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The Jonas Mekas Diary Film Project

All images: Jonas Mekas

Project open to students of University of the Arts London, and Serpentine Gallery and the BFI's education programmes by application only. Project blog is at: http://diaryfilmworkshop.wordpress.com
Sessions take place on the 6th, 7th, 8th and 14th and 15th of December, a final screening takes place on the 26th January 2013.

LOST LOST LOST: The Jonas Mekas Diary Film Project

The Jonas Mekas Diary Film Project is a workshop programme intended as an introduction to working with the diary form as a cinema of free and poetic self-expression. It is aimed at young people with little to no experience of working with film and video and encourages the students to explore the relationship between themselves and the medium, engaging with their past and present, their friends and families and their immediate environment, putting ordinary lives into the frame, exploring the beauty and the poetry of the every day.

The workshop will take place in London, England and will be led by one of the true pioneers of the diary film, Jonas Mekas, a Lithuanian-born New Yorker who has been a tireless champion of independent cinema for over 60 years. It coincides with twin retrospectives of his work at BFI Southbank and the Serpentine Gallery.

The workshop is generously supported by the BFI, Serpentine Gallery, University of the Arts London, I-Dailies lab, and Anthology Film Archives in New York.

The project takes place on December 6th, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th (both practical workshop days at no.w.here) and January 26th 2013.

Venues and contact details
December 6th and 8th
Sackler Education Space
Serpentine Gallery
London W2 3XA
T 020 7402 6075
Contacts: Polly Brannan: pollyb@serpentinegallery.org and Emily Rand: emilyr@serpentinegallery.org

December 6th, 7th, and 26th January and for digital editing access over the holidays
BFI Southbank
Belvedere Road,
South Bank††
020 7928 3232
Contacts David Edgar: david.edgar@bfi.org.uk

December 14th and 15th
316 - 318 Bethnal Green Road
E2 0AG
0207 729 4494

Contact: James Holcombe: james.holcombe@no-w-here.org.uk / 0207 729 4494


Day One: Thursday 6th December at the Serpentine Gallery at 3pm and BFI at 8:15pm:

Project introduction and walk through the exhibition.

3pm: Meet at the Serpentine Sackler Learning Centre for an introduction to the project from James Holcombe of no.w.here. It is essential that you attend this session as all the information on the project will be given out and all other participants will be there. At 3:30pm Curator Kathryn Rattee from the Serpentine, leads us on a tour of the Jonas Mekas exhibition. This will be followed by an informal discussion around the show and screening on DVD of Mekas Short Films. Around 6pm we will finish and head over to the BFI for food etc. At 8:15pm at the BFI Southbank, we will reconvene in the Benugo Bar for drinks and socialising, this is followed at 8:45pm with Jonas Mekas in conversation. For more details please see: https:whatson.bfi.org.uk

Day Two: Friday 7th December at the BFI Southbank at 7:10pm: Screening of Lost Lost Lost

At 7:10pm there is the option of attending a screening of LOST LOST LOST in NFT2. All participants will have free entry to this event. Ideally you will attend this screening to get a greater context for Jonasí work and life in cinema.

Lost Lost Lost 1976, 178 min.
16mm, color and black & white: The period I am dealing with in these six reels was a period of desperation, of attempts to desparately grow roots into the new ground, to create new memories. In these six painful reels I tried to indicate how it feels to be in exile, how I felt in those years. These reels carry the title Lost Lost Lost, the title of a film myself and my brother wanted to make in 1949, and it indicates the mood we were in, in those years. It describes the mood of a Displaced Person who hasn't yet forgotten the native country but hasn't gained a new one. The sixth reel is a transitional reel where we begin to see some relaxation, where I begin to find moments of happiness. New life begins. What happens later, you'll have to see the next installment of reels ..."Jonas Mekas

Day Three: Saturday 8th December at the Serpentine at 2:50pm: In conversation with Jonas Mekas. 2:50pm Meet at the Serpentine Gallery Sackler Learning Space. From 3pm until 6pm we will have the opportunity to ask Jonas Mekas about his work, life, film. We would like participants to have framed questions for Jonas for this session. We can also discuss and plan what works you might make in response to the exhibition and work.

Day Four: Friday 14 December at no.w.here, 10:30 start, 5:30pm finish: Bolex 16mm camera session one

In this first session you will spend a day with James Holcombe from no.w.here, looking at the Bolex camera and light meters - how the cameras are used can be used, how to light meter for film. This is an opportunity to learn through shooting - using single frame animation, rewinding film in camera, time exposures and improvising with the Bolex as Jonas has in his work.This day includes a group shooting exercise with 4 cameras, using 50 foot per group of reversal film (Agfa ST8) and lighting if needed. Films will be hand processed in the afternoon session so that participants get to see the look and textures of film and what they have done. This is basically a first test day. If there is time at the end of this session. At the end of the day, there will be time to plan the second session on the following day where you will shoot b/w material for your work.

Day Five: Saturday 15 December at no.w.here, 10:30 start, 5:30pm finish: Bolex 16mm camera session two.

For this session you should ideally bring material you intend to shoot in your work - this could be photographs, objects, or you can have devised a scenario to shoot with the camera. The idea is to use the session as a group to shoot sections of black and white film which will be developed and digitised at no.w.here and I-Dailies for use in your own work over the holiday period.

Each group of three people to one Bolex have two rolls of film to work with, it is up to you how these rolls of film are divided up, individually or as a group.Films will be shot over the day so this is going to be a busy session.
You are actively encouraged to crew up to work together over the holiday period to share resources, knowledge etc. Films will be processed as negatives at no.w.here on the 18th / 19th / 20th December and will be telecined by I-Dailies to HD video. Participants come to no.w.here to collect their work with a hard drive. They will be ready for collection in the first week of January - please arrange with James when you can come to collect them with a hard drive.

Please note that no.w.here is closed from 21st December to the 3rd January

Over the holiday period and January the digital edit suites and computer resources at the BFI will be available at your disposal - for more information and to access these please speak to David Edgar at the BFI.

The deadline for getting work to David Edgar for screening on the 26th is 5pm on the 23rd January

Day Six: Saturday 26th January at the BFI studio at Southbank 12 midday until 4pm. Final session.

In this session we will screening all the films you have made for the project. You are welcome to bring one other person to this session.

What to bring:
A tripod if you have one
A hard drive you own, or you can borrow to collect digitised films from no.w.here in January
Pens, paper
Warm clothes for the sessions at no.w.here - clothes you donít mind getting dirty.

What you may need:
Access to digital video cameras, mobile phones, and computers for editing.
A knowledge or some experience with digital video editing - there are Mac edit suites available at the BFI.

We will be creating a blog about these workshops and explain the types of processes you are using to people who are not lucky enough to be taking part themselves. You might notice one of us quietly filming and taking pictures in the background whilst you work but we will try not to get in your way!

At the end of the project we will also upload some of the work you have created to show people what types of effects can be achieved using the approaches and processes youíll be adopting.

Project blog is at: http://diaryfilmworkshop.wordpress.com

For a google map showing all the venues and participants involved please see: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF&msa=0&msid=

For more information: www.serpentinegallery.org and http://www.bfi.org.uk/


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