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Matt's blog for exclusive behind-the-scenes photos and videos, news, interviews, updates with film subjects, sources of inspiration, and more.

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Monday
Jul092012

American Tintype

Welcome to the new Matt Morris Films website!
 
I'll be using this blog to provide updates on the subjects of my previous films, as well as offer a behind-the-scenes look at whatever I'm currently working on.

With that in mind, I'd like to announce my next short documentary, American Tintype.
Self-portrait of Harry and me at the end of filming.
 
American Tintype is a 4 minute film about Harry Taylor, a North Carolina photographer who specializes in antique photographic processes.

When I released Pickin' & Trimmin' and Mr. Happy Man on Vimeo, I realized how difficult it is to ask for 10 to 20 minutes of someone's attention on the internet. I thought it might be fun to make a film with a running time of less than five minutes. I hadn't shot any of my films entirely myself, and I'd been wanting to try that out as well.

Not long after, I came across an article about Harry and was excited about the prospect of getting tintype engagement photos done. It would be a unique experience, and having a one-of-a-kind physical object as the end result, instead of a CD full of jpeg files, was really appealing to me.

The process was fascinating. Harry's modified 8x10 view camera looked more like a piece of furniture than a camera, especially in an era when most people just use their phones to take photos. There's also a reason why you never see people smiling in 19th century photos- you have to sit perfectly still for about 15 seconds in order to get a decent exposure. Shifting even the slightest amount can result in a blurry photo, and since it takes about 10 minutes to make one image, there's a lot of pressure. 

 

I was thrilled with the results, so a few months later I returned and spent an afternoon filming with Harry. The film has been edited and should be released at the end of August. One of the most exciting aspects of this particular film is the people I am collaborating with. I'll be writing updates shortly to let you know who they are and how they're contributing to the film. 

In the meantime, wander around the site, and check out the new Matt Morris Films page on Facebook.

-Matt

Thanks to Stuart Hobday for creating such a great website!