cinematic fixations
   a visual database of film

how to create

The fixations are made from every frame of a film arranged in a massive grid whose width is three times its height. Through a collaboration with the West Virginia University Senior Computer Science Students, a small java program has been written to automatically create fixations.

step one

Contact me at to request a copy of the fixation creator program. I will send you detailed instructions, a link to the database, and the fixation creating program.

step two

Make sure to update Java and the Java SDK. For Mac users, download homebrew, install it, and type:
brew install ffmpeg
in the command line. For PC users, download and install ffmpeg.

step three

Place the fixation creator program inside a folder with a video file. Make sure the video filename does not include any spaces or special characters. The program accepts avi, mkv, m4v, and mp4.
Open the terminal at the folder and type: java -jar fixationcreator.jar newfolder movietitle.mp4

step four

All of the frames of the movie will export into the newfolder. Make sure that your computer has lots of free space on the harddrive. A two hour film contains 170,000 individual frames, and for a 1080p movie file, you may produce nearly 1,000 Gb of data. After the processing is over, a file named fixation_large.bmp will appear in the folder. This is the full resolution fixation. Please place each new fixation the database.

the vision

The following video is a dramatization of the fixation process. It illustrates my original conception of the idea. It came to me in a dream:  I saw myself watching a movie and slowly stepped backwards from the screen until more and more of the film came into view. Soon, I was able to see into both past and future as the frames flickered past. First just one-at-a-time, then nine, then twenty-five, then thirty-six, then fifty, a hundred, a thousand...until every frame from the film appears on the screen simultaneously. With nowhere to hide, the film's motion is completely arrested, and the fixation is complete.