Friday, 21 January 2011

High Hills Filmmaking. Can this be a perfect match?

Documentary Filmmaking Course. Diary Week 2

My first steps in filmmaking are actually much more intimidating that I have ever imagined. When I actually eventually found something interesting to shoot, by the time I unpacked the huge backpack (over 20 kilos), checked all settings, grasped the right angle ... my object of filming has long been gone .... The same trick of ‘disappearing objects’ repeated three times until I decided to give up the exercise of filming the ‘story’ and went for something that is there to stay for a bit longer ... like building, street or sky ...

It may does sound like a ‘hello I am blond’ type of story, but, trust me, there is some merit to it. First of all, the entire equipment is totally heavy. So there is no way you can wander around for the whole day, looking for interesting things. Especially, if you happen to wear high hills, assuming wrongly there is LIFE beyond your camera and filmmaking. The process of unpacking the entire ‘thing’ as well as make ‘it’ work is totally time consuming. Even if you want to keep most of the options on auto settings, you d’ better get patience - licence before.
And the most important – the process of filming itself. Its’s totally NOT how our dads used to hold camera on the beach, close to the eye, trying to shoot happy family moments and ladies in bikinis few meters away. You actually hold it in front of your belly or chest to make it more stable. In my case it meant, I was physically exhausted after 20 seconds of filming and my hands started trembling like the overstretched mussels in the gym. So probably I would be great for ‘shaker’ effect. Even once we a script like this.

Observation 1. Camera looks and weights like a gun. Hello brands, can we please ‘demasculinize’ professional filmmaking equipment ?

But there is more unfamiliarity involved than just technical issues. The process of shooting completely changes the way I see and interact with the world outside. I am referring to it as ‘IT’, because it’s like a ‘third person’ constantly present and imposing its presence on me and the people I am talking to. When I am taking photographs while talking to people camera is like my support, little visual notebook, yes, maybe a little interruption, but always a PART of interaction. It doesn’t change the way I see the situation. It helps me to express how I feel about the situation. With camera, its different, I feel it as something totally external to the situation. External, yet fundamentally changing it. And suddenly, I start telling story not from my point of view, but from a point of view of the ‘it’, that doesn’t feel ‘me’. And it’s still IT, cold, black and heavy and alien. Maybe I need to internalize it. Or maybe I need a partner.

Observation 2. Camera is a ‘third’ person in the situation. I need to internalize IT to make other people feel that my ‘artificial eye’ is mine.

1 comment:

  1. i am really curious to hear your filmmaking experiences, hopefully not as intimidating as mine !