John Smith: An experimental film-maker

John Smith has done many experimental films since the 1970s. These films are strongly influenced by the Structural Materialist ideas. 'Drawing upon the raw material of everyday life, Smith's meticulously crafted films rework and transform reality, playfully exploring and exposing the language of cinema' (

I took the the idea for my experimental film, inspired from one of his films, The Girl Chewing Gum (1976). In his film, it focuses on the street in Darlston, London along with the director's voiceover that gains a comic response from the audience. The voiceover is done with the camera in a different place and time. This film subvert the boundaries between documentary and fiction.

For my film, I have filmed various locations in Bristol and Plymouth durimg the Easter holiday. I chose several locations that are interesting and wrote the script for the voiceover. I would then film my voiceover similar to what John Smith did. I also would edit the footage of the locations and my voiceover together. Like the ending of The Girl Chewing Gum, I would film a shot of the mirror reflection of myself holding my Flip camrecoder. I would look at the mirror and say 'CUT' then blackout.

There are links for further reading on John Smith and his films:

The Girl Chewing Gum (1976)