Captions provided by CCTubes – Captioning the Internet! 86 3D-printed cameras and a few rolls of 16mm film.
Shot on 16mm Kodak using a homemade Time-Slice device, after Tim Macmillan
Victor Van Rossem – Concept, realisation & editing
Tina Schott – Art direction
Thanks to Yvon Poncelet for the flash and technical advice
Shot at De Centrale, Ghent
The history: Back in the early eighties, Tim Macmillan started developing his ‘Time-Slice’ device: a big, wooden, circular construction filled with homemade cameras that all took photos at the same time from different viewpoints, thus ‘freezing’ time inside the circle. With this he laid the foundation for The Matrix’ Bullet-Time and many other manifestations of this same basic technique. Surprisingly, there is not much to find about this original Time-Slice camera. One short Youtube video is pretty much all that remains.
When I first saw that video, I was triggered. A variation on this technique we had all seen in The Matrix, but these images had something extra: a rawness, a sincerity. Much of this I think has to do with the fact that it is all handmade and analog, shot on 16mm film. After a while I forgot about the video again for a few years until I was approached by Black Flower to make a music video for their song ‘Morning In The Jungle’. The flow of the song evoked a feeling of circular motion, and suddenly I remembered Tim Macmillan.
It was the ideal moment to see if I could recreate the device from nothing. The whole project took a little over 6 months, start to finish – there were lots of mistakes and problems along the way, but in the end we made it. The final rig consisted of a wooden base construction to form the circle, a paper leader inside rubber casing to make everything lightproof, and 86 little cameras that were 3D-printed and fitted with small 13mm convex lenses. The 16mm Kodak film could be loaded in and taken through the whole thing with a fragile winding system. Since there is no shutter system on the cameras, everything had to be done in complete darkness, the photos themselves taken with a flash.