Film Making

A friend and I recently got it as well with a Sigma 18-35mm and it has been a dream. Looking forward to seeing what you put out with it! We’re still very new to this realm but it’s super exciting having something of this quality to really figure things out.


Even with how restricted things are and how careful we’re being, it’s so nice to do a studio day. Feels almost normal.


hi! i’m an experimental filmmaker and critical maker who teaches cinema and media studies at a midwestern public university. i’ve been inspired by much of the work shared in this thread and thought i’d share some of my own.

i’ve been making both film and video works since i was fairly young but wasn’t really familiar with experimental traditions until my time as a cinematic arts student at university in 2002. i became excited about new and unfamiliar ways that a filmmaker could engage with an audience and the tones/textures/fields of view that might be presented. i’ve since become interested in the ways that audio-visual media allow us to craft new or different ways to ask questions and play with theory, as opposed to becoming boxed in by language and the page. being on lines has been a tremendous help in terms of considering a lot of these questions in more acoustic terms but, of course, like many of you have said, there are quite a few crossing points here with the visual field.

in general, i’m very interested in questions of space and place, memory, and technology. not to sound too pretentious, but i really enjoy thinking about the nature of editing as more of a ‘fold’ than a ‘splice,’ which lets me talk about my work in terms of short form origami if you will.

despite this thread has being a bit more focused on the ‘film industry,’ i thought i’d chime in with a more underground/experimental perspective. here are a few works that also make use of modular electronics:


A couple of years ago, I combined my interest in electronic music and film and made a low budget lo-fi feature film called “LFO” that I wrote, directed and scored. That was a fun ride.


Oh! I’ve been meaning to watch this for a while now. I’ll put it on my list for the weekend.

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wow that firmware update on the op-1 is gonna skyrocket the resale value :wink:

will definitely be watching this and maybe returning with questions, if that’s okay ~ looks like a lot of fun :slight_smile:

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That trailer is great. Is there a way I can see this in the US?

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LFO used to be on Netflix, but I think it’s still available on iTunes and Amazon. If not, let me know, and you can get an online screener link from me.

It looks like iTunes only in the US. I’ll check it out there. Thanks. :+1:

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These are really soothing. The shot in In Wearisome Nights of the mirrored door and the tile floor is wonderful.

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Thanks, appreciate it.

Just discovered this doc about Norman McLaren is streaming online: Creative Process: Norman McLaren by Donald McWilliams - NFB

Thought others would appreciate it.


Thankful for “stalker” today. It is such a vibe. If I am ever able to make something with 1/100th of the artistic integrity of that film, I’ll be a happy camper.


the music documentary i edited hit streaming last weekend! being a little vague to try to escape the google index because i’m a little social media shy and i don’t want to somehow mess with the promo with my pretentious ass posts, but i’ve been reflecting on the project the past couple of weeks and wanted to get my thoughts down somewhere, lllllllls seems as good a place as any. after reading the art vs content thread, maybe this is a better fit over there, but it’s so film centric i am going to throw it here instead.

in an age of content, what is the purpose of documentary film?

when i was growing up, the quintessential “watching a documentary” experience was when your teacher puts on the ken burns civil war series right after lunch and you’re struggling to not get caught dozing off. today though, it’s not hard to imagine that i’ll be seeing new content about all the ways the civil war (the docuseries) damaged americans’ understanding of themselves every couple of years for much of the rest of my life, at least on every xth anniversary of its release.

because of that, it’s hard to imagine somebody in Current Year––looking to create educational material or historical records, as the wikipedia documentary entry suggests is the purpose of the practice––concluding that the best way to present their findings is an elaborately constructed sequence of audio and video clips, crafted with as much attention paid to the rhythm created by combining clips as to the information itself. the language and structure of the medium––particularly its relationship with time––render it uniquely unsuitable for presenting complex information.

during the last century as documentary grew up (alongside related concepts like “art film” and “journalistic objectivity”), its relative ease of distribution––compared to other kinds of information––did a lot to mitigate this limitation. today though, a motivated individual can likely find more complete and accurate information about almost any subject in less time than it takes to get to act 2 of a documentary about the same subject.

this shift in how we receive information presents an existential question for those of us working during the so-called ‘golden age of documentaries’: what can a documentary possibly add to a conversation that is already taking place somewhere online––beyond simply directing different eyes at the conversation via marketing? when articles have been written about a topic, books published, thinkpieces synthesizing the information, youtube videos (some feature-length!) and tiktoks adapting those works long since viral, when there are other documentaries about the topic––what is the point anymore of making a documentary film? what are they for?

today, the moment i dread most in any professionally produced piece of nonscripted entertainment is, 5-15 minutes in, when i am presented with a long sequence of facts about the world as it existed immediately prior to the events depicted in the documentary.

my issue: because this is nonfiction, i already have my own understanding of that world. i will be making narrative predictions based on which facts are being highlighted or ignored, making inferences about the filmmakers’ ideological underpinnings, looking at the cool graphical tricks to mitigate the lack of coverage these sequences, by definition, have…. in other words, i will find my brain doing basically anything it can do to avoid directly experiencing the film, up to and including googling something the film is discussing to see if the way they presented that was actually accurate.

