Friday, January 20, 2006

What will happen?

I just wrote a post in my web site: where I pine that I do not particularly like the production aspect of video. I like the edit where it is dark and lonely and it is just you and the story a cuddled up next to the glow of the computer screen.

However, I do like the production when I come home and feel that it went really well. However however, many of these times when I get to edit that particular footage it is not as good as I thought. Sometimes the opposite is true--when I get home and think the day was a disaster and then I see some really nice stuff.

I must say that both scenarios happen usually when I am shooting with a team without a monitor which I now refuse to do.

Anyway, the most detailed producer, armed with an armful of storyboards and shot lists can screw things up if they do not make themselves aware of the organics of the moment. Great things happen before or after "roll tape!" and off screen.

In documentaries it is even more so. Each of us will concentrate on the one or two needed things we need and then many cases lose really nice presents of happenstance. We return home happy that we "nailed our shot" only to find that later, in the edit, the "shot" really wasn't all that important to nail, and we missed the good parts. You change story slightly, add VOs, add emotional music and problem fixed. But the problem is not fixed for us. We watch and remember and we know what was covered up. It should make us more aware.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Thinking with Eyes

My father-in-law, who is a contractor, has been helping to renovate our bathroom, told me this in regards to the design:

...think with your eyes, not your brain.

This is so perfectly suited for so many things. Rules, theory, plans help to lay a foundation but can obscure our way. When something "looks" wrong, despite being proven by theory or rule, it probably is wrong. If it looks wrong it needs to be fixed even if it only makes our eyes feel better.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Who here really really really is annoyed with waiting for the home menu of DVDs to appear? Hello! We all are!

Even when the opening are really well done, like the open for Momento. Wow! What an opening but there are times when we want to get to the #@!! movie.

Though, it is nice to see creativity inserted in routine tasks. The movie maker (well, the DVD maker at least) forcing us to enter their mind space.

Are we to expand our minds with direct trajectories? Would we take the side paths if given an option? Usually no, and I am speaking for me.

As much as we want to bend the medium into something new, we walk in the same ways. When our paths are obstructed our usual reaction is anger or frustration.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Just read that people don't like watching talking heads...or rather when watching talking heads people soon get bored...most will start to ignore after 22 seconds. Actually I have read that people get "fatigued" with an image on screen after 7 seconds.

Warhol did a series of short films that were just shots of people's faces. I think they lasted around 3 minutes each (which is the time contained in a 100 foot 16mm film roll). These are facinating and lovely "portraits."

I don't really adhere to the quick change image rule and I think we are making people less likely to really look based on constant image change. HOWEVER the 22 seconds should be a rule to those who think that just by virtue of the camera turned on them, they are facinating. It is a subtle line between what is interesting and what is cause for wandering eyes. Sometimes this is purely based on the viewer. Sometimes it is just us.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

elusive narrative

In the NYer.."great storytelling is an alchemy of voice, tone, and point of view"...Laura Miller writing about Philip Pullman.

This is indeed for story. In video it is also place, time, and character, though these could be broken up into the former.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Expression as need

This was in the NYTimes last week:

Dr. Dan Siegel, a child psychiatrist at the University of California, Los Angeles, was one of several speakers to emphasize how psychotherapy changes the wiring of the brain. For example, he said, brain imaging findings suggest that secure social interactions foster the integration of disparate parts of the brain.

"When I'm telling you my feelings, discussing memories, in this close relationship, I'm achieving better neurological integration," Dr. Siegel said. "I'm repairing the connections in the brain."

The thing as relevant

Connecting to or from a thing is what makes the thing something. Each connection can be random. The relevancy of this connection is what matters to the receiver. Sometimes something won’t be relevant until later. It is up to us to determine how it will be used. The subconscious may or may no take over the rest.

An idea can be shared only if the idea is “gotten.”