It might sound odd to some but I actually dabbled in film making. Furthermore, the teacher couldn’t understand why a legally blind teenager wanted to attend his class. When I told him that I had taken a film class at the Edmonton Art Gallery the previous year, he thought I was joking. After answering many questions about my vision, he finally relented.

One part of the course, which delighted me, was experimental films. By snapping one frame at a time and moving objects ever so slightly, the resulting film appeared to be of objects moving by themselves. The film I made used pop bottle caps.

Another part of the course dealt with drawing directly on the film with felt pens. After visiting a local TV station, I managed to mooch some sixteen millimeter film. Then I bleached all the emulsion off of it. Frame by frame, I drew dots and lines which merged and divided. The result of my experiment looked like quivering drops of coloured water moving about on the screen.

We also viewed many interesting art films. I enjoyed that part, though some films were quite weird. But it wasn’t free entertainment for us. We had to write reports on the films shown in class. Even so, I enjoyed the challenge and learned much about  the various aspects of the craft.

Then the final exam came, All through class, one guy kept scoffing that I wouldn’t do well. He was shocked when I received a mark of eighty percent on the test. He stopped bugging me after that.

A lot has changed since the autumn of 1973. Technology allows anybody to make a video and edit it. Even more exciting, YouTube gives anybody the opportunity to show their work to the entire world. What used to require careful cutting and splicing of film now can be done with ease at any PC. Better yet, mistakes can be undone. There wasn’t much one could do with botched footage forty years ago but now it’s a snap to delete or crop video portions.

I’ve recently made videos for my electronic music tunes with Windows Movie Maker. Some are made of still pictures while others are made from video from my Video 8 camcorder and PXL2000 Fisher Price camcorder. I even made a documentary of a live on-air electronic music performance which I took part in. Please check out my creations on my VE6XTC channel.


Author: bruce Atchison - author

I'm a legally-blind freelance writer as well as the author of three memoirs and scores of articles. Contact me for details.

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