A Film Is A Film Is A Film by Eva von Schweinitz. Press Notes

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1 A Film Is A Film Is A Film by Press Notes Contact: 45 Hawthorne St #6E Brooklyn, NY

2 A Film Is A Film Is A Film Length: 16 minutes Camera: Panasonic Lumix GH2 Digital Sony FS100 Digital Paillard 16mm Bolex Tri-X Reversal Film Projection Format: Digital Full Production Credits Director: Camera: Jorge Torres-Torres Sound Recording: Kara J Schmidt Editing: Music: Disintegration Loops - William Basinski READ - Ryoichi Kurokawa Soundroll Synopsis Digital projection is taking over the movie screens world wide. As the material of celluloid film slowly disappears from her workplace, the director, who has worked as a movie projectionist for more than 10 years, embarks on an investigation into what makes film special. Is it just nostalgia? Is there a connection between how we watch movies and how we see the world? She starts bleaching, painting and scratching film in order to find answers and accompanies Roger Getzoff who has likely fixed every film projector in New York's movie theaters over the course of the last 40 years on his trips. These days, he is being called by the very same houses to take out those still-functioning machines and replace them with digital equipment. A Film Is A Film Is A Film is a personal look into a changing profession and a visceral portrait of a vanishing material.

3 Director's Biography, born in Bonn, Germany, is an interdisciplinary artist, primarily working in theater and film. She became a movie projectionist over 10 years ago, starting at a small 100-seat theater in her hometown, and is employed at New York's Film Forum since moving to the city in 2008, occasionally working at Anthology Film Archives and MoMA. Eva holds a B.A. in film with focus on screenwriting from International Film School Cologne, Germany. Several of her screenplays were realized as short films, featured at film festivals, and broadcast on TV in Germany. Her short documentary early hours was nominated for the German short film award in As a 2014 MFA candidate in the Performance and Interactive Media Arts program at Brooklyn College, she has been focussing her research on socially engaged works, interactive theatrical structures and immersive game designs that blur the line between the analog and the digital world, and between the fictional and the real. Eva is a member of Elevator Repair Service theater, with whom she toured internationally, and was the associate video designer for their most recent Off-Broadway production Arguendo. She is also the co-founder and co-director of the Germany-based theater company pulk fiktion with whom she researches and develops contemporary theatrical experiences for children and youth. Her shows autokino and The Rest of the World have been presented at festivals across Germany and Europe. Director's Statement The inspiration to create this documentary came from the urge to record a moment in history. While many written pieces appeared about the death of celluloid and the developments in the film industry, I felt the necessity to offer a direct view, a visual report from the projection booths, a place I ve known and loved for many years, and where, worldwide, a drastic shift was occurring. When full functioning 35mm projectors started to be removed from movie theaters around me, I just had to pick up a camera and document this change. So my particular point of view and my personal and emotional connection to the topic became the catalyst to tell this story. I wanted to allow the audience a glimpse into the occurrences behind the scenes of the movies they were watching. Further, I kept asking myself: What does all this mean? What does it mean that we re constantly moving away from the analog into the digital. Then what are we going to do with our physical bodies? I m a child of the digital age myself, yet I didn t and still don t want to miss celluloid film. I began to investigate its particularities and uniqueness by starting to work with it creatively. My intention is to show why it is worth caring about the loss of this beautiful material, and provide reasons that go beyond nostalgia.

4 Further Notes from the Director Geographical Aspects Although the events documented are occurring world wide, this documentary is also closely connected to New York. It was shot exclusively in the area, partly at Film Forum where I have worked for more than 5 years now. Film Forum is a wonderful landmark in the landscape of this city s movie theaters, with its program of independent premieres and repertory films, and as the only autonomous nonprofit cinema in New York City and one of the few in the United States of America. It s also one of the last places that is able to show the old style 3D where both projectors are running simultaneously, one for each eye. Then there is Roger Getzoff, an amazing character, both in the doc and in real life, who grew up here and who has been working behind the scenes of New York s film screens for over 40 years. He knows all the movie houses around here inside out - even those that don t exist anymore - and everybody in the business knows him. I m pretty sure there s nobody like him around the city. Further, I developed most of my 16mm film at Paclab in Manhattan. One of the few last labs standing. Film Funding The documentary was entirely-self funded and produced. When I was at B&H to gather some of the essential equipment, the sum was increasing, and I looked at my budget, starting to get worried. But the guy behind the counter said: What better reason is there to spend your money on than filmmaking? Until today, I think he was absolutely right. And he was a great salesman too. Fun aside, the biggest help in making this doc was the support of all the people who donated their assistance, talent and time, and were crucial in bringing this work to life. In the main credits it looks like the film was made by few people, but if you look at the list of Thank Yous, you will see that it was not. Every gesture of help, no matter how small, brought me a little bit further, a bit closer to the finished piece I have now, and for that I am continuously grateful. And yes, I d have liked to pay those whose name is in the credits more than lunch and beer. A big aspect of low / no budget filmmaking is that, apart from being dependent on the good hearts of others, is that one has to get creative, find resources in unusual places, and get inventive when there are none. I used the darkroom of my university to develop my exposure experiments, edited together film strips with the splicers at work, and I shlepped equipment around the subway a lot. Music An important part of the soundtrack are pieces from William Basinksi s Disintegration Loops which are derived from deteriorating magnetic tape. They are the perfect acoustic reflection of the film s topic, the perishability and the disappearance of celluloid film. I also worked with music from artist Ryoichi Kurokawa s album READ. To me, his work is very evocative of the intersection where the analog and the digital meet. His sounds accompany the opening section of the film, and I think they help introduce that tension.

5 Process It took me two years to make this film. I had started shooting in the summer of 2012, a few months before I began my MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Arts at Brooklyn College. As a way to continue working on it during grad school, I took two independent studies. One of them was a class in nonfiction video production at Hunter College over the course of which I finished shooting and completed a rough edit. The other one was at the photo lab at Brooklyn College where I learned how to develop my exposure experiments. It took me countless hours to get the chemical formula right, as well as the order of the process and the timing. I even built an LED exposure device to perfect the results. The devil, and possibly the Zen, is in the details. In certain ways A Film Is A Film Is A Film is about creativity, passion, patience, and focus, things I think are inherent to working with film, something that it teaches you. I enjoyed the blind moments in the darkroom, where only my hands could see. Something about the developing process is innately magical. The fact that you have something in your hands that is there, but that you can't see yet, and that will disappear if you try to look at it too soon, made me think of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Eurydice's lover Orpheus has succeeded in resurrecting her from the dead by making a deal with Hades, the God of Death. They will walk back together into the world of the living, but Eurydice will walk behind Orpheus and he can't turn around to look at her until they reach the world of the living. Right before they get there, he can't stand not to know and turns around. There she is, beautiful and the next second, gone. Back to the world of the dead. Many a times, I turned into Orpheus, and my Eurydices vanished into nothingness, leaving me with clear strips of film, and the only difference was that I never knew, was never able to see, what I had lost before it disappeared. Forgetting the time or even an entire step of the process will change the results and often render nothing. An hour of work, gone. But, eventually, I was able to bring Eurydice into this world, and the results were absolutely rewarding. What this process taught me was persistence, and belief. Things take time. And if something doesn't work out the first, second or third time, it still doesn't mean that it's not meant to be.

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