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The Surreptitious World of Experimental Film with Tyrone Davies

After starting as a theater major in college, Tyrone Davies realized he didn’t want to be in production. Instead, he wanted to be the director of the production itself. 

“I really liked organizing and deciding what everyone’s going to do in the show and interpreting the material,” said Davies, a film professor at Westminster College. “I kind of liked being able to see the product I made.” 

From there, he discovered a love for the odd and unusual world of experimental film. While he has spent his career working on documentaries and other films since graduating, Davies said he just couldn’t resist the world of experimental film. 

“The first student projects that I made were all experimental,” Davies said. “I really can’t help it — I’m really more of an experimental filmmaker.

He said his love for experimental film took him all over North America as a film curator. This eventually led to the establishment of a touring film festival called “Free Form Film Festival” that he created with his friend and fellow filmmaker Ryan Wiley. 

“We would take submissions and find works from filmmakers we really liked and we would go all over the country,” Davies said. “Kind of like a band tour. We just had a video projector in the car and we drove from place to place.” 

On these tours, the two projected experimental films wherever they could: Theatres, music venues, bars and more.

Being immersed in a love for experimental film also unveiled a community that was just as unique as the films they created and shared, he said. It wasn’t focused on profit like several traditional film production companies are, according to Davies. 

“The thing about the experimental film community is that no one is in it for money,” Davies said. “And I’m not saying experimental filmmakers don’t want attention, but it’s different. It’s sometimes more authentic because they are doing exactly what they want.”

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Katana Urry
Katana Urry is a junior communication major at Westminster College. She loves to play her blue guitar and is self-described as a sensible and sensitive punk rocker. The majority of Katana’s life experiences has been immersed in music and she hopes to pursue a career involving music in some way.

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