this disappoints me because i want film content to engage with me in a way distinct from other content––even as i find all of the content on the same web and watch it all in the same place, i still want the film content to feel like film.

my relationship with the medium of documentary has shifted at a fundamental, structural level. as the internet transforms the economic logic governing the creation of media, it transforms what existing media is for.

we are living in hyperreality, where our means of understanding, interacting with, and experiencing the world are mediated by the content around us. and an ever increasing subset of audiences have grown up in the era of remakes, reimaginings, reinterpretations, tentpole IP franchises, etc. as they always have, these pieces of media inform the identities of their admirers, and communities form around people with similar identities. but online, they’ve become endlessly, incomprehensibly large.

in these new fandoms, there are works that are notably good or bad entry points for newcomers, there are personal and community favorites and bombs, but as the back catalogues grow, a community wide consensus on which are which becomes impossible. these communities exist in perpetual states of debate.

my attention was drawn to this shift when we began work on this film, JWITA. jarad’s young (& terminally online) fanbase would hypothesize or propose which songs, events, vlog clips should be represented. knowing nothing about the film other than its existence, the audience already have the story. there isn’t any real expectation of learning something new, instead the most important thing the work can accomplish in their eyes is that it represents the reality they know well.

before this one, i edited a documentary dealing with america’s suppressive and racist criminal justice system and police force. (while it was generally positively received!) a recurring criticism on letterbox’d is that we weren’t explicit enough in condemning the blatantly racist attitudes and remarks made by some of the subjects (best encapsulated by one commenter who wrote that it was “a little too fair”). to these commenters, the time spent exploring the specific mechanisms people in power misused to cause harm felt like a waste of time. they already knew the story, even if they didn’t know this exact story.

the common denominator between these two camps is that they both have an active awareness that the documentaries they are watching are constructed, much in the same way other pieces of media they like are constructed. they imbue their own subjectivity onto the works, and can be disappointed if it is not made explicit in the text of the work. this way of thinking has positive and negative consequences, but a positive is that the expectation that one piece of media can or should be the definitive interpretation is receding. it seems to me that soon there will be no real expectation that any given work is, or should be, the last word on its subject. the debate persists after the film ends, the film becomes content for the debate.

so what’s left?

i have come to believe that what we can offer is the documentation of reality not only as it is, but also as it feels. instead of continuing to get caught trying to mitigate its formal limitations, documentarians can instead play to the advantages of film as a medium. time, instead of being an obstacle in conveying information, is something we can use the same way the rest of hollywood does: as an emotional weapon. properly utilized, it is one of the most effective tools an artist has to evoke an emotional response––in film or TV, the opportunity to learn and grow with people you’ll never meet through small, consequential moments, the spaces they exist within, their clothes and mannerisms, and the changes in them, day after day, etc.

this is the unique strength of documentary as a form: we can do more than tell you what happened, more than show you what happened. by repurposing the language of hollywood and its formal conventions––conventions which our fellow residents of hyperreality are completely fluent in––we can strive to help you feel it as if you were there. to try to move from a conceptual understanding to something visceral, at least for a couple of hours.

a documentary is everything that you miss out on when you read the “plot” section of that documentary on wikipedia after it’s over.


So many film people here! I’m always up for making new contactsr, especially ones who share brainthinks outside of film too.

I’m an animation director myself, though I have crossed into live action before; no fear.
I’ve made three short films and lots of commercial projects. I like doing both, they are very different and you can get a lot out of both.

These are my first two films, my newest is still screening at festivals, and it was a coproduction so I don’t really own it. But I’ll share the EPK.

Always happy to hear about any work opportunities out there :upside_down_face:

Horror Short Film “Teeth” | ALTER - YouTube - love the comments on this one :smiley:


Oh wow I never thought to search for this topic so I’m glad it has received a bump to the top!

I’m a working film editor with 20years experience.
The most recent film I had the pleasure of working on is doing quite well and I’m quite proud of it! It had quite a tour in the US and internationally with an “official” premiere at the 2020 TriBeCa film festival and is now available pretty much everywhere on VoD.

I look forward to diving further into the conversation here on lines chatting about all things Film Making.


About to rewatch THIN RED LINE… but not before I read these two articles:

Terrence Malick’s ‘The Thin Red Line’: The Traumatic and Poetic Journey into the Heart of Man

re the sound/music/mix, via wayback machine: The Delicacy of War


Very cool, I’ve been seeing the thumbnail on Shudder but haven’t managed to watch yet, to the top of the list it goes.

Also hi all, I make short films, sometimes narrative sometimes experimental, and will be teaching my first college film class (on montage theory and other more oblique ways to think about editing) next spring~


Fantastic film! Kudos.

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Thank you :slight_smile: it’s always so awesome to hear people enjoyed that film. It was a really great project