Editorial is the essence of cinema. Montage frames ideas just as the lens frames its subjects. DiCE (Direct Cinematic Editorial) approaches the construction of a finished film from a position of zero expectation. The sequence – and therefore the idea that it frames – emerges organically from the process of capturing the images rather than from a calculated and temporally-distinct review process. As a result, the montage acquires a unique and unforeseen identity reflective of the filmmaker’s ephemeral perceptual instincts and the flow of activity upon which these instincts are focused. In our view, this is the purest iteration of the cinematic impulse. By inviting artists of varying disciplines and backgrounds to create DiCE films, we aim to catalogue ways of seeing, experiencing and narrating outside the context of traditional cinematic editorial modes. The films produced through this initiative will be made available to the public through screenings, installations and both DVD and online distribution.
There are no limitations as to the subject matter, structure or intention of the films curated by the DiCE project. Categories such as “fiction”, “experimental” or “documentary” do not apply here. Participating filmmakers need only observe the following limitations:
- Standard length: Each DiCE film curated for this phase of the initiative will be precisely one hour in length. This is the full duration of the DV tape included in the DiCE FilmKit.
- No editing outside of camera: The editorial moment for a DiCE film occurs simultaneous to the moment of inscription. Filmmakers are not permitted to edit or modify their footage using any equipment exterior to the camera itself.
- Filmmakers may, if they wish, rewind or cue the tape within the camera to capture certain shots out of sequence.
- The completed DiCE film must be returned to Blue Blouse immediately after filming ends. The tape may not be tampered with or exchanged.
- If a tape breaks or otherwise becomes unusable before the one hour time limit has been reached, filmmakers should consider their DiCE film complete and submit it immediately.
“Bobby” is a short video created to give participating filmmakers a sense of the kind of work they could create using the DiCE constraints. The video, a documentary about a troubled yet optimistic mental health survivor, was shot over the course of two days in the Summer of 2007. Originally intended as a full-length DiCE project, the video was cut short after the cassette tape jammed in my camera. Significantly, the moment of the film’s termination, imposed upon the narrative by the DiCE ruleset (rule 5, above), is productive of a strangely satisfying ending.