Ema Helena Čulík is a Scottish-Czech filmmaker. She splits her time between Scotland and St Petersburg, Russia, taking photographs, filming documentaries and shorts. She also works for animation company Ultra Pictura as series writer.
Here she talks about how her Minute Cake series of shorts came to be…
Minute Cake – a slice of life in 60 seconds; bi-weekly video blog of filmmaker Ema Čulík
MINUTE CAKE is a project that explores the life of film within internet culture and social media. One minute – perfect for the short attention span. An ephemeral video experience – every few days a new clip appears. Personal democratic video that is still beautiful and meaningful.
For a long time I’ve been interested in the Internet and social media and how they have changed so much about the way we live, communicate and work. It’s inevitable that they’ll change the way we make and consume art too.
The idea for the Minute Cake project came not long after I saw an episode of The Culture Show about the rising influence of YouTube. Gone are the days of radio times, programme schedules and running home to catch your favourite show. Now is the time for on demand and democratic video. Anything you would like to watch can be found on the Internet. Anyone can publish anything and most people are. The Culture Show programme featured young video-bloggers who broadcast their lives to millions of subscribers all over the world. It pitted them against conventional broadcasters, warning that if creators don’t adapt to the new media discourse, they’ll fall by the wayside.
I was very interested by the accessible, ephemeral nature of these blogs, but I thought that there was scope for a different kind of creative content. If it is personal, it can still be artistic. If it’s published every day, it doesn’t have to be made in an everyday way. Inspired by visual textures and rhythms in films like Man with a Movie Camera or Samsara, I came up with the idea to make a series of lyrically shot and edited little one-minute movie slices of the world I see around me.
Our everyday lives are filled with mini details that can seem mundane and trivial, but I have always preferred to see these as the very delights that make the world so beautiful. The way light falls on someone’s face, the sleepy movement of a rocking chair, the glow in a friend’s eyes, the invisible tugging of the wind on a tree branch – for me these are signs that magic imbues everything.
Minute Cake is a way of looking at the world. I love how the world presents patterns and colours and stories ready for me to capture with my camera. Assembling them into cakes and publishing them regularly lets me share this way of looking and draw attention to the small corners of beauty that exist all around us.
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