As part of a new series, The Project Magazine's Director of Video Dan Cheetham has created a postcard capturing his latest trip to the sport climbing mecca of the Frankenjura.
In the Frankenjura, I was on my first climbing trip since becoming a dad. I took my usual digital camera and an AGFA movezoom 10 I'd bought on eBay for £20. I had little motivation to film anything, being more interested in the climbing, beer, schnitzel; apt for a climbing trip. I wanted to test the camera and decided to use an anamorphic attachment to see how a widescreen super 8 format would look. The idea was to try and capture an impression of the place, the woods, the limestone, the climbing. But also, on an emotional level, the feelings that are evoked by the place and activity. After a year of new life and loss for my family, hanging out in the woods with friends was a great relief from the burdens of everyday life. If you've ever seen the film Stand By Me and craved the simpler times depicted, this adult version is about as close as it gets.
I was recently listening to an interview with Tacita Dean, a British artist who works in 16mm film. She paraphrased Walter Murch, the editor of Apocalypse Now, in describing an experiment he performed: He took two stills from a film of the same empty room, one from a digital camera and one taken on film. He described the digital image as having a feeling of loss or emptiness as if somebody had just left, and the film image as having a feeling of expectation, as if somebody was just arriving. She also described the unpredictability of making something on film, the unexpected and happy surprises as opposed to the immediacy of the digital format. When considered alongside the expectation described above it's interesting to see these sets of images side by side. Rather than a representation of 'now' and 'then' as often used as a reason for filming in super 8, this is a kind of 'now' and 'now' postcard from my trip to the Frankenjura.
Director Of Video