San Francisco-based filmmaker Greta Snider is primarily known for her unique spin on documentaries. At first glance, Flight may seem like a straight-up experimental film, but reading its official description by Snider shows the work’s documentary essence:
My father’s photographic legacy, compiled and transformed into light. His family photographs, his hobbyist pictures of trains and roses, his airplanes and his obsession with birds circling…these images are imprinted onto the film, like a fingerprint or trace. The film is hand-processed and hand-exposed without a camera (as with Ray-o-Grams).
In the book The Garden in the Machine, Scott MacDonald describes the “rayogram” technique, which was pioneered in the 1920’s by Man Ray with his film Retour a la raison (1923). A “rayogram” is when a filmmaker places objects onto film stock and exposes the film to light. The end result, as you can see in Flight,