Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Making and Sharing Our Own Movies

In the 1960's filmmakers including Richard Leacock, D.A.Pennebaker and Jean Rouch developed a style of creating movies that they called Cinema Verite. For the first time, documentary movies gave the audience "a sense of being there". These movies were made using an innovation in 16 mm camera recording whereby the moving image and sound could be recorded separately on mobile devices and later synchronized. With this equipment, these filmmakers were able to create movies that transported audience across space and time, allowing them to be present in a room where Stravinsky is working out some musical intricacies, or on a country road with Eddie Sachs as he describes how he handles curves on the race track, or in the Attorney General's office as Robert Kennedy explores the tense situation at the University of Tuscaloosa via phone with General Abrams even as Caroline and John Kennedy as young children run through the room.
Today, small synchronous sound movie recording equipment is ubiquitous and anyone can publish their movies on to the Web, witness Jonas Meekas and YouTube. However, at least for this filmmaker, the search goes on for a new form, a form in which we can share fragments of our longer movie explorations incrementally, and later join the parts of our collection together either programatically or through explicit linking. With this general framework in mind, Aisling Kelliher, a PhD student in the Media Fabrics group at the MIT Media Lab, has developed the concept of Confecitonary, a collage-like format in which you arrange still images, small movies, mp3 files and text onto a canvas. As you publish more than one canvas to a specific collection, you can mark out pathways. The environment allows you to specify the community with whom you want to share a story and invites commenting to help us learn what you think of the stories. To explore stories others have made, register and then go to "Gallery", "Paths", "All Paths" at:
If you like what you see, join our exploration of this format by uploading your own media and make your own confectionaries. Enjoy!

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