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Staycation 2: Electric Bugaloo

Posted on May 15, 2009 by billsimmon in blogging, Digital Culture, filmmaking, linkdump, whining about being busy | 4 Comments

Here are the subjects of the blog posts I’ve been meaning to write on my staycation but haven’t found the time for…

1. The end of newspapers does not mean the end of professional journalism. Examples of previous technological paradigm shifts support my claim.

2. Using the new Star Trek film as an example, I discuss how filmmaking/cinematography has become more “dirty” and has taken to calling attention to the “camera” in pursuit of “realism.”




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  1. On May 15, 2009, Lev said:

    I don’t mind the “jerky camera” stuff in movies and TV shows. I actually think it can make a show more immersive if used correctly. I think it can, if used correctly, break the fourth wall and give more of an illusion that you are there. I think the first TV show that used it extensively was Homicide, and that was a great show that staked out a very different look and aesthetic than the other television shows of the time, and I think it helped make the action more personal.

    All this being said, I do think it’s beginning to get overused, and it really annoyed me on BSG (though not on Firefly, oddly). I think that it’s run its course–once CBS primetime shows are doing it, I think that the days of the shakycam are numbered. Knowing Bill as I do, he will no doubt be pleased when this happens, and I don’t mind more of a classic approach to cinematography (a la The Wire) but I think shakier camerawork can be appropriate depending on the project.

  2. Verite is the new Steadicam.

  3. On May 15, 2009, Alex C said:

    > I think the first TV show that used it extensively was Homicide

    Homicide copied NYPD Blue. Which is still the master of the craft, at least during the first 6 seasons. If you pay attention you’ll see the camera is not lurching randomly, but its attention is drawn by motion or detail.

  4. Bill,

    Can’t comment on the Star Trek movie, since I haven’t seen it yet. Sadly.

    But I wanted to point out that the newspaper I work for isn’t disappearing. Seven Days is actually still expanding our circulation.

    It’s frustrating sometimes when everyone talks about “the death of newspapers.” They’re really talking about the death of a certain kind of newspaper. Print is still a viable medium for some of us.

    Just sayin’.

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