VCA Digital Archive: Word Art

Still from All at Sea (2011), written and directed by Leah Sanderson. Image supplied.
Still from All at Sea (2011), written and directed by Leah Sanderson. Image supplied.

The VCA Digital Archive is a living audiovisual record of student films that date back to 1966. The articles in this series respond thematically to the depth and breadth of the collection. Enjoy!

By Alice O’Rourke

All at Sea (2011) is a short film written and directed by Leah Sanderson. As a tsunami approaches, Jim and Pat must decide how to spend their last moments together.

Bino (2011) is a short film written and directed by Billie Pleffer. Through a chance encounter with an Irish Wolfhound, a thrill-seeking albino boy is forced to realise an essential truth. This film has been screened as part of Sydney Film Festival (2012), Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) (2012), London Film Festival (2012), and Berlin International Film Festival (2012).

The following texts have been arranged to resemble a constellation of words. The title of the film runs downwards in the middle of the image and the accompanying letters surrounding the central core letters create tangible and cohesive words to convey the theme and subject of the film.

a B sent
state of m I nd
or mome N t of
c O ntent bliss?

open w A ter
f L ickers
L ike the
fl A sh
in T he
wi S e
E yes
of p A t

As this year’s International Museums and Collections Award recipient at University of Melbourne, Alice O’Rourke has been working on a collections-based project – especially the VCA Digital Archive – at VCA Film and Television. Using metadata, Alice has been recording each film, which contributes towards a wider University archival project which will result in being the largest film repository in Australia.

The VCA Digital Archive series of articles was commissioned as part of a grant from the University of Melbourne, Student Services Amenities Fee. University of Melbourne staff and students and some industry people dipped into the FTV archive and watched films based on themes. The idea was to use the archive as stimulus to curate and create. Some responses are completely creative, others are reviews, others are word art pieces.

The full collection is available for research as of mid-2019. You can find a selection of more than 100 films live on our YouTube page. To find out more, visit the VCA Digital Archive Project Page.