ABOUT THE FILM
On December 31, 2020 the Swedish artist Anders Weberg end his 20 plus years relation with the moving image as a means of creative expression.
After more than 300 films he puts an end with the premiere of what will be a very long film.
Ambiancé is 720 hours long (30 days) and will be shown in its full length on a single occasion syncronised in all the continents of the world and then destroyed.
There will always be longer films and there is but this one will be the longest film made that doesn’t exist. A totally different thing.
This will be Anders last film he will ever make.
As a small tease until the premiere in 2020 shorter teaser/trailers will be presented at different occasions.
2014 – Short teaser which is 72 minutes long and that has the intent to convey the mood and tempo from the full piece.
(The teaser was online between July 4 and July 20 in 2014 and had amazing view counts. 1,622,147 .)
2016 – The first short trailer with duration 7 hours 20 minutes. March 2016.
2018 – Longer trailer with duration 72 hours.
”I must be the most famous unknown filmmaker at the moment.”
– You don’t find me on wikipedia or IMDB (somebody added my recently because of Ambiancé) and that means I’m not existing.
But here I am if you want to know more.
– My name is Anders Weberg, Im 47 years old and was born in a small town called Landskrona in the south of Sweden. After moving around in Sweden and abroad I have now settled with my family on a small farm in a village called Kölleröd where we live with animals, grow our own food and just enjoying life.
– I define myself simply as an artist currently working mostly with the moving medium. ”Ambient filmmaking” is a term I really like and feel fits very well.
– I have worked with film now full-time for almost 20 years now. I have always played music but wasn’t good enough or handsome enough but wanted to be around the scene so I started making popvideos in the ninties and have done about 100 in the past and still do some from time to time. But I’ve been mostly involved in the video art/experimental film scene. Other than that I also play improvised video live in different constellations on but also solo where I also compose the music. I play on festivals around the world. I have never worked in the so called regular film business or in the commercial world. I just totally focused on finding my own voice and refine that.
There is a Swedish filmmaker named Gunvor Nelson that I have a lot of respect for.
She often creates what she termed “personal films” rather than “experimental” or “avant-garde” films; on this matter she says:
”Everyone seemed unsure of what to call it. It is difficult. Are you really so ”avant-garde”? Experimental films sounds like something incomplete. I have made both surrealistic and expressionistic films, but I prefer the term ”personal film”. That is what it is about. Even if many don’t understand the meaning of the term. On the other hand, it can be easier to refer to them as avant-garde films. But I like the description ”personal film” since it stems from one person. When you paint, the term you choose will be described by method; mural painters for instance and so on. But when it comes to film we lack [the capacity] to describe what we are really doing.”
– This is the most asked question I get and the hardest one to answer. There is so much to say about this regarding time, ephemerality, technology and so on but there is limited space but the easy version is.
For the last couple of years I kind of lost the lust for the moving media and I’m not so sure about the future of screen based media and thought about a way to phase it out. Time has long been a major subject of study in religion, philosophy, and science and I have for many years been very interested in the concept since that’s one thing we humans cannot control and we all have a relation to time even though time doesn’t exist.
We can only learn how to relate to it somehow.
Within the P2P art project I did some longer films before, the longest being 9 hours, 9 minutes, 9 seconds and 9 frames with the title 090909 released on September 9, 2009. Like for everyone else time is the most precious and valuable thing for me and I like to let things take time. So longer work is not new to me and I thought a lot of which length that would be the best fit if you are going to make one last film.
10, 20 hours? that’s not really long .. 30 days .. thats long.
How would you define your movie ? What’s your point ? Is there a message, something you want viewers to understand ?
– This is not a studio production like what you normally define as a film. But then, what’s the definition of a film? According to wikipedia its: A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still images which, when shown on a screen, creates the illusion of moving images due to phi phenomenon. This optical illusion causes us to perceive continuous motion between separate objects viewed rapidly in succession. Contemporary definition of cinema is the art of simulating experiences, that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty or atmosphere by the means of recorded or programmed moving images along with other sensory stimulations. For me the beauty of film is that it can be anything/everything.
How do you even go about working on a film that is to be 720 hours long? Do you work with a set idea, a script, or allow the idea to evolve, given the length of the film?
– I do have a general idea, mood and feel for the whole piece at this moment which I follow but since I work with emotions and not a scripted, dramaturgical piece this changes a lot and will in the upcoming years.
My process is that I collect glimpses of light with camera and take that with me into the computer where the real work begins taking all this glimpses and arranging and rearranging them into a flow that I feel represent the emotion I try to express. There is a Lot of post production behind it where I run all the captured material true numerous processes. I use After affects for that part.
Right now I have finished 400 hours of finished film so I am in a good position. I have to completely finish at least 1 hour of edited film each week to make my goal for now. That means I need 7-8 hours of raw material each week.
