A Film, & the chance of a Square Meal
04.09.2013 by Charles Burns
When I first discovered silhouettes they seemed like a tiny corner in the world of art, unloved by the fine-art establishment. The thought of a silhouette documentary was hard to imagine. Today, I am amazed by the journey they have led me. Silhouettes found me as an unknown artist – working on a stall in Covent Garden – and introduced me to the world of corporate entertainment. After putting me through a royal event or two they led me to become an author (“Mastering Silhouettes” was published in 2012.) One day I was amazed to hear myself introduced as an art historian. Now they seem about to turn me into a filmmaker and TV presenter as well.
A Silhouette Documentary Film
Silhouette Secrets is a short silhouette documentary film I’m making, in collaboration with my colleague Andi Reiss. We’ve been thinking about this project for a number of years. The silhouette documentary will look back at some of the secrets and techniques used by silhouettists of the past. It will give them a contemporary twist by trying them out on a modern audience. It will be filmed in a quirky and entertaining manner, full of unexpected visual references to the shadows and silhouettes we see around us everyday.
When thinking about how to fund such a project, Andi & I decided to see if we could crowd fund it using Kickstarter. I’m sure you’ve heard about crowdfunding in the media recently. The principle is to get major artistic projects off the ground using social media to find hundreds of backers. Each backer contributes a modest amount in return for artistic rewards. So, early this morning, we launched a month-long Kickstarter campaign. We have had a lot of fun over the past few weeks, writing and planning rewards, and have created what I hope is a professional-looking presentation. You can see a taster video (which includes some shots of me in action) on our Kickstarter campaign page.
Do let me know what you think, or if you have any suggestions to improve it. Perhaps you will even be tempted by one of the rewards I am offering and become a backer 😉
Real life goes on
In the middle of all this excitement, of course, the real life of the silhouettist must go on. With this in mind I am exhibiting next week at the Square Meal Venues & Events Live show in Old Billingsgate. It would be great to see you if you are planning to go. You’ll find me cutting silhouettes on Pod # M41. Whether your interest is in art, corporate events or filmmaking I’m sure we can find plenty to talk about! As the name implies it may even be possible to find lunch at the show.
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