Experimental Filmmaking: Break the Machine


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Publish Date
7.4 X 9.1 X 0.8 inches | 1.9 pounds
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About the Author

Kathryn Ramey is a filmmaker and anthropologist whose work operates at the intersection of experimental film processes and ethnographic research. Her award-winning and strongly personal films are characterized by the manipulation of celluloid, including hand-processing, optical printing, and various direct animation techniques, and have been screened at film festivals and other venues around the world. Kathryn is an associate professor of filmmaking at Emerson College's Department of Visual and Media Arts in Boston, MA.


"Clearly, Kathryn Ramey is committed to creating a new generation of experimental filmmakers who are equipped with the tools and the intellectual savvy to be great artists and thinkers. This book provides both novice and veteran filmmakers with the momentum and the muscle to work with the moving image in their own homes. Ramey's voice is confident and encouraging. She tells us how to transform our domestic universe into a studio where great things will happen when the lights are on and off."- Lynne Sachs, Filmmaker and Recipient of a 2014 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in the Creative Arts.

"Kathryn Ramey's Experimental Filmmaking is many things at once: a homespun, one-on-one personal primer (like Stan Brakhage's pioneering Moving Picture Giving and Taking Book); a plainspoken how-to technical manual (like Lenny Lipton's essential books of the 70's); a compendium of interviews with a variety of experimental filmmakers about their practice and process (like Scott MacDonald's invaluable A Critical Cinema series); and a celluloid cookbook, very much in the spirit and letter of Helen Hill's Recipes for Disaster. Both retro (including - at long last - a perfectly realized JK optical printer manual) and au courant (digital glitching techniques, etc.), Experimental Filmmaking most of all celebrates and encourages creative adventure with alternative approaches to filmmaking, and offers us recipes, roadmaps, directions, and countless helpful hints as to how to create your own alchemy. This very useful and engaging book of sprocketed (and pixeled) revelations has arrived on our doorsteps, it seems to me, right on time... I Second That Emulsion! Back to the Future!" - Phil Solomon, Professor in the Film Studies Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder

"All in all, every educator of young people in the media business and every creative person, young or old, should have this book - hugely informative and, for any student hoping to make a career in production, great fun to read and put into practice - enjoy!" - Wendy Laybourn, Network Nine News

"The book is a solid technical guide for understanding the experimental possibilities of film formats, and for filmmakers with limited exposure to actual film (an ever-increasing number of us), these experimental techniques might just be enough to spark an idea or two." - Jeffrey Legge, The Script Lab