There are a lot of good reasons to experiment with video.
For one thing many experimental video styles have later become commercial styles. The music video genre has evolved from experimental film. Many TV commercials have been influenced by experimental films. The feature film Waking Life is an animated film that is unique because it is all rotoscoped from digital video. The director is Richard Linklater whom Roger Ebert calls one of the best directors we have. Linklater’s style in this film is unusual and interesting. I expected to later see that style used in commercials and it didn’t take long. The style has since been adopted in a number of commercials and other videos.
Many experimental filmmakers have gone on to make commercial films. A partial list includes Jean-Luc Godard, Steven Soderbergh, Kathryn Bigelow, Curtis Harrington, Andy Warhol and the director Steve McQueen. But commercial gain was not the reason they made films.
Experimental Video Examples
Take a look at the intro title credit sequence for the film Enter the Void. Quentin Tarantino says this is “Maybe (the) best credit scene of the decade. One of the greatest in cinema history.” The man who created these credits is German experimental filmmaker Thorsten Fleisch. And here are some clever experiments with a GoPro.
Both narrative and documentary films have many elements from which to choose. Think of all the audio and visual elements at your disposal. While they may not all be appropriate to use in a particular documentary or narrative film, experimental films have no limits. They don’t have to tell a story or have a message.
Here’s an experimental short called Keepsake. It won Best Experimental Film at the Toronto International Film Festival.
This was a film project for film school. According to the filmmaker, Callum Linden, “The purpose of the project, was to find an object that had great meaning to myself, and through my film, I had to show that the object I chose wasn’t only an inanimate object, but something more. I had to change the viewer’s opinion on my object, changing it from their view of it being just the object, to my personal view by subjectifying it, and showing what my object means to me.” The subject he chose was an old Minolta X-700 SLR which his father had used for 30 years to capture many moments of his life and the family.
This one is called
It is an excerpt and may give you some interesting ideas for experimentation. Many shorts are called experimental films, but it may be more accurate to call them personal films. Academics also write about avant garde films, underground films, video art and others. But what matters more than the name is what the filmmaker creates.
Try one experimental scene of any kind. See how it feels. What was the thought process you took to get there?
If you are transferring home movies (either film or video) as a commercial service, you should know about the non-profit Center For Home Movies . They sponsor Home Movie Day which will be on October 17, 2015. The site also will show you some possibilities you may not have considered. For instance numerous feature-length documentaries […]Read More
Before you check out the new Google Earth, make sure you are first running Google Chrome on your desktop or Android on your phone. iOS will be available soon. Last year Google released a VR version of Google Earth. This new version is no longer a separate app, but a web site https://www.google.com/earth/ . This […]Read More
GoPro and Google have joined forces to create a Virtual Reality camera rig with 16 GoPro HERO4 cameras. It’s called Jump. It can transform 16 pieces of video into one stereoscopic 360 degree VR video. The 360 degree camera array allows all 16 cameras to act as one. This makes camera syncing easy, and includes […]Read More
Photographing light trails at night has been a popular technique of both still photographers and videographers. We’ve all seen the light trails of night traffic in a time lapse video. Light painting in still photography can be done a couple of ways. One way is to take a long exposure and move the lights during […]Read More