In recent years, Canadian video artist Mark Lewis has worked intensively with the technique of rear projection, which is otherwise hardly used at all today. In rear projection scenes, actors perform in a studio in front of a screen onto which previously filmed footage of external locations is projected – notably, this used to be a popular filmmaking technique to simulate a drive in a car. Lewis has already shot a number of short films incorporating rear projections for the Canadian pavilion at the Venice Biennale a year ago. His work with this vintage filmmaking technique now culminates in the 40-minute documentary, BACKSTORY. The film revolves around the Hansard family, who was in the business of rear projections for Hollywood films for several decades. Lewis puts the members of this family in front of elaborately crafted rear projections, and has them tell stories and anecdotes from their years in the US film industry. A tribute to a traditional family business and to men and women who, though they worked behind the scenes, made Hollywood possible in the first place with their handiwork and ingenuity.
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Selected filmography Mark Lewis
TWO IMPOSSIBLE FILMS (1995), UPSIDE DOWN TOUCH OF EVIL (1997), CENTRALE (1999), WINDFARM (2001), BRASS RAIL (2003), QUEENSWAY: PAN AND ZOOM (2005), GOLDEN ROD (2006), BRICKLAYERS ARMS (2008)