Sunday, April 22, 2012

DSLR 5D film - All things being equal how do add quality?

Critical tonal listening
Why when you whisper on the phone from a meeting will the person on the other end often whisper back? 

It all matters, more so now giving that all things are equalising. 

When the pictures no longer differentiate the quality of the practitioner because the camera  e.g. DSLR creates the illusion of professionalism, some other variables gets called into question.

I say creates the illusion, but on the other hand there are the professionals - but how from looking at the story do you delineate the two?

I wager this will all come to a head quite soon, because at some point you can't practicably or philosophically better the picture, unless you go hyper-reality e.g 3D which was cinema's smack down to television after they went HD.
David Dunkley Gyimah editing at BBC Radio by splicing up tape (editing) on a reel to reel 

So you revert to the talent. And a key index, often overlooked is sound. Not actuality in the sense of capturing sound using a good microphone but an audioscopic sensation in the narrative.

What your subject says is important, but how they say it is doubly so. This is a sensory operation or equally so a Theatre/film director's prerogative. If you've worked in radio, you'll also recognise this.

I can illustrate this to some degree with this video below from three versions of Richard III. Listen to them and ask which one you would prefer and then imagine you'd ask your interviewee and they'd replied with the first one. Would that have done you?

If you didn't like their response how do you get your interviewee to respond like Slinger, and finally McKellen?

As a videojournalist and Artist in Residence at the Southbank I have developed techniques from my many years as BBC Radio reporter and presenter to get the most out of my interviewees.

My producer at BBC Radio 4 in the early to mid 1990s, Joy Hatwood winner of many Sony Awards, was instrumental in bringing about an understanding of critically tonal narrative.

There were times on listen-back when she'd shake her head; you haven't got it. What she meant was they've said it, but there's nothing there. Equally if you do voice over for a living, your own narrative tones and inflexions are key to portraying meaning.

Septics could dismiss it as manipulative, but far from it, it falls in the ambit of film Scholar Bordwell's Making Meaning.

A large percentage of the times your interviewee will mirror you, so your approach to the story is critical. Good psychologists/ detective use this to get their subjects to feel what they're thinking by shaping?

That's not to say if you're in a happy mood critical interviewing will turn you into a quivering wreck, but that in principle by setting the stage and understanding the story and empathising with your interviewee they'll speak to you as they would in Soliloquy form and not as interviewer.

I leave you with this, John Hegley reciting Tarantella.

1. We had to find the right venue. John wanted to include the library, but we agreed to do it all there.

2. The library was in fact closed, so he started using his normal talking voice, but then I asked if he could go softer.

3. At some point off camera he asks if he's too soft. I reply no, knowing the setting, the tone is exactly what we need for making meaning of the text.

If you're in London during the summer I'll expand on this on one of my Master Classes. For more see