Experimental Motion: from early cameras to GTA V

DV8 student Harry Symes has recently been working with our programming team. In this guest post, he shares his thoughts on our experimental film exhibition at Brighton Museum.

Image taken from film still showing eye peering through a circle
Still from Grandma’s Reading Glass, 1900, by George Albert Smith. Courtesy of British Film Institute

As part of my Media course at DV8, Brighton, I spent two days working at Brighton Museum and spent time in the Experimental Motion exhibition.

Experimental Motion is a great exhibition. It ranges from information about early film to showing short self-produced films. It is very interesting to see the cameras from the late 1800s to early 1900s and what types of films they were used in. The information boards are full of interesting facts that I didn’t know, such as film editing was first used in Brighton & Hove.

The gallery has a few small screens on the walls showing short films, with a pair of headphones for each screen, which really helps immerse you in the films, I was so immersed that I didn’t realise I had spent the best part of an hour watching them all! All the films are very different from each other, but all are intriguing and draw you in. One of the films that I particularly enjoyed was made using the game Grand Theft Auto 5; I never thought that someone could create something so powerful using a game. It is self-aware of the fact that it is a film in a virtual environment, making a couple of comments about how it is not reality but the experience is real.

There is one big screen playing a number of short films at the end of the room. There is a bench facing the screen which has a cinema feel, and it is also a place to rest if you’re feeling weary after walking around the museum. I would definitely recommend this exhibit to anyone who has an interest in film or anyone passing through the museum to take a look at this gallery.

Harry Symes, DV8 student