Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

VIDEO - Tambay's First Film!

A nostalgic trip on a not-so chilly Friday morning...

Roughly 9 years ago, I was living in the San Francisco bay area, taking film workshop classes at a local University, daily raiding the city's largest, most eclectic video rental store, called simply, Le Video, for every Godard, Fellini and Tarkovsky film I could get my hands on (mostly on VHS by the way). And, eventually, towards the end of my second year there, I worked on my final class assignment, which was also the very first film I ever made!!

Sure, I had picked up a 16MM Bolex and Scoopic, as well as several Super 8 brands earlier in the semester, and shot 50ft and 100ft rolls of Kodak and Fuji film at random, just to get a feel for the equipment (cameras, light meters and such); but I didn't do any of that with the intent to produce a completed film.

As most filmmakers will agree, there's a thrill one gets from picking up a film camera the very first time, and heading out into the "wilderness" to point and shoot, uncertain of what will develop later in the lab. And it's an even bigger thrill when one does so as part of some grand planned strategy to piece together a finished work of art that will be seen by others other than your mother and sisters, who do so more out of familial obligation than a genuine desire.

So, I unveil, for your viewing pleasure (or displeasure, depending on how you look at it), the very first film I made, as a young 20-something starry-eyed, self-involved, wannabe filmmaker, who genuinely felt that he had a voice that needed to be heard.

Watching it again after many years, I must say that I'm not cringing at the sight of it as much as I thought I would, when I dug it up last night, and uploaded it to YouTube.

It was shot with a 16MM Canon Scoopic, and cost about $900, including film stock, lab work, and transfer to DV.

It's 8 minutes long, and I'm in it, with my then over-sized clothing (very much embracing the zeitgeist). There was no script, and little planning. My girlfriend at the time starred in it, and I recall she had almost no faith in the production, because it seemed like I had no idea what the hell I was doing; and, honestly, some of the time, that was true! But when she saw the final cut, she was moved.

Enjoy :o)


  1. SolShine7 said...

    That's pretty good! I like your style. And the ending was cute. You've gotta make some more movies.

  2. The Sujewa said...

    Yeah, nice short. Like I said months ago when I saw it, very nice shots of San Fran. Very good for a first film (no one is gonna see my first two films for a long, long time :).

    - Sujewa

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