Professor Delusia on film

16mm series , 2008

In the summer of 2008, working with (then student assistant on my "Modern" film series) Eric Hill, I brought up my fascination with the work of Melies and the sophistication of his special effects that he invented for cinema over 100 years ago. Eric shared this love and so we committed ourselves to making something in Melies style. The first film we made was shot with a Bolex (presented on Youtube as episode 3) with all of the effects created within the camera. It proved to be very difficult although we did okay for a first try. I then decided that if Melies had digital technology at his disposal, as we do, he would use it. Therefore, the other episodes are each shot on video, primarily against green screens, with all of the effects constructed in the computer. They were shot very quickly without scripts or even a plan as I assembled concepts, actions, and shots in my head and just charged from one video to the next. The manipulated video was then transferred back to film using kinescoping techniques we'd been using for "Modern". The hand-processed images then looked and felt aged. I posted 13 of them on a weekly basis on Youtube as a portion of my 2008 weekly video challenge (a personal challenge proposed between Victoria filmmaker Scott Amos and myself). There was a high degree of inconsistency with the images due to the use of numerous short-end rolls of 16mm film I'd used to transfer to. Some were even colour rolls, processed as black and white. Most were outdated. Some worked well, others very poorly and needed to be redone. I screened some of them on film but many needed to be significantly enhanced to bring out the image. I counted on this being the case, relying on the processing to cover the roughness of the effects and the imprecise green screen and rudimentary kinescoping. The curtains that open and close are done with a cloth napkin on top of a bed. Eric created the music on a grand piano that had been housed in the NMSL studio at the time. The only cost incurred on it that wasn't absorbed into my other projects or into existing materials was the purchasing of about $25 in really nice green cloth that I used for wrapping my face or other places to green screen with.

The 2008 episodes are untitled.

one (1:11) stack of heads

two (1:06) float on water

three (2:25) vase of oats

four (0:54) pull self out of hat

five (1:19) many arms

six (1:42) eye in hand

seven (0:56) flying

eight (1:22) under coat pattern

nine (0:42) wiping disappearance/transformation

ten (1:45) microscope

eleven (0:47) juggling heads

twelve (1:02) stone face on Mexican road

thirteen (0:52) hands on a watch

The character recurred in a number of other films, namely:

2008 - Bonnie's Indescribable Predicament in collaboration with Eric Hill

2008 - Professor Delusia Jr. with my son William.

2008 - film loop

2014 - Canister the Robot, disguising himself in Professor Delusia's coat (or is the other way around?) wreaks havoc on the mind of Geremy Lague and other graduate students in "The Cabinet of Professor Delusia".

2016 - Performances with projection at the YAAG: "Tales from the Nocturnalist"