Obviously, now one would just scan a magazine and pop the resultant .jpeg into After Effects, but back in the day, one had to physically photograph the image, the length of time on screen determined by how many times you shot it. Remember at 24 fps, if you wanted say, a four-second appearance, you’d have to re-shoot the image 96 times! The OP was tedious work and Tim was making the most extensive use of it in the film program, as far as I know.
Digital film-making can produce marvellous results….Inland Empire was filmed on a camera one can buy used for somewhere around 1000 euros. Digital is faster and cheaper, allowing for many more experiments and takes; it makes film-making more accessible to the general public. Most film stalwarts (as Tim was) have embraced it. But most of them will probably tell you that they’re glad to have worked with film. The physicality of it, the mechanical and chemical processes involved, the strange contraptions and devices one had to avail oneself of….there’s something undeniably rewarding working with tangible objects. Although film-makers and artists have embraced digital formats, I think there will remain a tiny niche for working with actual film….as long as someone keeps making the stuff.
The second photo in the Wikipedia article on the optical printer shows a JK 16mm OP setup with a Bolex H16, which is very much if not exactly the same setup we had at USF.
For more about Jorge Suarez (b.1922, Santiago, Chile-d.1992, NYC), the “dead man” of the film’s title, see the Plastic Tub.
A collector of all manner of porn, from cheesecake to hardcore, he only left his appartment to buy cheap gin and visit sex shops to add to his ever-growing collection.
He had cut himself off from the world, and everyone respected that, still pained, however, by Suarez’ obstinate pursuit of decadent solitude.