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Railings

Guy Sherwin
1977
10mins black & white sound 16mm
for vertical format projection (projector on its side). Also 2-screen version (1977)

Railings

Images of iron railings are converted into sound. One of a series of films that investigates sound qualities generated directly by the image track.

I wanted to hear what railings sound like - this time not by running a stick along them - but by filming them from various angles and perspectives, and then listening to them pass over the projector's sound-reproducing head.
Having access to the London Film-Makers' Co-op printer meant that I could control the film as it ran through the printer, sometimes freezing the railings - I was curious what sound a still image would make.

The projector lies on its side projecting images (and their accompanying sounds) upright onto the screen.
G.S. 2003

The images that you see are being scanned by the optical sound playback head in the projector, and are simultaneously transmitted as sound. This particular film makes use of the aural effect of visual perspective; the steeper the perspective on the railings, the closer the intervals of black and white, and the higher the frequency of sound. I also wanted to find out what freeze frames and visual strobe would 'sound' like. Visual strobe is created both in the camera (railings versus camera shutter) and in the printing stage (slipping frames versus printer shutter).
G.S. c1979

note: see also lead essay by Nicky Hamlyn

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