Future Cinema

Course Site for Future Cinema 1 (and sometimes Future Cinema 2: Applied Theory) at York University, Canada

what are your favourite diy practices?

hi everyone
i thought it would be great tomorrow if you could all come ready to talk about favourite diy practices, groups … any new and interesting distribution models + how any of this has affected your own work.

and take a look at this article posted to rhizome last week – “After the Amateur: Notes”

below is an excerpt. full piece here:



Film, video and photography once fell easily into two categories: professional or amateur.

Professionals mastered their crafts, often through guild-like programs of training, and sought to make a living from their abilities.

Amateurs learned on their own, or through informal clubs of like-minded aficionados, and pursued their arts for reasons other than money or wide-ranging prestige.

Professionals pursued careers. Amateurs pursued hobbies.

Professionals made images for public consumption. Amateurs made images for private use. (“The amateur is not necessarily defined by a lesser knowledge, an imperfect technique…but rather by this: he is the one who does not exhibit, the one who does not make himself heard.” Roland Barthes, “Réquichot and the Body,” 1973)

Corporations created products specifically geared for the amateur in mind—simplified, less expensive, stripped-down versions of professional equipment. Thus Kodak introduced the Brownie in 1900, initially priced at one dollar. Later in the century, 8mm and then Super-8 were promoted to the home-movie market; more adventurous amateur filmmakers took on 16mm.

Technology marketed for amateurs generally did not require as much skill or training as professional equipment. Most amateur gear produced what would be considered a lesser image quality by professionals—in the case of motion pictures, a smaller strip of film than the industry-standard 35mm, thus capable of only lower resolution.

Amateurs were those who did not need to learn, or learned only what they needed.

Professionals demanded certain levels of technical precision in order to reinforce their status as professionals. Amateurs might strive for similar levels of precision, but failing to achieve such a goal would not, of course, preclude their status as amateurs. (Nonetheless, to paraphrase Barthes, there would be no contradiction to say that someone was an “extremely skilled amateur.”)

One can fail to be a professional, but one cannot fail to be an amateur.

Tue, May 5 2009 » Futurecinema_2009, remix/mashup