26 August 2010

Now well into my residency at FACT I have filmed in two fantastic cinemas, The Woolton Picture House and The Plaza in Stockport. Filming finally went ahead at the Woolton after the first shoot was delayed by a lightning storm that blew the projector at the cinema. Being one of the oldest cinemas in Liverpool, the Woolton also has a projector of a certain age which may be the original projector shipped in when the cinema changed from a silent picture palace to showing “talkies”. The Woolton is an intimate, cosy cinema with ashtrays still in the back of the seats.

\r\n

The second cinema was The Plaza in Stockport, which is a 1930s deco cinema which has been restored to its former glory, including a café that feels like you are stepping back in time and a spectacular auditorium with a fully functioning Wurlizter organ still in situ.

\r\n

Each film in the series is a single 360 degree shot that rotates from the centre of the space where the entire cinema appears animated by the light from the projection. The soundtrack for each of the films relates to the genre of film being shown at the time, along with recordings made in the projection booth being worked and processed to create this.

\r\n

This series of films relates to ideas and concerns in my previous films and comes from an interest in the relationship between film and photography, the still and moving image. They use light to animate an environment, to make a portrait of a place. There has been a significant shift in the way we view the moving image, changes taking place in cinema, the struggle independent cinemas face with the advent of digital technologies and the fact that the back catalogue of older films are being digitally re-mastered makes this a timely document of the end of an era of 35mm film in cinema.

\r\n

The films, now shot, will be mastered at FACT once the soundtracks are ready to be completed for the AND Festival in Manchester at the beginning of October. The first film in this series, shot in The Futurist cinema in Scarborough will be premiered at the Venice Film Festival 
on 03 September 2010.