Category Archives: ART FILMS

A selection of my pretty lo fi, arty farty films. If not shot on phones and stuff, they are useually thrown together as fast as possible, certainly filmed, edited and uploaded in the same day…

Fractal 3

This fractal film took even longer to render due to adding reflections.

Im beginning to get the hang of this now, and the hard-drive is filling up with things that need rendering. I’m even starting to formulate some kind of concept for a full-length fractal film.

working title.
Z = Z² + C

Ultimately, due to the nature of fractals, being in some way related to nature and “How things are”, it’s hard not to use that as a starting place.
The universe is a strange place, and basically anything can exist. The planet on which we live is both unique in the universe, but also common… No one cares if we fuck it up.

So my concept is to produce a kind of “on-board dash cam” video of a spaceship that has just arrived at a new world, and is sending back images to earth of what it has found. It’s a strange landscape, with peculiar properties, physics isn’t quite the same here, plant life morphs and evolves as we watch, mountain ranges fold and move. After a time a long gone alien civilization is discovered, rotting, crumbling and also morphing and evolving.

Fractal Films 2

Having a lot of fun with this now.
The rendering takes forever though. This film, called Islamicfly took 4 days to render.

But now I have my PC set up as well, I can render on both! Its pretty clever, as long as both machines can see the same network folder, they dont over write each others files, so Im rendering a png sequence and depth matte (forgot that on the above film) and each computer tackle alternate frames.

The Great Work (reboot)

Project summary

The aim of this project is two-fold. To first restore and then complete a set of films that was started during the late 1980s.

“The Great Work” is an alchemical trilogy in three parts. 1. “Homunculus” 2. “Terpsichore” and 3. “The Box”. The first two parts were completed but silent. The third part, “The Box”, was started, but was never completed. This film requires the most work and support.

In addition Strawberry Wasp is a 20 minute 16mm film shot in Cinemascope with “separate magnetic” soundtrack, it is complete, but un-showable in its current format.

Project Introduction

During the last few years of the 1980s, I was working mostly in film. These were very low budget 16mm productions, but with rich and complex iconography, often utilising animation, costumes, and simple camera effects. The works were shown to some degree as part of “performance pieces” with the soundtracks often performed live by musicians, creating music and sound effects. The films are strong visually and often dark and quite obscure. Although not narrative in the normal sense of the word they are strong on themes and live in a kind of dark and existential alchemical world of folklore and fairytales.

My application here is to upgrade the films, digitising them to 4k digital cinema quality, thus preserving them, and in the case of the silent films, adding music and foley soundtracks with a view to seeking a new audience, both online and projected at festivals and screen viewings. In addition I wish to complete the 3rd part (The Box) of “The Great Work” of which only a tiny portion was originally completed.

Goals

My primary aim for distribution would be initially indie cinema showings and festivals. “Strawberry Wasp” and “The Great Work” could be either shown together, as they have some artistic connections, or as two separate films. Showings would be in Nesoddparken and other cultural venues in Akershus, but I would also be interested in participating in for example Cinematekets “Dream that Kicks” experimental show-case, Grimstad, Tromsø and at foreign festivals, Rotterdam (IFFR) , EMAF (Germany), London Short Film Festival. Thereafter a permanent website would be produced that would give additional background information, photos, original scripts, sketches as well as the films themselves.

The Great Work

This is a trilogy of 3 mixed media films

Homunculus

Terpsichore

The Box

“The Great Work” refers to the work of the alchemists, who attempted to make the Philosopher´s Stone, turn base metals into gold, and investigate all manner of esoteric interests, albeit in a scientific and applied manner. The films “story” is not completely clear, as the three films, although obviously related (some characters, some locations) they concern different things, and could even be said to play in the wrong order.

In part one “Homunculus” an alchemist (that we referred to as Sir Eel) receives a wooden box, he eagerly opens it to find a phial containing a tiny foetus. This he places into a strange machine, which after some magical  effects produces a small and breathing child.

