Saturday, January 21, 2006

Coppola, Scorsese...Heckman?

Actually, probably more like Wood, Smithee, Heckman.

I am now enrolled in the Northwest Film School class "Art of Filmmaking."

The weapon of choice: a Canon Super 8mm camera. I can't look at one of these things without remembering all the vacations my family used to take together in the days of my yoot. Dad was a private pilot, so sometimes rather than travel in our mighty AMC Rambler Ambassador (how we fit two adults and five kids in that thing, I'll never know), we would pile instead into a small airplane and fly somewhere. Cozumel Mexico was the trip that has most insidiously lodged itself in my brain -- mark ye, this was not the tourist trap Cozumel of today, but rather the half-jungle, up-and-coming backwater Cozumel of 1974). Because we flew there in a small plane (in this instance, an Aero Commander, known affectionately as the "Pregnant Guppy"), we had to make several stops. Dad had a Super 8 movie camera, and he seemed to take endless pleasure in taking long, circular pans of the tarmac whenever we touched down. Like Terrence Malick , my Dad had a singular style all his own. One could recognize one of his loving tarmac pans instantly.

Anyway. My first assignment is to record an activity I do every day. We are allowed only one film canister for the first assignment, which is good because they cost something like $14 each, for 3 minutes and 20 seconds of film. No wonder movie making is so expensive!

I'm not sure yet what I'm going to try to record, but I do know that our film is developed and transferred to a digital medium for editing. If so, perhaps I can post my opuses (opusi? opuscenti?) on my web site.

Let's hope I can turn in better results than Dad's mighty "tarmac pans."


Tavia said...

Ah, fond memories. We almost hit a coyote on the runway (help me out sibs-- Lawton,OK?) once. And home movies of carefully orchestrated arrival on bicycles. The bikes mostly stayed the same; you changed rides as you got bigger. Can you imagine today's parents doing that?

Devon said...

I don't remember a coyote, but Lawton, Okla. would be a good bet. I DO remember flying to Cozumel, over the Gulf of Mexico, wearing life jackets. And, Frinky hailing the boat cruising below on the emergency radio frequency.