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Entries in We Make Figers (1)

Thursday
Oct212010

Try Figer Sandwiches on Your Next Serious Lunch Break

Serious Lunch recently put up a website featuring early works and other short rough bursts of comic weirdness--it's called We Make Figers. I asked SL's Tim Bierbaum to help me figure out what a figer is.

Hey Tim, what's We Make Figers about? Is this a new thing?

When we were in college we would make funny videos on the camcorder, but we didn't really think about them before we started shooting. We'd be like 'Hey, want to shoot a video?" then think of the idea on the spot. Or think of a starting point and wing it. Literally before each shot say "Ok, what next?" and creating a fragmented sort of story that way. Once we started getting serious about production we began putting a lot more time into script, photography, post. But still shoot these free-form videos once in a while because they were fun. We didn't really intend to put them online, and have been shooting them every once in a while for the past few years. I think we've shot like 50 or so. At some point we were like, well, some weirdo somewhere might enjoy watching these, let's put them on YouTube!

The reason why I keep shooting them is I feel like they function as sort of a film making exercise. The same way a painter will keep a sketchbook to solve compositional problems and work out new ideas in a place where they don't have to worry about the work being judged. The value of the videos themselves is questionable, but for me the purpose of these, besides just having fun with my bros, is strengthening the part of your mind that imagines things in a cinematic way. I get to try new things without having to commit serious production time and without having to thing about how popular it will be. Another interesting thing is when you're shooting with all in-camera edits you're assembling the movie beginning to end. You can't just be like "Ok I'll get a wide shot of this, then close-ups, and we'll just roll and cut together all the good stuff". You do each thing once and you have to think about where the camera goes and whats gonna happen in each shot. And because of that you come up with some pretty surprising shots & cuts.

What is a "figer?"

About the stupid name: the day we starting shooting these in like 2003 we were going to call them "fingertips" for some reason. I went to draw the title card and accidentally left the "n" out of the word. And we were like oh well, that's sort of odd, let's just call them that.