I’M EXITED to report we’ve at last started filming Silhouette Secrets. We filmed this interview and “how to cut a silhouette” sequence in front of my wall of silhouette duplicate albums. It is unlikely to be used in the film, but I hope it gives a flavour of what we have in mind.
I start by cutting a silhouette of Jake, one of the cameramen, and then go on to talk about my work as a silhouette artist.
How to cut a silhouette
While cutting Jake’s silhouette I give some pointers in how to cut a silhouette. At the moment I’m not sure if this should be a feature of the film or not. It was the main point of my book, but I think the film may go in a different direction.
I go on to talk about how I taught myself to cut silhouettes and how I went on to develop the art. I then talk about likeness, where to look for it and how to capture it. Getting a likeness is always the most challenging aspect of silhouette cutting.
I also talk about the way I work at events and how, on occasion, I seem to “zone out” while cutting. For me, this relates to my idea that silhouette cutting can be more than craft. Silhouettes are true portraits. Like a portrait artist, the goal is to go beyond a physical likeness to say something about the sitter as a person.
I finish by talking about this goal, and how it keeps the art alive for me.
Silhouette Snippets: Charles cuts a silhouette and talks about his work.
The video is nearly 10 minutes long. If you managed to get to the end it would be good to know what you think about it. How do I come across on camera? Is the subject matter interesting? What did you think about Jake’s silhouette?
As far as I know, nobody has ever made a film about silhouette cutting before.
Absolutely phenomenal work. As a photographer, I understand that for a great portrait, you need to get something of the sitter’s personality, but to achieve this through nothing more than a pair of scizzors and a piece of paper…. wow.
I am so glad I’m spending time off to look at your website, re the video- the ten minutes went very quickly. I think because this was presented to the viewer in such a personal way, relaxing the viewer and making them want to listen to more. Both the text and video were filled with fascinating information. Explaining how to cut a silhouette was put over in such an interesting, easy to understand way, a lot more goes into it than at first sight. As an artist I can see it is as a whole someone recognises themselves, but we can’t help to look at our hair, nose, or whatever feature we have, which we want to be cut the way we see it ourselves, which may not be our true likeness, but the intricateness of the outline delights. All my guests adored their silhouettes, some with Facebook pages proudly put them up as their profile picture, which is a wonderful way to show their appreciation to you. I have to scan mine before I can do that of course. Hope your film is really successful.