This is an edited version of how s-crash was created was originally written for the ABC Strange Attractors website in 2005.
Shot in a warehouse at 11a Hope St, Brunswick, s-crash was originally made as an entry in White Gloves film festival, a 48 hour film making festival. The writing, set construction and planning for s-crash was completed on a Saturday and the filming on Sunday. The equipment : Bolex HR16mm camera with Kodak Tri-X ISO 320 black and white reversal film, Nikon intervalometer (a timelapse unit), a Pentax spot meter and a 60 watt desk lamp. The illustration below shows the lighting arrangement and camera setup. The exposure was set for the highlights of the image with the brightest point of the image at the point of over exposure. I hadn’t used Tri-X 16mm stock previously but assumed that it would be contrasty so I exposed for the highlights so that detail in the finer shaped objects such as the cigarette the DJ smokes would not be lost.
For simplicity and speed the film used a technique best described as ‘pixilated shadows’. The intervalometer was set to expose a frame every two seconds for an open shutter time of one second so listened to the shutter open and then close and then moved our bodies a fraction more then freeze while waiting for the next shot. As we were able to talk during this process there was some spontaneous yet ultra slow motion animation added to the script. Although we had a rough script and ideas about the many characters attacking the DJ there were also additional unscripted contributions made from people who were in the warehouse at the time – the women licking the knife being a great improvisation by Naomi Braun.
The final sequence in which the DJ appears in both left and right windows and then merges with himself is an in-camera double exposure as using the frame counter and reverse mode on the intervalometer made very precise double exposure possible. This sequence was shot by first exposing the action in the right window with the left window completely blacked out and then rewinding the film and shooting the action happening in the left window and the right window blacked out. The opening animated sequence was shot frame by frame from a QuickTime movie created by Victor on a computer. The screen was turned up to maximum contrast and just enough difference in the brightness made it possible to get a deep black while retaining white lines.