Sunday, 8 July 2007
The Good Human
A good cameraperson, at will, can be on one frame, then zoom in and re-frame in a flash, There is a small moment where the movement takes place.
When you edit two shots together, it is an accepted norm amongst editors that you don't simply match the movement in the wide shot and the close up together. If an actors arm swings then you cut out a bit of the movement so that the movement is advanced because the eye and brain can accept that advancement. If you simply cut the movement from one shot to the other in the same place, then it is perceived as a faltering in the action. So 'film' grammar has developed amongst editors is in response to human perception and functions of time.
What is amazing to me (and also very ordinary because why shouldn't this be so) is that the precise duration that the cameraperson takes to reframe is exactly the same duration as the editor would cut out to advance the action.
The act of the cameraperson at the moment that the choice is made - and remembering the consciousness that watches for the moment to become available is always engaged with seeking the opportunity - that act is without resolution, colour etc, but is engaged with the insect part of our eyes that developed so many million years ago as a response to movement. Probably the hairs or fronds that extruded from heads to sense what was before it, receded back into a container like an eye socket to protect them and receive matter - particles - photons of light, that indicated distance and shape etc and later a lens grew over. So we slip back into one of our prior brains to find the resources to accomplish the act.
When lighting I use 'wide vision'. I walk into a space, a room or whatever and I look at the space from deep within my optic system - way back in the brain where the incoming information is not yet organized (the optic system is an organizer itself of course). I do not choose to specify where my gaze alights as I simply allow myself to bask in the overall play of light and colour. Doing so reveals opportunities within the functions of the brain that together are named 'intelligence'. I find a descriptive word like intelligence similar to the use of a term like 'bronchitis' where a group of symptoms are given an overall name but actually, we really do not know very much about what is going on. Within intelligence, apart from functions like rationality, discrimination, attention, will and all the other words that describe the mind when it takes on a particular character, there is a capacity to 'read' a situation where you utilise what has been described as intuition. Intuition is another one of those words which takes a stab at rendering the immaterial, material - Jung used the word 'psyche' to describe something that actually materially exists for instance - so intuition to me is a utility of the mind when ratiocination is not dominant. This of course takes practice to endow this utility with power to be functional on a regular and useful basis.
Cutting to the chase, in English at least, in-tuition is just that, an inward teaching from a base resource. Maybe the species encodes it's continuous and developing presence on this planet and the learning that it has generated (even if one were thinking in Darwinian terms) as a faculty/utility that works side-by-side the rational.
So, the intuitive functioning cameraperson, like the improvisational jazz pianist, or healer, or improvisational dancer calls upon a decision making process far faster than thought - connecting eyes, hands and intuition to execute a command line function and outcome that agrees with aesthetic functions - the editor knows what the cameraperson knows innately - because the teaching that goes on comes out of the greater whole - the good human.
What is this to do with definition and high definition at that ? For me as I struggle forward for understanding, I tell myself a tale like the tale above to try to work forward to understand why we need or want to generate technologies that are 'better' or more refined, defined or resolved that those that preceded and to know the answer to that conundrum we have to understand what it is that we are and through what filters we see the world.