SIlo Art Project Documentary – Report

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For the past few months I have been assisting Rick Sinnett (mothman333, mothmancollection.com) on the Silo Art Project. Mainly, I’ve been helping out by shooting video for a documentary for the project . Yesterday we went to El Reno, OK to shoot some footage for an upcoming Kickstarter campaign which he’ll be lauching in the coming days. A few weeks ago we visited Digital Media Warehouse in OKC where Rick printed a number of fine-art prints in order to raise money for the project. OETA was there (along with myself, whom you may catch a glimpse of here and there) to capture the process.

I am excited to be involved with this project. It’s always refreshing to find someone passionate about their work, especially when it comes to bettering the environment, the community and making a positive social impact – that’s what this public art project is really focusing on. Furthermore, Rick is incredibly driven to see this project through. It’s been more than a year of work – lots of behind-the-scenes stuff and still we are inching closer and closer to making “This Land” a reality.

You can keep tabs on the progress on the Silo Art Project twitter feed.

Following Rick (mothman333) on Instagram. Check out the Silo Art Project Facebook page. Watch for the upcoming Kickstarter page. And buy some of Rick’s art in various forms on MothmanCollection.com to support the project.

Things in production…

My family and I recently took a trip east across the US – 13 states in 14 days we like to say – from Oklahoma to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and back. Along the way we stopped in Saint Louis, MO; Pourtsmouth, Ohio, New River Gorge in West Virgina, then on to Manteo in North Carolina, then back through the south: Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas. It was a long trip – sometimes tough with two young ones who didn’t want to ride more than a couple of hours (or less) at a time. I took several cameras along and had the opportunity to shoot 3 rolls of Super 8 film. Also shot some video with my GoPro2 and some stills with my Nikon. I’m looking for to having the film processed and seeing how it turned out. More and more I’ve been using my old-standby MovieFlex S8 to shoot on. It’s just so easy and comfortable to use. It focuses well, the color (if it’s color film, of course) is great, and the light meter seems to adjust accurately and moreover, forgivingly. I say all of this before getting those last three rolls in the mail to see exactly how they turned out.

I had a couple of rolls processed not long ago – one was from a drive-in cinema with a miniature golf course just below the screen. I shot right at “magic-hour” on Ektachrome 100D and I have to say it’s probably some of the most beautiful color film I’ve seen – just perfect. I need to get it digitized and online.

I am working on a couple of independent projects outside of my Super 8 dabblings:
I am still working on the Oklahoma climbing documentary and hope to have some more interviews in the near future. That’s a slow going and long term project that I’m chugging away on. The other project came up recently and involves shooting some digital footage for the Silo Art Project. This is going to be a collaborative project – I think – one where I shoot and someone else edits the footage and pieces it together for a larger project. I’m not sure but I have this feeling that it’s going to turn into something. I’m just kind of free-wheeling it, not really planning or figuring anything. Just going to show up with a camera and document. it’s funny because it’s kind of how I envisioned my OK climbing doc to work but instead I feel more anxious about making the climbing doc “good” and so my up-tight-ed-ness seems to get in the way of actually accomplishing the simple act of just setting up these interviews, turning the camera on and letting the people speak. Why is that?

It’s kind of an exciting time with all this stuff going on. I’m hopefully that I will have something to show in the near future – maybe even a short Super 8 film to submit to some over-seas festivals. I need another reason to visit England!

Another thing on my mind that I’ve been thinking about for a long time, years in fact, is starting a Super 8 class or seminar or short course program. Give everyone a Super 8 camera, talk about the basics, learn the fundamentals, shoot some film, process it, transfer it to digital and host a viewing party. I wonder what the interest in something like that would be? Maybe I could even associate it with a school/university just to further the value of it – class for credit type of thing. Just an idea.

Finally, and this probably isn’t even worth mentioning because it’s nowhere near a fleshed out idea – but I’ve had a recent fascination with chairs. Chairs. I’m not sure why. I feel like I need to shoot a film about chairs.

Enough of this update. Next post will be something of more substance.

Title for Oklahoma Climbing Documentary

Looking back over my production notes going back to 2004 I’ve found an evolution of this project. Seems it began as just a “climbing video,” then it made it’s way to something more historical and became a “documentary.” Over those years it has also changed in scope, style and attitude.

Part of the challenge of a project such as this is coming up with the story but at the same time not really knowing where the story is going to take me.

The title changes when I began to branch out and include the entire scope of Oklahoma climbing and bring in multiple types of climbing and people from all over the state. In some cases the thread that binds the climbing community together is very fine – some people climb in relative secrecy without many other knowing exactly what is going on where. Sometimes it’s not until months or years later that word makes it out about so-and-so’s new area or a new route. In terms of the early days of climbing in Oklahoma I think the history ties together a bit better than it does now – there’s just so many more climbers now and the number of opportunities for substantial advances seems more narrow. Then again, I suppose if a 5.15 trad climb was discovered somewhere deep in confines of Charons Gardens, word would spread like wildfire across the prairie.

