My films and videos, usually shot outdoors, explore varying levels of experience. They may examine how visual perception of the landscape is mediated as it is reflected on a pond, “painted” by raindrops hitting a car window, or by where the camera focuses; or they may show how reality is filtered and changed in the human mind as it is observed, recorded, imagined, or recalled by individuals or through collective historical memory. The soundtracks that accompany my rich images often reveal what is not seen: the occupants of a train from which we view the passing scenery, the man-made suburban setting that appears to be wilderness, or the modern city outside of the ancient structure shown on the screen.
I cut my filmmaking teeth shooting with a Bolex and editing on a flatbed. Shooting on film with this camera, I was unable to record sync sound and flatbed editing permitted only simple effects. This experience along with my previous training as a painter with a special interest in color, have influenced how I now make digital videos.
In the last few years as I have made the transition to digital video, shooting on a variety of low-end and portable digital cameras, I have still produced strong visual results. The transition to lightweight cameras has allowed greater spontaneity in how and where I can shoot. My soundtracks now include both sync and wild sound recorded on location and in the studio, but in editing I often separate the sync sound from its connected footage to move it around and/or to layer it as if it were recorded separately from the picture. My film roots are obvious also in the way I edit; I use few and fairly simple digital effects.
—Ann Deborah Levy
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