I’m really excited to announce that Pause of the Clock has a new home! From the April newsletter of Chicago Film Archives:
The Rob Christopher Collection consists of the original 16mm negatives and workprints for Rob’s 2015 feature film Pause of the Clock, as well as the digital workflow, final digital film, and original scripts and other ephemera. This unique collection provides a view of a project with a long production history and one that straddles analog film and digital formats, an intriguing challenge for archiving. The film elements all date to 1995-1996, when Rob began the project as a student at Columbia College. For various reasons, mostly financial, the film was shelved for almost two decades until 2013, when a crowdfunding campaign reinvigorated the work. When the finished film had its local premiere in Chicago in 2016, the Gene Siskel Film Center described it as “a multilayered, thoroughly unpredictable meta-narrative…blurring the lines between autobiography and fiction, dreams and waking life, melodrama and cinéma-vérité.” Until we get our finding aid up and select items available to stream, you can read more about Rob Christopher and the story of Pause of the Clock in an interview on the Chicago Film Society’s blog.
Today’s independent filmmakers have a big problem: working digitally makes it easier than ever to be an active filmmaker, but without a concrete plan for preservation much of that work will likely be lost forever. Groups like IndieCollect are beginning to address this slow motion disaster. However it’s still incumbent on filmmakers themselves to think seriously about the future of their work and plan for its preservation. Chicago Film Archives is an amazing organization with a mission I can really get behind, so depositing my materials there made perfect sense. (And of course, doing so freed up a lot of closet space!) If you’re a filmmaker and don’t know what’s going to happen to all those hard drives lying around your office, I urge you to take action before it’s too late.