Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Copy Shop


At the very end of our second Film Studies lecture today we watched a short film by Widrich Virgil called "Copy Shop". It is "the story of a man who copies himself until he fills up the entire world". Although it was only shown to finish off the session I was fascinated by it, and even more so when I looked into how it was made.

You may think that what you are seeing is film, and it kind of is, but it is actually much more than that. You are watching an animation. You are seeing nearly 18,000 photocopied digital images that were captured, animated and filmed onto 35mm film; giving this film the unique look that it has. Each frame from the digital video tape was digitised into a computer, printed out onto paper, and then photocopied. These photocopied images were then filmed again using a 35mm camera to recreated the smoothness of the original footage. Follow the link to see a short piece on the Making of Copy Shop.

This is much more than just an ingenious and unique way to make a film, it accentuates the meaning and theme of the piece. During our Film Studies lectures we have been learning about the different ways in which to analyse films. All film can be considered as 'text', in that it can be read. Certain aspects can tell us a lot about a film; such as the film language used, genre, style, narrative and technology. The technology used to create Copy Shop really takes on a life of its own beyond just a means of telling the story. The 'journey' that the footage takes through the production of this film mirrors the journey of the character who creates endless copies of himself: live action becomes video, video becomes paper, paper becomes photocopy, photocopy becomes film. The story of Copy Shop is told through copies after copies after copies, each one becoming slightly less distinct and further removed from the original.

No one can truly tell you what a film is about; film is subjective. Our opinions and views on a film are greatly effected by our own morals, values, experiences and societies. Being an avid follower of technology, for me, this film speaks out about the effect of technology in our modern society. How, through the increasing use of mobile phones, social networking and online presences, we can begin to lose our true identities as people - much like the character in Copy Shop who, through the use of technology, looses his once unique existence.

But that's what I think, you probably think I'm completely wrong. And that's what great about film. Neither of us is right or wrong; it's all subjective. So what do you draw from this film?

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