Friday, June 20, 2008


The footage for "Freznell" was shot in Super 8, mostly in the early 1980s. Then I cobbled it together and titled it in the summer of 1983. It was screened for the first time at Rockitz, a club on Laurel Street then run by Bill Kitchen, 25 years ago.

The film's imagery married random short clips of graffiti (shot mostly in New York and Richmond), eye-catching females and motion itself. I went into the project trying to learn more about film editing. What sort of edits worked best, even if there was no story to carry the action, was what I was playing around with in this exercise. So, in a way it's an abstract film that uses literal images.

The original soundtrack was music I made for it on a sound-on-sound, reel-to-reel tape recorder. It had a droning, repetitive sort of sound, inspired by Philip Glass and other minimalists, with some spooky/goofy chanting voices mixed in. At best it gave it a dreamlike effect. At worst it was mush.

But what I really wanted was something like what Joy Division had already done. Later I added/borrowed part of a Joy Division song for a soundtrack (with credit given) and, instantly! it made the film better. Much better.

No one has seen this little film (three-and-a-half minutes) in a long time. In the past, each time it's been shown to an audience, it's been fascinating to note the reactions certain scenes get. Believe it or not, the chuckles always came at the same points.

Click here to see "Freznell" at YouTube.

Anyway, in the last week I transferred it to a digital format ... enjoy.

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