Assessment Task 1B: Film Sequence

In 1964 Andy Warhol released a film entitled Empire which he wrote, directed and produced. It was an eight hour and five minute long single,static long shot that showed an atmospheric change.

Figure 1. Andy Warhol’s 1964 film Empire

This technique involves a single shot, unmoving for an extended period of time. It shows the changes that take place to a given area or to a building, the Empire State building in the case of Andy Warhol. Warhol began filming at 7pm and filmed for 8 continuous hours until 3am the next morning. By doing this, the viewer is able to witness the atmospheric changes that occur throughout these hours. Much like Ed Rushca’s art work Twenty-six Gasoline Stations (Alhambra CA: Cunningham Press, 1962), Warhol’s Empire captures something that would often be overlooked or passed as banal or ordinary. This technique brings beauty to the things that we see and pass everyday, by making us slow down and appreciate what we are actually witness to.

I tried to emulate this idea in my work Liverpool, which was a single static long shot down Liverpool Street in Sydney’s CBD. I shot for 40 minutes from a rooftop on the corner of Liverpool and Elizabeth Street as the sun was setting. This provided me with an atmospheric change from light to dark but also people leaving for home and the cities lights being turned on. I chose to make it black and white because I feel that this simplifies the work a bit, really highlighting the changes that occur at this time.

Figure 2. Liverpool Ben Wynn-Taylor 2016


Ruscha. E. Twenty-six Gasoline Stations Alhambra CA: Cunningham Press, 1962

Warhol. A. Empire 1964

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