Last month for After Dark: Delightful Devices, we decided to pursue exploring all things projector-related. In the main workshop area we hosted a direct animation workshop. The process of direct animation works by either animating onto blank "leader" film with sharpies or stamps or manipulating existing film stock by scratching away the emulsion with an assortment of sharp tools (dental picks work especially well). This technique has been used in the past for creating experimental films and for adding analog effects to movies.
There was a 16mm projector set up where participants could see the films they made projected. Sam, from our Cinema Arts team, showed us that a strip of film about 3 feet long could be spliced end-to-end to create a continuous looping animation. Most folks chose to screen their animation right after completing it. We also had the option to leave your animation behind to be spliced together into a final collaborative masterpiece. There are some examples of the animations below! [Caution: recording caused some of them have a strobe-like flicker. Watch with caution if you are sensitive to strobe lights.]
We had an additional table set up for doing a projector take apart activity as another way of exploring the machines. We love take aparts as a way to learn more about how all the individual components of a device work together. In this case, both were non-functioning 16mm projectors. Inside we discovered an array of gears, levers, bulbs, switches, and other components we weren't quite sure about.
After Dark events are always a fun time for us to explore tentative ideas and discover new ways of tinkering with familiar objects!