Creative Pixilation Student Project Shot with Old 16mm Film Camera

Pixilation is the stop motion technique in which humans are used as the subject, moving through slight changes in pose and position in each successive frame. Eric Hanus, a recent graduate from Indiana University, created the above video (titled “Day Drunk”) using the technique, and doing it with a old, hacked film camera to boot. Hanus tells us,

The project was shot on a Bolex NonRelfex 16mm film camera. It was done this spring along with Jeremy and Russell (in the credits) for an Advanced Experimental Film Production class. Instead of going for an abstract, art-house type project, our goal was to create a narrative using a rarely seen experimental technique; pixilation. Since the camera is designed for 16mm motion pictures, we had to disengage the motor and manually trigger the camera to advance one frame at a time.

Getting the motion to look right proved to be tricky:

We did some testing of the process to make sure that we had our math correct. Film is projected at 24 frames/second and we decided to go with 3 frames per movement in order to give us a motion that was jerky but still fluid enough. Over 2 days we shot the project around Bloomington, Indiana using our 3 frame burst method. The intro is a set of stills that we had printed out and then shot those onto 16mm film, only the falling and end scene were shot with continuous motion. The work that went into this project was long and VERY tedious but really paid off in the end to create something that is memorable and gave me further experiences in another method of stop motion.

We love the creative little ideas they were able to make work using pixilation, whether it’s the way the guy ate his bread, or the arm passing through the tree.