There is a lot of postproduction to get the look that I’m after. In a recent magazine article they calculated the following numbers of hours I need to finish it if I follow my current pace.
5760 hours of shooting (240 days)
8640 hours of post production (360 days)
Total: 14400 hours (600 days)
Why 720 hours? Why that particular duration of time and no other?
– The number 7 I knew when I started thinking about this 10 years ago since it’s such a strong number in history, myths and religion. Some easy ones. Lucky number seven, seven days of the week, seven deadly sins, seven colors of the rainbow, seven notes to the diatonic scale. The examples goes on and on.
720 has followed me for me along time since it’s the resolution for pal video and that it makes 30 days if you go 24 hours per day. I think 30 days is the biggest reason. 720 is also interesting mathematically since it’s a Harshad number and also if you take 1x2x3x4x5x6 = 720
When you say the film will be released in 2020 and will run for 30 days, what do you think it will do to the film-watching experience for the audience? Are you hoping that people will sit through it all (which seems physically impossible), or is the experience of watching this film all about experiencing it in bits and pieces, so that even the watching becomes ephemeral?
It is as you say physically impossible to watch the whole film. The longest time someone spent watching film is ..
”The longest time spent watching films is 120 hr 23 min and was achieved by Ashish Sharma (India) at the KDDC Movie Theater, K.D Dental College, Mathura, India, from 11-16 June 2008. Ashish watched 48 films in their entirety taking rest breaks in between each film of no more than 10 minutes, as stipulated in the guidelines. ”
BUT .. I will be the only one who ever watched all the frames in this since I made it but Impossible to watch for 30 days. But that I feel is so beautiful. So this will be for sure an ephemeral experience and the only thing that will remain is the memories of the little bits and parts the viewer got to see.
How much of your past experience as an artist is feeding into this project?
– Every little part of me is in this movie. This will be my last after working full-time for almost 20 years so it better be. If not, what a waste.
There is an inherent irony to this film that will be destroyed after its first screening. The fact that the product is gone, but its legacy lives on. Was that intention deliberate? Because, in a way, it is a reflection of death too. That the physicality of the body is gone, but the spirit, the memories live on.
– Yes that is the main idea behind the whole project. Also another irony is that a lot of people and media has gotten stuck in the term ”the longest film” and are interested just in any kind of record and think that’s what I aim for but for me its a play with this record thing. Since it will be screened only one time and then destroyed this will be the longest film made that doesn’t exist.
You say it’s ”a sort of memoir movie” : what do you mean exactly ? Is it a series of images, memories, without any link ?
– I know that everyone has a story to tell even if they think they are not important and exiting but who says everything has to be so special. Basically it’s a memoir film, biographical film filled with all the memories I have so far in life. The places I’ve been, people I met, my dreams, hope and so on. Everything in the film is linked not chronologic but more emotionally.
The film will only be shown once, on 31 December 2020, on ”a single occasion synchronised in all continents of the world.” Could you explain to me how do you plan to do this, in a more concrete way ? Have you already reached agreements with some cinemas over the world ?
– This is not a piece meant for a regular cinema. More a museum, gallery film since there is where my other work shows and also where I feel it fits best.
– Since there still are many years to come nothing is fully decided yet and also I stay open for the new possibilities for showing media that will show up I’m sure. Do we even have screen based media in 2020?
You also say it will be shown only once, and then destroyed. Why ? Don’t you find it frustrating to work so many years on a project and then show it just once ?
– The idea behind the extinction of the film is something I also have thought a lot about and done many times before.
– We live in a digital world where everything is kept forever as long as we have any media to store it on.
– It’s very easy to create in a digital world. It’s harder to delete.
– In the analogue world when something is broken or burnt for example is gone forever and cannot be brought back. In another project I started in 2006 I was also deleting works.
P2P Art. Art made for – and only available on – the peer to peer networks. The original artwork is first shared by the artist until one other user has downloaded it. After that the artwork will be available for as long as other users share it. The original file and all the material used to create it are deleted by the artist. ”There’s no original”.
Six films with a duration between 45 minutes and 12 hours was uploaded on the file sharing networks in one copy and their original was deleted. P2P Art – The aesthetics of ephemerality.
– For Ambiancé it will be ultimate personal performance. And also to make a real end to my time with film. Screen it one in it’s full length and make sure very little bit of will be destroyed. I will travel to all the continents and destroy the player myself to make sure it’s deleted. The only thing that will remain is the memory of it and for those who watched it the experience.
– The only physical thing that will remain is the photographic prints that I make available for sale each month taken from the film and just available that month, limited to a 100, signed and numbered. Those will be the only physical evidence for this projects for the owners/collectors.
Contact me if you have any other questions you would like me to answer.