British artist Jason Shulman uses ultra-long exposures to turn every frame of your favorite films into a single image.
What would you learn about your favorite movie if you could see the entire thing as one picture? How is that even possible? Sculptor Jason Shulman has already done the work for you, developing a process to record each and every one of a film’s 130,000 frames (typical of a 90-minute feature) and merge them into a piece of art.
How did he do it? According to American Photo, “Using a high-resolution computer monitor, Shulman began playing out the entire length of various films, training his camera’s lens on the screen and leaving its shutter open for the entire duration of the movie.”
“Hitchcock is all about character, whereas Kubrick was preoccupied with structure.”
The resulting images of classics like Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Wizard of Oz reveal what Shulman calls the “genetic code” of each film—and insights into their directors, too. Shulman told Wired that “Blurred human figures emerge in the Hitchcock films, whereas what stands out in the photographs of the Kubrick [film]s is symmetry, or some kind of formal composition.” He continued, “I don’t know if you can really draw conclusions from this, but to me it says that Hitchcock is all about character, whereas Kubrick was preoccupied with structure.”
Aside from being a visual treat, the images become an object lesson in cinematic tone, texture and palette, giving us a new way to analyze some of the all-time most beloved and successful films. If you happen to be in London, you’re in luck: new large-scale versions of the images are showing at the Photo London festival until May 21 and at London’s Cob Gallery through June 4. The rest of us can get a little taste below:
A Clockwork Orange
Stanley Kubrick, 1971
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Steven Spielberg, 1977
Alfred Hitchcock, 1954
Stanley Kubrick, 1980
The Silence of the Lambs
Jonathan Demme, 1991
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Tobe Hooper, 1974
Close Encounters reminds me of Turner's paintings. I love those paintings :-)
May 19, 2017 at 9:22AM
How did he do it?
May 19, 2017 at 10:40AM, Edited May 19, 10:40AM
I'm having these printed on canvas
May 19, 2017 at 3:59PM
I would think much more value could be obtained by presenting each film as a series of long exposures. One for each scene.
Another alternative: One exposure for each of the three acts of the film (assuming a three act structure, of course).
May 19, 2017 at 11:32PM, Edited May 19, 11:32PM
Go for it! We'll publish the results. ;)
May 20, 2017 at 9:42PM
Is there any site that provides a more detailed look at his methodology? That American Photo article doesn't reveal much. Neither does his website. In any case, it seems this was merely an art project. I'm skeptical of any data that could be obtained regarding directorial style and intent from single images like these. The Eye of the Beholder sees all, I suppose.
May 21, 2017 at 3:01AM
I prefer Sugimoto
May 20, 2017 at 3:30PM, Edited May 20, 3:30PM
Blue and orange.
May 21, 2017 at 2:11PM