Photographs of Films: Movies Condensed Into a Single Frame — “its visual DNA” by Jason Shulman

Jason Shulman photographs the entire duration of a movie with ultra-long exposures, creating a single image, these impressionistic blurs with faint distinguishing features:

“You could take all these frames and shuffle them like a deck of cards,
and no matter the shuffle, you would end up with the same image I have arrived at.”

Dumbo (1941)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

In an interview with Another Magazine, Shulman elaborated; “I set up my camera […] pointed it at a movie, expecting that, if you expose the negative for an hour and a half with a film in front of it, you’d get a bit like what you get when you mix balls of Play-Doh together— just a brown monotone hue. So I was very surprised when in fact these kinds of rather interesting translations of films started occurring.”

“You can learn something about the director’s style from this kind of kooky translation: you can learn that Hitchcock deals with people, for example, Kubrick deals with composition, Bergman deals with … I mean lots of Bergman films are kind of moody and psychological, much more so than other films.”

“So it’s odd that in one exposure all of these things, although very subjective, kind of come through.”

“There are roughly 130,000 frames in a 90-minute film and every frame of each film is recorded in these photographs,” Shulman says.

Some films didn’t work so well, however. “I shot Avatar, for example – I shot all James Cameron’s films – and what I got most is literally just a kind of Pantone swatch at the end, a kind of plain, flat blue, because he cuts very quickly, the camera’s always moving. So it all depends on the director’s style.”

Shulman’s other work extends beyond photography, encompassing installation, sculpture and video.


Under The Skin (2013)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Alien (1979)

Stalker (1979)

“Each of these photographs is the genetic code of a film — its visual DNA”

~ by Fionnlagh on July 17, 2019.

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