Friday, October 17, 2008

Video journalism convention continues some more

Breaking conventions in videojournalism is part of a three post article, this is the second piece. You can read the previous one here and the third posts here.



- Martin Scorsese's Shine a Light is the first full length concert film without a single audience cutaway. True or False?

Peter at ShootingbyNumbers, whom we regularly exchange ideas on video, responded to yesterday's post on conventions in video journalism and I thought it might be interesting to continue the exchange here.

Here's Peter:
I think perhaps the notion of drop-ins, cutaways and b-roll is becoming identified with an increasingly unfashionable aesthetic - which promotes "high production values" over simplicity/authenticity.

what value do they really add?

- Martin Scorsese's Shine a Light is the first full length concert film without a single audience cutaway. True or False?

I haven't seen the full Rolling Stone gigs just the odd trailer. Yep Peter I can hear you muttering "sacrilege you haven't seen it".

I don't entirely disagree [ politicians answer eh] with what you say, but I think it's a question of language. Perhaps even my use of the words, and I can see where there's some ambiguity.

The terms e.g. drop in, C/As don't necessarily have to be the preserve of the high enders, multi-camera shoots.

The trailer of the Stones provides some examples of drop ins and cut aways, but here's the rub, my notes might have read "reaction POV" for C/A- which is a clumsy word really.

... Cut away.. cut away to what an inexperienced film maker might ask.

You're talking about the concert itself, which I'm obviously not qualified to answer factually because I haven't seen it.

But I might imagine that a conscious decision was taken by Scorsese not to cut to the crowd... woops, get reaction povs, leaving hyperfocus attention on the Stones, and that would work.

Have we seen enough of fainting men and women swooning, wooping and barking.."Man I love you, You're the ****ing best man".

Or, that wee comment by Mick Jagger about cameras all over the place on the trailer negated any camera crew threading about on stage despite the great shots to be had there.

However at the pace Jagger moves you can see how a Steady Cam operator would eventually, quite literally get a mouthful.

Like any piece and I'm sure we both agree the shot and eventual edit has to be motivated. Often when I'm tagging, I'm looking for the verb in a shot. If its doesn't exist, then I'm not going anywhere.

Motivated cuts could be the theme for these two films, high end as they are: Snake Eyes and Bonfire of the Vanity, dir. Brian De Palma.

Snake Eyes dir. Brian De Palma

This is not the opening, but a selection of scenes


Bonfire of the Vanity, dir. Brian De Palma

This is not the opening, but a selection of scenes

The director is bold enough to run about five to ten minutes of the opening without a single cut.

If I'm in a theatre of good action I can see how I'd be motivated by the same style.

Ultimately there are so many styles and thoughts emerging within video journalism that there's a path for all, but as you said a while ago it should look to push at the edges otherwise it's in danger of being a surrogate of TV, when it really is something on its own.

That something for me is a mashup of photojournalism, reportage, motion graphics, cinematography, gonzo and above all experimentation.

p.s Trying to locate a James Nacthwey's video of him shooting stills in a conflict with the a video camera mounted on his still

  • You can read the previous convention in VideoJournalism here and the third posts here.

Peter's latest response
certainly worth seeing for the cinematography. Scorsese used top camera ops - the guys that shot Babel, Bourne etc.

sacrilege? there is not one single low-down wide angle shot of Keith looming over the camera - aka "the mythic shot". Now that is sacrilege!

One other interesting thing about the performance is that the band all use in-ear monitors - which are used to feed a silent count-down to all the musicians - so the start of each song is like an explosion - extremely expensive but very stylish.


David
Hahahahaha. Now that's how you choreograph a show. Even talent needs hidden help

3 comments:

peter said...

certainly worth seeing for the cinematography. Scorsese used top camera ops - the guys that shot Babel, Bourne etc.

sacrilege? there is not one single low-down wide angle shot of Keith looming over the camera - aka "the mythic shot". Now that is sacrilege!

One other interesting thing about the performance is that the band all use in-ear monitors - which are used to feed a silent count-down to all the musicians - so the start of each song is like an explosion - extremely expensive but very stylish.

David of www.viewmagazine.tv said...

hahahaha nice one `peter. I'll stick this on the front page

peter said...

it's almost like Scorsese said:

"OK guys we make a Stones film with no visual cliches.......apart from Mick and Keith."