The magical process of filmmaking with film (and increasingly even taking stills on film) is becoming more of a mystery than it has ever been.

  • Image showing Tacita Dean's installation FILM at Tate Modern's Turbine Hall.
    FILM 2011

With a camera in many of our pockets, and the ease with which we can share content online, we have more opportunity to make and view “films” than ever. But working on the complementary website for FILM (Tacita Dean’s commission for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall), we realised that many people might never have seen or handled the actual medium that has given its name to the moving image.

So we have got together with film experts from archives, museums, venues and filmmakers’ collectives who have agreed to answer your questions on film-making on film, from practical advice to philosophical discussion. The first organisation you can quiz is is is an artist-run organization based in Tower Hamlets in east London founded by artists Karen Mirza and Brad Butler. With filmmaker James Holcombe, they combine film production with critical dialogue about contemporary image making, and have supported the production of artist works, run multiple workshops and critical discussions and actively curated performances, screenings, residencies, publications, events and exhibitions.

You’ve got a week to post your questions on film for James, Karen and Brad in the comments here (until 25th November), and we will post their answers in the following week.



What equipment would I need to produce analogue films? I've seen old movie cameras available from time to time, and very rarely the film, but that is as far as my knowledge reaches. Would the film be developed in a similar way to film I use in my analogue still cameras?

I notice a lot of artists and photographers that record using analogue equipment end up scanning/projecting or otherwise transferring the finished piece via a digital medium. What's your view on this? Is this influenced by the internet communication of today? On one hand it seems there is more appeal to go and physically view complete analogue works of art, because there really is no comparing the real thing to the representative image that appears on our computer screens. However, because this representation suffers, how can the importance of analogue be communicated in today's society?


Is humankind doomed?


Is there such thing as "pure" film?

Yug O

(This is an amazing project!) Dear all,

I've never been to film school and wonder how much of film making is done on 'film' these days? Is it mainly digital? I had the chance to volunteer at a film festival in Tokyo and the old cinema screenings had less competition for distributors for sample screening since digital is more cost-effective in that it is easy to screen and maintains quality.

Also in filming, what film is used for what? I heard famed director Innaritu put silver accetate onto his films to get the effects of Amores Peros. What does that mean?


What is the difference between film and video?

Alicia Wallace

As a young and learning lens based student, it's hard to find a way to get hold of "film" equipment and training in such a digital age. Even though I am used to digital, film still fascinates me and I wonder what advice you would give new and upcoming video artists to try strike a balance between old school film and new age digital processes? Or even words of encouragement as to why we should strive to keep old processes alive?