My favourite way to introduce the mechanics of a montage is with that song from the movie ‘Team America – World Police’. Sprinkle humour on a few ‘scars of labour’, and you get:

We’re going to need a montage (montage)

Ooh it takes a montage (montage)


Show a lot of things happening at once

Remind everyone of what’s going on (what’s going on)

And with every shot, show a little improvement

To show it all would take too long

That’s called a montage (montage)

From there you can get lost in a rabbit hole of montage history – from its modernist origins, to Soviet theory and French translations. It only gets deeper and more nuanced from there, but I think that quick scene from Trey Parker teaches the most.

The seventh Nikecraft challenge encouraged people to create a short film from 36 moments and places of change. By omitting all unnecessary frames, everyone crafted short reality montages. With every shot, they showed a little of how someone progresses through time and space: crossing tiny thresholds on their own journey into the future. You need a montage, even rocky had a montage.

A picture of Tom Sachs standing infront of his timeline - a collage made from zines and other objects he has made.

Photo: Tom Sachs

Originally written for the Sachsian Syndicate.

Previously: TGIM 6 - Using the clatter of cutlery as cover, I sneak off and hide in the pantry.


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