Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa

IFCO Stories – Yan Zhu

Dear IFCO supporter,

My name is Yan Ran Zhu and I am a student in film studies at Carleton University—I expect to graduate with a degree in film Studies this year. During my research and studies about film theory and history, I began to take an interest in filmmaking. At first I was shooting on digital, but I have always wondered how film actually works. Through a filmmaker friend, I was introduced to the Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa (IFCO).

IFCO is a one of a kind not-for-profit organization focussed on analogue filmmaking. It offers new filmmakers like me, an opportunity to become familiar with the art form while preserving the technology of the analogue filmmaker: Super 8mm, 16mm, 35mm. IFCO also offers us a platform to showcase films. It gives filmmakers, such as myself and my friends, the otherwise unavailable opportunity to screen our films to the public.

I believe stories told on film are richer and more textured than stories told digitally. The economics of digital media allow for a shoot-and-go approach to storytelling, while the economics of filmmaking require a slower and more thoughtful approach. When I make analogue films, I have to think carefully about a scene. What message am I trying to convey? When will the actors come into the frame, how many seconds in each shot, what mood is created by my angle? I like the spontaneity afforded in digital creation, but film is about slowing down; it makes you think more.

It is for these reasons, that I think it’s really important for film as a medium, to be preserved. It’s really important to let this art form survive, because film is art. It’s also music. It’s visual representation that combines a lot of disciplines. It reflects society’s changes, humanity, it combines literature with a screenplay. It’s an interdisciplinary art form, and that art form is really important for film in its physical form to exist. It’s different. It’s romanticized. It’s poetic. Because you have to have this process of waiting until the film gets developed; when you shoot, you have to send the film off to the lab, and wait for it to be processed and transferred. You have to have a sense of patience. When you see a projection, it’s a real film, with light going through it, with the projector sounds. It’s vivid. To think objectively, film and digital are really different kinds of art forms. Film should be known by people these days, and simply put, IFCO is the best analogue film resource in the country, which speaks to just how amazing FILM is!

It’s for these reasons that I’m asking you to support IFCO. By making a contribution below, you will allow IFCO to continue to meet its twin goals of preserving analogue filmmaking, while allowing young filmmakers such as myself, access to analogue film creation. I really hope that you will help us preserve and promote the beauty of analogue film through making a charitable contribution to IFCO.

Sincerely,

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