Experiencing Interruptions?


NO SIGNAL - 04:59 David Ellis, FamilyCat Productions 2015.

Dedicated to the invisible and the forgotten, NO SIGNAL is as much a metaphor as it is a narrative about about what we do see and what we choose not to see. In the words of Sherlock Holmes - “ I see no more than you but I have trained myself to notice what I see.” With poetic sensibility and contemplation replacing traditional storytelling in this experimental work, the interplay of image, sound and atmosphere leaves the viewer to create their own narrative by searching their imagination and personal experiences to find meaning. It is a look at passage of time, separation and connection, and at the thin line between the objective and the subjective, and between narrative and poetry.

Shot on Super 8 film and iPhone Super 8 apps and crafted with avant-garde, cubist and Russian Suprematist influences, NO SIGNAL is superbly complemented by the electronic music of Warsaw’s Bartosz Dziadosz (Pleq&Hakobune).

All Rights Reserved by David Ellis & FamilyCat Productions 2015. davidellisimages@gmail.com

Director's Note:

At the time of filming, this work was created with the idea of pure observation, pure art with no agenda, as a watching of humanity and the recording of random snippets of life pulled from its continuum. Upon examination, however, the images here begin to reveal some deeper implications and meanings, becoming a metaphor about really seeing, looking deeper, about hope and belief, and whether they seem relevant as things in life are taken for granted. But, will hope and belief provide when what is taken for granted is stripped away? Is choosing not to see indicative of deeper events in our psyche?

  • David Ellis
    DAVID ELLIS SELECTED SCREENINGS 2015 - New Jersey International Film Festival, Rutgers University, USA, Honorable Mention - U H F 2015 - Festival Parachute Light Zero Act II, Les Nautes, Paris, France. Official Selection:U H F 2015 - Poblenou Crea! HANGAR Centre de Producció, Barcelona ES. Solo screening - Selected Recent Films 2014 - LIVEMEDIA- Pulsos en la Iconosfera, Streaming webcast Palabras Perdidas, and interview, Barcelona ES. 2014 - HANGAR Centre de Producció, Barcelona, Spain. Awarded 3 month filmmaker residency. 2014 - VIDEOFORMES 29th Digital Arts Iternational Festival,Clermont-Ferrand,FR:Official Selection:U H F 2013 - RhodyWood Indie Film Makers, Brooklyn Coffee House, Providence, RI - Selected video shorts. 2012 - Gallery Eva, Provincetown, MA. USA. Screening: Experimental Video Shorts 2012 - Indie Fest, La Jolla, CA.USA. Award of Merit - Official Selection: FLASH-FILMS 2012 - Atlanta Shorts Fest, Atlanta GA. USA. Official Selection:FLASH-FILMS 2012 - Oak Cliff Film Festival, Dallas TX. Official Selection: FLASH-FILMS 2011 - Provincetown International Film Festival,Provincetown,MA.USA Official Selection:NEON 2010 - BAC-11 Festival, Barcelona, Spain. Official selection: NEON 2010 - DNA Gallery, Provincetown, MA. USA. Screening: FLASH-FILMS-Flash Video Vignettes
  • david ellis
  • david ellis
  • david ellis
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Other
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 59 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 29, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Super8 and iPhone Super8 apps
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • 2016 Prague Independent Film Festival - Winner Best Experimental Film
    Czech Republic
    August 15, 2016
    EU Premiere
    Winner Best Experimental Film
  • 2016 US Super 8 & Digital Film Festival - Honorable Mention - Rutgers University
    New Brunswick, NJ
    United States
    February 20, 2016
    North American Premiere
    Honorable Mention
  • 2016 SENE Film Festival, Providence, RI, USA - Audience Award for Experimental Film
    Providence, Rhode Island
    United States
    April 20, 2016
    Audience Award - Experimental Films
  • 2016 Cannes Short Film Festival
    September 17, 2016
    French Premiere
Director Biography - David Ellis

DAVID ELLIS is an accomplished international film-maker and photographer who has been exploring alternative image capture for the last 15 years. His current experimental work explores alternative and analog techniques such as super8 film, use of expired film stock, pinhole still and video photography, Polaroid and self-fabricated hybrid cameras, vintage box cameras and experimental cell phone video. Self taught as a film maker and photographer, his films screen internationally and he has been the recipient of various grants and awards including the Indie Fest Award of Merit, La Jolla, CA; the National Endowment for the Arts; University of Texas Hogg Foundation; the State of New Mexico AIPP; and the City of Austin, TX. He has exhibited extensively, and his work is held in many public, private, corporate and notable museum collections, including the Getty Collection, Los Angeles, the City of Austin, TX, the State of New Mexico, the National Museum of Fine Arts in Mexico City, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Patzcuaro, Mexico and he was selected for induction to the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Artists, Washington DC. He also attended the University of Mexico San Carlos National Academy of Fine Arts (UNAM) and the Art Institute of Boston, and was especially influenced early on as an assistant to notable fashion designer Charles James in the Chelsea Hotel, NYC while working on James’ Sound of Shape and Design Project. He has taught photography at Rhode Island School of Design, lectured and conducted workshops at numerous locations including Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill on Cape Cod, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, AS220 Providence RI, and the Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA. In 2014, he was awarded a three month international residency for film making at Hangar Centre de Producció, Barcelona, Spain.

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Director Statement

I see film and photography as artifacts, records of experiences where, the process of recording the moment is at-the-same-time the creation of the moment. This process is the documentation of my presence in the experience as much as it is of the image that is recorded. My current work is non-narrative, has its own voice and speaks to each viewer individually. I feel that the experience of the viewer viewing IS the narrative as is my experience with the subject and the creation of the work. With my background being experimental photography using pinhole cameras, Polaroid, box cameras and a variety of hybrid home made cameras, the exploration of pinhole, low-res and computer generated video came as a natural progression. I started with the cheapest "off -the-shelf" Wal-Mart digital web-cam (at $18 dollars) and soon moved up to cheap throwaway video cameras purchased at a local (CVS) pharmacy that I adapted to shoot as pinhole. Lens-cap pinhole Mini-DV High8 videos then followed. The very first were lit using only a flashlight (Voyeur, 2006) employing vintage anonymous snapshots as subjects to zoom in on as if they were actors and sets and (Glamour Girl, 2007). Soon, I began creating short-short clips of ordinary subjects that would have been great just as still images. I named these short works Flash-Films as a nod to the literary genre "flash-fiction".
In the experimental videos that followed, I began exploring the breaking down of the image into its most basic digital elements. Layers of effects are added with random imperfections and glitches welcomed as further enhancements. The videos often have a dreamy "noire" feeling, much like that of early 20th century avant-garde films, and sometimes are merely glimpses into the "essence" of a moment. These works are fascinating cyber explorations into the exciting and uncharted fringes of new 21st century filmmaking. While created with much different technology and tools, they are, at heart, still embodied with the same spirit as those flickering, grainy black and white experimental films that were so passionately created in the beginning of the 20th century. Current projects explore shooting in Super8 film, the usage of out-of-date films, and shooting with vintage forgotten cameras. My projects are a continuation of my fascination with the mono-no-aware sentiment in the obsolete and the abandoned - qualities inherent to analog processes. For me, the excitement is in discovery, process and exploration. In the end, it is the journey and not the destination that really matters.
Contact: davidellisimages@gmail.com