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Recipes for Reconstruction

Recipes for Reconstruction: The Cookbook for the Frugal Filmmaker, by veteran independent animator and filmmaker Steven Woloshen, is the perfect introduction to the art of camera-less filmmaking.  From artistic strategies in creating fermented and decayed film footage to re-assembling damaged film prints into unique visual experiences, Steven gives us simple, detailed instructions for creating our own manipulated films.
Like any good cookbook there is a clear, concise list of materials and ingredients that are needed along with very easy to follow instructions for the processes used for all of the short films in the book.  A DVD of the films is included in the book to allow the reader to follow the creation process to the end result and lend visual inspiration for us to go to work on our own.
In the preface the Canadian animator pays tribute to two of his early inspirations, the late Stan Brakhage and Len Lye while tracing his own experimental path to manipulating exposed film footage.  Each chapter is introduced with personal antidotes about the inspiration that led to the films creation.  Zero Visibility was his attempt to recreate the harrowing experience of crossing Montreal’s Victoria Bridge in a blinding snow storm by using a fermentation process to achieve decay.  The “what you will need list” includes exposed film, water, icing sugar, yeast, and three or four clear plastic garden bags.  The step by step instructions conclude with “it is best to begin this fermentation process in the early summer months.  The best results should be achieved sometime in the end of December.” Each film description concludes with the results that he achieved and photos of the process, along with Woloshen’s original notes and diagrams.
Recipes for Reconstruction is the perfect book for the first time filmmaker who doesn’t want to invest in expensive equipment.  Building a film printer is the most technical piece of equipment you need to construct.  The printer assembly requires such everyday materials as a small dark colored shoe box, black masking tape and a flashlight or 15 watt incandescent light bulb.
The book is a wonderful way for teachers to give students of all ages an inspiring introduction to film making and should be in every school library.   For professional animators and film makers the DVD of the nine films alone is a priceless addition to any film collection and might even inspire them to get out and plant some film in their garden.
For more information or to purchase the book, contact Steven Woloshen at:

Steven Woloshen

The price of the book:  $40.00 USD (also $40.00 CAD), 25 pounds sterling, or 30 Euros + shipping
A limited number of copies are available in Los Angeles at:
The Center For Visual Music (
453 South Spring Street,   Suite 834
Los Angeles, California 90013 USA