Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mad Scientist Mode

I've spent a sizable amount of time experimenting with this Model 11 (with colour paper and chemistry) since I arrived in Chicago, enough so that I'm starting to feel like a mad scientist... in a good way? The booth I'm using is at A&A Studios. I've posted more photos and full strips at my flickr page, and I'll update it every week or so.

All of the effects here are created by using varying filters and techniques, none of the effects are created with the assistance of digital technology.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Shooting a Short at Toronto's Nuit Blanche

A few weeks ago I was approached by Tyler MacIntyre, a filmmaker out of Los Angeles that I worked with in 2007.  His latest project is a short film that uses Toronto’s Nuit Blanche as the backdrop. He’s cast me as the female lead, in part because of my improv background (the dialogue is improvised) and in part for my knowledge of photobooths, as they are central to the film’s plot. I’m really excited to be a collaborator on this project! Along with Tyler as the director, I will also get to work with Mike McLaughlin, a cinematographer based in Toronto/ Edmonton and Colby Cseke, an actor from Calgary. 

I fly to Toronto this Thursday and we shoot over the weekend. I’ve also never been to Nuit Blanche (only to Halifax’s much smaller event, Nocturne,) so I’m excited to partake in this massive event. This project will be a refreshing creative outlet for me and I also think that it’ll be a fun tidbit for my book.  I haven’t acted in front of a camera since 2007, so I have some butterflies in my stomach. Here is a production still and a poster from the 2007 short film, Sleepless, directed by Mike McLaughlin.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cameras, Collecting & Chicago

Where to start?

Well, I arrived in Chicago almost two weeks ago and it’s been a whirlwind of activity. Finally things are starting to level out. I’ve got a good sense for the city and I’m starting to carve out a routine. Personally, it's been so nice to see some old friends here and I've had a lot of support, particularly from the improv community with settling in for these few  months. I’ve spent most of my time at A&A Studios, where I’m doing an internship. I’m helping out with a few projects at the studio, while still doing my regular illustration/ design jobs for Canadian clients. The studio is the perfect backdrop to work on my graphic novel, it's filled with inspiration- gems from bygones eras, analogue technology and smatterings of little collections everywhere.

Anthony, the President of A&A has let me loose on a beautiful Model 11 they have in the showroom. He put colour paper and chemicals in the machine for my visit. I’ve used a lot of colour machines that have been converted to B&W but never the other way around before, so it’s been a nice treat. I’ve been experimenting with the exposure, filters, acetates, magnifying plastic, mirrors and backgrounds. You can see a selection of my shots at my flickr.

Originally the plan was that Anthony would teach me how to service a chemical photobooth, the plan has since evolved so that together we'll re-build one. It’ll be the best way for me to learn the ins and outs of these machines. This is the booth we are starting with, there’s not much there and I’m sure I will get very messy figuring this thing out.  I have no doubt that it’ll make interesting content for my book.

Speaking of the book, I’m happy to say that Julia Caron has signed on as my editor. Julia is the journalist who produced the CBC Radio story about photobooths in the spring.  She is an excellent writer and we know from the radio story that we work well together. 

And lastly, I’ve got some fun news to share but I should keep my lips sealed for another few days as the last details are finalized. But for the sake of intrigue I'll tell you that it involves a plane ride, an all-nighter, a couple of photobooths and probably some kissing too.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

One Year of Mail Art - July + August

In June I started my one year of sending mail art to four recipients. Each month is themed and there are two ongoing puzzles, one image based and one word based.  The word puzzle is an arrangement of the letters on the back of each envelope, it will take all twelve envelopes to decode. They get two of the twenty-four pieces of the large picture each month as well.  Other items include little drawings, photos, poems, lists, etc.

July's theme was "Travel" and August's was "Daydreams". For July's envelopes I collaged pieces of an vintage-looking map and for August's I used the fabric envelopes that I silkscreen and stitched them shut. I just sent out September's mail art today and I'll share those next month. To see June's mail art, see this blog post.