Experiment! It's the future.
Most beginner filmmakers fall in love with the glamour of the standard way of cinematography or any other artistic departments in film. They find a formula from an artist and they almost often don't break out of it. I know some filmmakers that have such a rigid way of working, that the product almost becomes stale. It's as though the artwork became more of a job. In some circumstances, clients encourage the filmmaker to shoot it in a standard way, but I'm focused on the individual artistic growth of a filmmaker. Those who are hired for their creativity, and can offer a unique perspective. I will mostly talk about cinematography and experimental film-making.
The history of cinema in itself was an experiment. I won't tell the whole history of cinema (that's for another article), but to give some: German expressionism, Soviet montage, French New Wave, and Dogma 95 movement. Here is a link for a general summary. Link
Many accomplished cinematographer have used experimental qualities to tell a story effectively. Gordon Willis and his use of darkness, along with Bradford Young. Emmanuel Lubezki with his use of very wide lenses on closeups. Conrad Hall with his use of silhouettes, Vittorio Storaro and his use of color, and many more established cinematographer. They became the artist they are because they pushed the boundaries of film making to tell the story effectively.
Some recent films that show experimental qualities include, Ida (with its high headroom framing), Son of Saul (with its frontal face perspective throughout the whole film), and Mommy (with its use of changing aspect ratio).
Experimental Film nowadays have somehow fallen into their own category. To some they are seen as outcasts, or a niche, but to others like myself consider them as the brave filmmakers who are kind enough to share their experiments These filmmakers make almost no money and yet publicize profound artforms. Filmmakers include, Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage, Lynne Saches, Chantal Akerman, and Jonas Mekas. These filmmakers produced very visual striking, thought provoking, and emotionally inducing films. Some play with time, perception, film distortion, breaking the 4th wall, animation, texts and many more. (Feel free to explore their work. The analysis of their work goes beyond my capabilities.)
Don't overlook, animated films as well. Animated film, including, stop motion, anime, puppets, and computer generated, are also very experimental. They give the artist more possibility of experimenting since they don't have as many technical constraint as live action film. They can create new worlds that are beautiful, bleak, and unworldly. Some examples are the Miyakazi Films, Howls Moving Castle and Spirited Away; Rene Laloux's Fantastic Planet; and Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell.
I find myself engulfed in the filmmaker's world through experimental films. I've always been interesting in pushing the boundaries of art in college. I believed that artists can't expand without trying to explore the boundaries of their art form. My experimental film class was one of the most beneficial classes towards my pursuit in this medium because it taught me to think, why and why not.
Here is my experimental film when I took that class.
https://vimeo.com/219173793. In this experimental film I explore conditioning of stimulus through colors, the use of ASMR, and the synesthesia of our senses communicating to each other. I was inspired through the psychological phenomenon of Synesthesia: Example, how people with this phenomenon can see music and taste colors.
Since experimental films aren't too popular, it is very hard to come across it or know it's existence. Fandor.com is one of the best sources for experimental films. It has a subscription fee, but it has helped me expand the possibility of films. If you live in New York., MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) has some experimental pieces as well, not just film. And if you want to see some live experimental films, Anthology Film Archive offers some of the best experimental experiences. Some films required a very open mind. There are some disturbing images that can be presented, so prepare for anything.
Experiment and become the future! The good thing with being experimental is there are no rules. The point is to break the rules we have never questioned its purpose. Don't limit yourself with the film/video medium either. See what interests you and incorporate that into your art and vision.
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