Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Simple Pleasures

I've been a big pussy when it comes to getting specific with the business end of this project on the blog. I don't want to say the wrong thing or suggest something that doesn't pan out and then look like a big fat liar. :0)

Working like a motherscratcher but having a blast. I'm having to drop out on a trip to Denver with my wife to visit her family over Memorial Day weekend so I can stay home and work. Tragic. I hope to catch up on some shooting and editing. If I fall short on the schedule what's going to suffer is all the juicy graphical elements and artsy treatment in the finished product that the critical eyes look for in a movie, even if it's a cheap documentary. The way I make stuff is a goofy hybrid. Movies can get away with longer scenes where you can float along and have a person on screen setting up a mood. TV needs something flipping in front of your eyes every 6-8 seconds ( seriously, count them... ) and I end up doing a literal narrative where I'm throwing out chunks of segments like you'd get from something with commercial breaks but leaving lots of breathing room in those segments where you might see me or the person one screen for 3-4 minutes with cutaways to what they're talking about. I've done it differently before but I like sitting down and showing a conversation with the viewer.

Another oddity that seems to throw some hard core film people I'm working with for a loop is the concept of having someone in tight shots just talking. If you don't watch the Discovery Channel ( or one of their other sister networks ) you don't see the info- doc style of looking close at someones face while they're talking. Some guys think movie and try to get constant camera movement or to show the set or dramatic lighting. I guess I'm boring in that I want even lighting to see someones face, not sharp artistic contrast. I want to get tight and see what they're thinking besides what they're saying. If I shoot an hours worth of interview and need to cut it down to 5 minutes I can't have a camera moving all the time or it turns into a music video when it's condensed.

The more I do this the more I realize there's several canned styles and movies, TV and now TV shows that look like 52 minute movies like CSI-whatever all have unique looks and feels that aren't what I've looking for in this thing. I'm looking at it as a visual information dump. Literally a conversation between myself and the viewer where I bring them along with me to talk with people and create something that might get them talking with other people as soon as I'm off the screen. Remember how surprising it was when Woody Allen or Ferris Bueller broke the forth wall and talked to the camera? Wow, that was so unconventional...

I think this video stuff I'm working on is really just milking the technology and climate of the times where any bozo like me with something to say can muster up some gear, self fund and get his work into the hands of the end user. Kind of like the doors that opened when the internet tipped over from ftp servers and manual IP address calls in command lines to frontpage giving every Tom, Dick and Harry a chance to show off his $15k lego collection for fellow zealots all over the world.


At 2:10 PM, Blogger Sue Jones said...

It sounds to me as if this whole project is a real learning and growing experience for you.
I take my hat off to you for tackling something that is so different and never been done before.

At 5:46 PM, Blogger Minda said...

Stick with your style, its your vision and if you try to do it someone elses way, it won't be authentic. Scrappers know from authentic. Is your wife mad?

At 7:01 PM, Blogger wes said...

Thanks Sue, fell free to put your hat back on... Slip, slop and slap right? ( are you old enough to remember the sun cancer campaign all over Australian TV 10 - 15 years ago? )

Minda, my dear wife is extremely supportive and tells me what's crap and what isn't. Since she's been the financeer up until now I'll bow to her special interests. ;0)

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like a whiny little girly man...

At 7:21 AM, Blogger wes said...

OK, new day and fresh brain... Ahh, yea. What are the odds of you living in Queensland and remembering a duck with a speech impediment barking out the dangers of skin cancer?

Sorry about that Sue. :0)

It's one of those: "Oh, you're from Chicago? Do you know Charlie?" kind of things.


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