Andy Warhol's Screen Tests are a series of silent film portraits consisting of several-minute unbroken shots of Factory regulars, Warhol superstars, celebrities, guests, friends, or anyone he thought had "star potential".
The films were made between 1964 and 1966 at Warhol's Factory studio in New York City. Subjects were captured in stark relief by a strong key light, and filmed by Warhol with his stationary 16mm Bolex camera on silent, black and white, 100-foot rolls of film at 24 frames per second. The resulting two-and-a-half-minute film reels were then screened in 'slow motion' at 16 frames per second.
Many of the Screen Tests were arranged in different compilations such as 13 Most Beautiful Women, 13 Most Beautiful Boys, and 50 Fantastics and 50 Personalities. This was done with the intention of pleasing certain audiences to whom Warhol was exhibiting his art.
Over 500 Screen Tests were made, but not all kept.
Reception and legacy
In October 2008, the pop music group Dean and Britta in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Museum created 13 Most Beautiful... Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests, a project where they performed self-written songs and covers while projecting thirteen of Warhol's most Famous Screen Tests overhead.
- Boxer, Sarah (May 23, 2003), Andy Warhol's 'Screen Tests' Were 3-Minute Eternities, New York Times, retrieved December 1, 2009
- BFI, Sight & Sound