Sound We Can See: An Experimental Optical Sound Workshop

Short course


This ½ day workshop will illuminate ways in which optical sound can be recorded directly onto 16mm film, using the Auricon CM72 16mm sound-on-film camera, a device which allows both sound and image to be photographically recorded simultaneously.


Artists James Holcombe and Rob Szeliga will deliver this workshop building on their experiences of working with 16mm film. The workshop will be contextualised by screening

examples of work made by artists and filmmakers exploring and exploiting optical sound and sound-on-film technology.


During the workshop participants will be working in groups of four with one Auricon camera and amplifier. Inspired by the Andy Warhol Screen Tests of the 1960s that utilised the same camera technology, each participant will be given 25-foot of film to record a very short image and sound piece direct to camera.


Participants are asked to prepare a short piece of sound material in advance of the workshop to bring with them. This can be a prepared audio file of up to 45-seconds in length (16bit / 44.1khz stereo wav file) that will be recorded during the workshop from a laptop connected to the Auricon amplifier. Alternatively, participants can prepare and bring suitable sound-making devices/sources (electronic or acoustic) to the workshop to perform a direct improvisation to camera as their piece.


Finished films will be processed together and projected as negatives, then telecined at 2k quality and made available to participants post the workshop.


We will cover:

  • A basic introduction to the history, theory and practice of sound-on-film technology
  • Loading, operating and shooting with the Auricon CM72 camera
  • Experimenting with the Auricon CM72 camera and amplifier with different sound sources
  • Exploring variations in soundtrack exposure and lens aperture settings
  • Light metering using mobile phones
  • Loading and using a cine film processing tank in the light
  • Hand processing motion picture film as a group (100ft total)
  • Working with motion picture film in affordable ways


Note: This half-day is limited to four participants and builds on some of the ideas covered in the Cameraless Film workshop taking place the previous days. However, participants in the optical sound workshop do not need to have attended the Cameraless Film workshop on the previous day.

Freelance Rate: £165

Corporate Rate: £325


How to apply

Application deadline:

If you experience any problems making your application please contact us 01494 677 903

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