Peter Samson
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Theme and Variations (the Leeds station project) | 2007

(2007) Super 16mm/DVCAM. colour, 14 minutes.
First screened at the Evolution Festival, Leeds.

The film was shot on 16 mm film over two winters (2005-2007), and the outcome was strongly influenced by practical considerations. Safety rules on the station do not permit the use of tripods; yet I knew that a hand-held camera was not an option- if the project was about human movement then the frame itself and the architecture must be still. The resulting use of a standard luggage trolley(as shown) affected the outcome of the film in a positive way; first, obviously, its mobility allowed instant changes of position; but the fixed eye-level became part of the character of the film. People would completely block out the frame which would then reappear slightly changed.

Often, compositions that resulted from this fixed eye-level, would be 'odd' because they were a compromise- something difficult to achieve consciously. And in the end, I became fascinated by the way things happened within a static frame, so I rejected the impulse to use camera movement of any kind: no panning; no tilting; no zooming and no tracking. The same austerity carried over into the editing, where there are no soft transitions between shots; only cuts.

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