Part two “Terpsichore” (of dancing) is simply a chase. A princess runs through environments, perpetually pursued by two freemasons in full regalia, the “princess”(after a small animated dream sequence´), is eventually caught and torn in two.

Part three, ”The Box” (the yet to be completed film) concerns a box. “The Box” depicts beginnings and endings of the other two films, as well as a final scene. It could be seen as a re-working of the story of “Pandoras Box”. It shows the alchemist (this time animated using stop frame animation) at work, unaware that his creation (the Homunculus from the first film) escapes, it shows the Princess, still being chased, from a castle through woods and into a bowery. Also present are malevolent masonic rituals. The Evil that is finally released from the box into the world is shown to be the face of the film-maker.

Only the first two films were ever completed. Firstly they should be transferred to digital format, and as these two parts were silent, new soundtracks will be composed for them.

In addition I would like to complete the final part of this work.

“The Box” was started, indeed I have about 150 feet of 16mm film. Where the other two parts are a combination of live action and animation, this part will be wholly animated. The Box of the title is an artwork in its own right as it has drawers, each of which contains a tiny scene, which, after emerging from the Box, build themselves before the action in that scene can start. The characters needed for this film are unfortunately lost, so will have to be re built, using clay, wood and cloth.

Photos from the filming of “the great work” circa 1988

ORDO AB CHAO

Strawberry Wasp (restoration & update)

This completed 20 minute 16mm film needs only to be transferred to digital (the visual portion) the audio needs to be extracted from a UMatic lowband tape (the only known surviving copy, apart from a poor quality VHS) The audio will then need to be re-synched, and the video graded. 

This film was my degree piece at Portsmouth University Fine Art, gaining me a first place in practice. It was shot using a Cinemascope anamorphic lens giving a striking physical proportion of 2.66:1. Its somewhat melodramatic subject is no less than good and evil, and is a sequence of six scenes, one introductory scene, four “character” scenes, comprising one character in each (Thief, Witch, Priest, Princess), and a short  outro sequence. The music is loud, distorted and monotonous, with one musical theme per section.

I showed this film many times during the late 80s and early nineties, but mostly at art events and concerts. I could never submit it for festivals due to its format, both being Cinemascope and it having a “Separate Magnetic” (Sep-Mag) soundtrack. It was, however in great demand at one stage and I was projecting it, at various locations, about once a month for a while.

Working methods and style

Visually, I think my work has an interesting feel to it, in some ways it feels hand-made, naive and charming, at the same time, dark and eerie. I have, often out of necessity, built strange devices and rigs to achieve shots that would normally only be possible using expensive equipment, I have hand-developed 16mm film in an old Russian Army developing tank, build a DIY film printer, punched holes in the film, filmed on Standard 8 film gauge and used it in a 16mm film (without getting cut) I have hung cameras from kites, swung them on rubber inner tubes and shot scenes backwards. Due to the physical handling of these earlier films, I expect them to be scratched, faded and aged, almost coming from some strange and distant past. I am, however, always concerned with good picture quality, strong visual imagery, strong audio, and filmic pace.

There is an element of the “gothic”, as in the films of The Brothers Quay or Derek Jarman, of “pop culture”, as I was and am a professional musician in experimental circles with my band The Cranes, and this forms part of my worldview, as well as a folklore or occult element, particularly as “The Great Work” features an Alchemist, two malevolent Freemasons, and an innocent Princess.

Fractal Films 2

Having a lot of fun with this now.
The rendering takes forever though. This film, called Islamicfly took 4 days to render.

But now I have my PC set up as well, I can render on both! Its pretty clever, as long as both machines can see the same network folder, they dont over write each others files, so Im rendering a png sequence and depth matte (forgot that on the above film) and each computer tackle alternate frames.

NEW Ordo Ab Chao Site

I decided to divide off my computer games and film stuff off onto new site, Ill continue to update om misc things blog style here, but I needed a less messy container for my more serious experiments into computer games and VR. Im hoping sometime to get some funding for this art, and infact to get some of my old films onto digital format for re-showing them, so they are included on the new site as well.
The site is called www.ordoabchao.no