Morris Engel’s camera featured in Joel Schemowitz’s new book about filmmaking

Morris Engel’s innovative hand-made 35mm camera used for his films is featured in his former associate’s Joel Schlemowitz wonderful new book! Joel is a talented filmmaker, professor at The New School and a new father!

Experimental Filmmaking and the Motion Picture Camera is an introductory guide to experimental filmmaking, surveying the practical methods of experimental film production as well as the history, theory, and aesthetics of experimental approaches.

Author Joel Schlemowitz explains the basic mechanism of the camera before going on to discuss slow and fast motion filming, single-frame time lapse, the long take, camera movement, workings of the lens, and the use of in-camera effects such as double-exposure. A comprehensive guide to using the 16mm Bolex camera is provided. Strategies for making films edited in camera are covered. A range of equipment beyond the basic non-sync camera is surveyed. The movie diary and film portrait are examined, along with the work of a range of experimental filmmakers including Stan Brakhage, Rudy Burckhardt, Paul Clipson, Christopher Harris, Peter Hutton, Takahiko Iimura, Marie Losier, Rose Lowder, Jonas Mekas, Marie Menken, Margaret Rorison, Guy Sherwin, and Tomonari Nishikawa.

This is the ideal book for students interested in experimental and alternative modes of filmmaking. It provides invaluable insight into the history, methods, and concepts inherent to experimental uses of the camera, while providing students with a solid foundation of techniques and practices to foster their development as filmmakers.

Supplemental material, including links to films cited in the book, can be found at

Author bio
Joel Schlemowitz is an experimental filmmaker who works with 16mm film, shadowplay, magic lanterns, and stereographic media. He teaches experimental filmmaking at The New School, New York. His first feature film, 78rpm, is an experimental documentary about the gramophone and his short works have been shown at numerous film festivals including the New York Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and Ann Arbor Film Festival. For more information visit

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