A collaboration between film students and musicians from the Jacobs School of Music, “Double Exposure” featured a series of experimental student films with accompanying musical scores.
Each student in the class, “Experiments with the Film Camera,” was assigned to create a five to seven-minute video project to demonstrate skills they have learned in their class.
Students met with different musicians to discuss their films and what kind of music they wanted, Communication and Culture professor Susanne Schwibs said. They also chose which composers they thought matched best.
Schwibs and Composer Professor John Gibson meant to pair students with their choices, but also with students they thought would match up well.
The composers wrote their scores and the musicians learned the compositions after only two rehearsals. After rehearsals they recorded the music and then performed it live at Sunday’s event.
Recording arts students took the recorded music and paired it with the film’s sound effects for the DVD and BluRay versions that come out after the event, Schwibs said.
All of the films were primarily silent in order to better play to the music being performed.
“I feel that film is much closer to poetry and music because of the juxtaposition of imagery and symbolic imagery and it also happens in time,” Schwibs said. “The structure of film is very musical with the repetition and pattern.”
One film shown was a stop-motion piece created by Sam Rauch and composed by Alex Blank. The seven-minute film told the story of a young girl named Vasilisa and was based on a Russian fairytale.
Rauch told the story through a variety of puppets that he created after he developed the script and storyboards.
“The puppets for the most part are constructed from a combination of fabric, clay, wire — very doll-like,” Rauch said. “I had particular fun with Baba Yaga’s puppet. She’s largely built from natural found objects, which gives her a very unique and imposing look.”
After planning the entirety of the piece, Rauch had to begin the process of actually creating a complete stop-motion film, which he said was an eye-opening experience for him.
“Essentially every frame of the film is an individual photograph,” he said. “I was ready for that, the commitment required to take those thousands of stills and stitch them together. What really caught me off guard was the amount of construction required to create the puppets and realize the world they inhabit.”
Despite the hard work, Rauch said he believed it was worth it in the end when he saw the entirety of his film.
“Sunday was the culmination of months and months of work for so many people,” Rauch said. “Being able to experience all that with live music in the cinema’s amazing space really made it a night to remember.”
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