For independent filmmakers, the technological realities of 2015 present a Best of Times/Worst of Times situation. On the one hand, the proliferation of professional quality digital cameras, editing software, and online distribution to the masses offers unprecedented possibilities to visual artists: it has literally never been easier for filmmakers to produce and distribute their own work. On the other hand, as slick and intuitive as digital is, it isn’t film. For those who prefer the rich, flickering, 24-fps realness afforded by celluloid, there’s just no comparison, and the rise of digital has made traditional shooting nearly impossible. Film stock is rare and expensive, and unless you are currently enrolled in a school with an active film program, hands-on editing is nearly impossible. So what to do?
Enter AgX. This newly founded non-profit (in association with friends of the Hassle Balagan Films) has inhabited a 2000 square foot space in Waltham to serve as an artist-run lab space for the filmmaking community. Slowly but surely, AgX has amassed an impressive arsenal of cast-off production and post-production equipment, including cameras, flatbed editing consoles, a JK optical printer, and more. They also have a screening area set up for Super 8, 16mm, and 35mm (!) projection, and are working on a fully functional darkroom. When all is said and done, AgX aims to be a one-stop house for every step of the filmmaking process – effectively, a full-fledged studio for local independent filmmakers!
Of course, these goals don’t come for free. AgX is currently in the final week of an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to finish the darkroom, import more and better equipment, and contribute to the monthly rent and upkeep of this amazing space. As of this writing, the group is a little more than halfway to their goal of $10,000 – which is where you come in! Incentives run the gamut from t-shirts and tote bags, to DVDs and art from local filmmakers, to memberships to the Brattle and passes to the Boston Underground Film Festival – plus, of course, the knowledge that you’re helping a vital and unique initiative to get off the ground.
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