Monday, February 21, 2011

Media as a Medium

Saw this little diddy on an actor's blog. I want to being a nerd and planning to be a professor in the future makes me think about all the little things that happen everyday. Like shooting with a camera and it's implications for the shooter and the subject.

Here's a brief look at one take on the subject-filmer-camera-environment relationships

The Cameraman - a particularly timely animated story from This American Life. Animation by Chris Ware. Interview conducted by Ira Glass.

This story certainly is beautifully told, and quite timely. Of course — and I know this is me being a bit predictable — I’m gonna have to take issue with the negative light the story leaves on cameras and RECording.

First of all, I don’t entirely disagree. The film Medium Cool tells a similarly cautionary tale, and that’s one of my favorite movies. Taken too far, the camera can become a barrier that disconnects the cameraman (or woman, or boy or girl, or you know, whatever) from engaging with the world. Anything taken too far, without moderation, in excess, usually has negative consequences.

But most of the time, I’d argue, having a camera and RECording our world does just the opposite. It encourages the camera operator to engage, to pay attention and find that sweet shot, to figure out how to tell a good story.

In my opinion, our lives are little more than the stories we tell ourselves and each other. I’m quite certain that the massive increase in people walking around with cameras these days is far more than a passing trend. It’s a sign of progress towards a connected and engaged society. The technology is here. Now we just have to learn how to use it.

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