Sunday, May 01, 2011

The art of saying something with nothing - Videojournalism's cinema

Picture it if you will. I'm in my study, at least 30 books are strewn across the floor opened on their reference pages. Perceptual sensory !  PS is a £@^!!&.

Then I reference one of a kerzillion videos. This one is a favorite. The opening sequence to True Blood - Vampirish going ons in a fictional Louisiana town.

If you've played it. Chances are you're play it back again. It's a kalediscope of images unrelated, yet their sequencing creates a series of impressions. discursively unkempt, even er yurk!

Even with the track down that adds that southern comfort, there's a deep allure, for in many ways it reinforces what you might have thought, and if not creates a set of impressions that are bewitching; a fox decomposing in time lapse, a series of flutter-cuts, twitch cuts, non sequential, deeply saturated colours unnatural in real life.

The taboo (sex) diametric to the religion, purity and debauchery. it's a classic fable trick, but its composition barely need not shout it.

Deleuze, a geezer of a philosopher intercalated images like these worked on the subconscious. When you're paying no technical attention watching them ( only media petrol heads like me might) , they're triggering thoughts, emotions, reinforcing stereotypes, and the rest.

They're non-linear and rely on affecting you. You could have assembled it any myriad ways but done really well, it erodes time film time. You know that feeling you've had when you watch a good film and someone tells you it was 3 hours and your go.. "really, it was like 5 mins". "Er really!"

That's why you might play it again. But the truth if you tried to explain it to someone. It's just a bunch of images; it's kind of nothing, but its saying something.

Learning the semiotics of video, not in an academic way as there are millions of film makers who are naturals, gives you a window in creating artifacts.  Speaking to BBC TV and World Service execs I shared some of those ideas.

Now these books on the floor....

The Wire - same thing. The images are not as abstract except in their individual composition.