I’ve dabbled with a number of possible titles, many of which I’ve run by my wife, and some of which I’ve tried out on friends. My brain-storming session on this is never-ending. I’ll think of something in the middle of the night and jolt awake – at the time it sounds like the perfect title. Then I fall back asleep. In the morning I muddle it over and “x” it off the list.

Thematically, there’s so many ways to go and each has its own goods and bads. Problem is I don’t want to slant the picture too far one way or the other. The title needs to speak holistically to a number of elements.

I’ve looked to titles of other documentaries that I admire – The Fog of War, The Bridge, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Vertical Frontier, American Movie – none of them speak entirely about the subject matter but tend to be more representative of a greater agenda.

Maybe I’m over-thinking this. I’m sure I’m over-thinking this.

At some point I’m just going to pick a title and stick with it. That’s it. The next update will be the title of the film.

Oklahoma Climbing Documentary – Working it all out

There are so many aspects to putting a documentary like this together and right now most of the individual pieces are spread out like puzzle pieces across a table. The list in my head currently reads like this: title of movie, equipment to purchase/acquire, names and contact info of people to interview, scoping of story and script, website development and promotional stuff, grants and fund-raising, scheduling and travel. Under each of these headings is another list, each with its own “to-dos.”

All of this coupled with the fact that my wife is due with our second child in about 8 weeks.

What am I doing?

Oklahoma Climbing Documentary – Production Announcement

PRODUCTION ANNOUNCEMENT

F47 Productions, LLC announces the production of a feature length documentary motion picture about climbers and the history of climbing in Oklahoma. Research and principle photography for the documentary has begun and will take place over the course of 2012.

I am currently seeking information about historical milestones in Oklahoma climbing, central figures that have influenced Oklahoma climbing, and other individuals that might hold a place in Oklahoma climbing history.

This film (title forthcoming) is a documentary about climbers and the history of climbing in Oklahoma as told through the voices of first ascensionists and those that have followed. It’s a look at the personalities, the areas, and the routes that have etched themselves into Oklahoma climbing lore. These tales, told in personal interview format, are about routes climbed, trips taken, lessons learned, and legends created. It’s a look at the lifestyle of climbers who’ve cultivated a niche in the most unlikely of places for rock climbing, a place often overlooked as having any stone at all.

In the coming days there will be further announcements, including a website and Kickstarter page.

This is a big project, a worthwhile documentary, and a part of Oklahoma history at climbing history at large – I’m hoping to have community support to see it through. All keep you posted.

For inquires, questions, etc. please contact:
Aaron Gibson

A Day at Stanage Edge – Super 8 Film

I’ve completed and uploaded another video from the trip to England. This one is of a day spent climbing and exploring Stanage Edge; a world famous gritstone area in the heart of The Peak District.

Unfortunately, we only had a day to experience the wealth of climbing in the area, and this was only enough to leave us wanting for more grit. So I’m hopeful that there will be a return trip in the not-so-distant future which will allow for several days of climbing and an opportunity to truly experience all that gritstone climbing has to offer.

This film was shot on a single roll of Tri-X Super 8 film using a Zeiss Ikon Movieflex S8 camera. The film was developed and transferred at Yale Film and Video in Burbank, CA.  Post processing was all done in Final Cut Pro. The black and white (and grey) turned out pretty well on its own but I wanted to alter the image a bit in FCP. In this case I felt the use of a pink filter, upping the contrast and brightness (in some cases) added to the picture. Editing wise, I just did a little trimming here and there – I like to keep the sequence and the duration of the original film as much as possible.

With a film like this (meaning Super 8 ) I think it’s good to keep the home-movie feel. In fact, I would argue that it captures the experience more realistically – almost more documentary style.

The music is from a band/artist named Part Timer and the song is called Unwritten Letter no.9.

New Film – Exploring Cambridge

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Just completed editing a new short-short film. This one is very “home movie.” It’s some footage I shot while in Cambridge, England in April 2010. The person walking around is my brother, Adam.

The film was shot on-the-fly using a Zeiss Ikon Movieflex S8 camera. It’s really become one of my favorites, especially when it comes to usability. There’s not much to metering and focusing – just point and shoot. Of course you’ll be able to tell that it is auto-metering (instead of manual) because the brightness while change occasionally – but for on the run type of stuff, this camera works great.

This is a short film shot in Cambridge, England in April 2010 during a visit for the Cambridge International Super 8 Film Festival.

It was market day and the May Day celebration. My brother, Adam, walks the crowded streets, visits the open-air market and watches some street performers.

The sound was captured digitally using a hand-held Edirol R-09 recorder.

The film was predominantly shot on Kodak Ektachrome 64T but the last bit capturing “punting” was in Tri-X. Camera used was a Zeiss Ikon Movieflex S8.

All camera work by me.