04 nami: My First and Last 8mm Film Work

Kei Oyama

Hello, everyone.
This time, I would like to write about my oldest work, nami.

It was back in 2000. I had failed to enter university and was preparing for next chance. Exhausted from drawing for the entrance exams, I felt the urge to freely create something I could claim as my original work. Trying to escape from the circumstances, I started attending the Image Forum Institute of the Moving Image, a school that teaches various film genres: experimental, underground and personal. As classes were held in the evening, there were students of all ages and backgrounds, and this created a stimulating atmosphere.

We were given a group assignment to create a work using 8mm film. My proposal was approved by the group. nami was created in this way.

For this film, we gutted fish and put them up on stands to make them appear to stand on their own. We adopted the stop motion technique: capture one frame at time and manipulate the objects between frames. Because fish go off very quickly, we could not afford to spend several days, so we were shooting for 30 hours without any interruption.

To edit 8mm films, we use a simple method of cutting and splicing with tape, and this can cause momentary noises on the splicing parts. To avoid detailed editing later, we had to make precise calculations when shooting every single frame. Unlike video, it is impossible to check shot images on the spot, and the focus and brightness need to be set individually. Looking back at the entire process, I realize how messy it was, but this messiness taught me the basics of filmmaking.

It was when we just became able to edit films using a computer, and then the number of film works was gradually decreasing. As for me, I stopped using film after nami.

The main format used by creators went from 8mm and 16mm film to digital video, and then the size went from SD to HD. In the near future, a format of even higher definition, known as "super high vision," is likely to enter the mainstream of motion picture creation.

The format of household video recordings has also undergone a rapid transition from 8mm to VHS, LD, DVD, Blu-ray, and now data (transferred via Internet), while the screening format at movie theaters is in the process of conversion from 35mm film to DCP (Digital Cinema Projection).

This is a developing medium with a relatively short history and a transitory nature, but these are precisely the features that I find alluring. I cannot even imagine in what format people will enjoy motion picture art in 50 or 100 years from now, but I intend to continue creating works for audience to enjoy, no matter what the format I use.

So, I would like you to watch nami. Because the work contains images of female genitalia, I have uploaded a version, which I voluntarily applied mosaic over such images.


(Note from Editor in Chief: This film is a work of art. Some viewers, however, may find it offensive or disturbing. Please watch it at your own discretion.)

keioyama00.jpg Kei Oyama
Animation artist. Born in Tokyo in 1978.
In 2005, Shinsatsushitsu (Consultation Room), his graduation project at Tokyo Zokei University, won the Gold Prize for the Campus Genius Award, as well as Best Picture for BACA-JA. Oyama has been formally invited to international film festivals such as the Directors' Fortnight of the Cannes International Film Festival. In 2008, he made HAND SOAP for Aichi Arts Center which won him many awards including the Grand Prix for the Holland Animation Film Festival and the Special Prize for the International Animation Festival Hiroshima. In the live motion movies Watashi wa neko sutoka (I'm a cat stalker, 2008) and Gegege no nyobo (Gegege's wife, 2010) Oyama was in charge of making the animation clips. He is now a member of CALF, which he founded with his parents, making Hokago (After School) while producing, distributing, and selling animation works.

Official website: http://www.keioyama.com/
CALF : http://calf.jp/
CALF STUDIO : http://calf.jp/studio/

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