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'We shoot digital in the context of being part of the action'

Soviet Cinema under montage rules ( which are formatted by a take on dialectical materialism in way of contradiction) revolutionized film making and in effect paved the way for the modern feature film. If no October  then no Star Wars. In terms of intimacy and vox popery consider Vertov's extraordinary Man with a Movie camera (1929) which is my favorite. But the (silent) voices are of individuals engaged in a mammoth project.


Similar vox popery is standardly deployed by radical film makers like Peter Watkins.

Sampler: Culloden

He also did a massive film in similar mode on the Paris Commune.

Sampler: La Commune

I'm not so keen on Godard...

But since I've done a bit of both video and audio editing in socialist garb I think the main task is to edit rather than not. Thats' YouTubes burden isn't it -- video unedited and published raw? Spare us the extra bits...and terrible sound.

The problem - or the advantage -- with digital media is that you can choose to tell your story so many different ways by cutting and placing.

I thought Paul Benedek's re- telling of the Tent Embassy forum in Sydney recently


...is a very good example of gathering material and bringing it together.

I had considered and suggested that the SA form its own video club to encourage support and upskilling ... and deal with the ongoing problem of getting the stuff circulated , out there or (egads!) viral.

I had also experimented in the past with an online channel aggregation: VideoActiv and recruited videographers as far away as Poland.

Nowadays with these small very cheap video cameras (and phones) shooting videois so darn easy. Editing, however, is much more difficult. I shot some of mybest video on a digital still camera with a vid option.

The problem generally is not that there is not enough video being shot but that people don't shoot anything -- not even still photographs let alone good ones -- as part of their journalistic engagement. The advantage of the new small video cameras (and I got mine for $50!) and the standard digital still camera or phone is that you can choose to shoot either still or video material.

More often a slideshow is more engaging than a poorly edited video that took a week or two to pull together.

Then, when folk shoot stuff they then often lock it away on Facebook making it so difficult to 'share'.

So I suggest some simple rules:
(1) If you shoot video: edit it before publishing it.(Or edit as you shoot --
with a mind's eye for that magic "under 10 minutes" rule )
(2) If you shoot still images publish your photographs on Picasa and mark them
'public'.
(3) If you shoot still, reduce the size of your images before you upload them
.Much easier DIY.
(4) If you sound is crap -- don't use it on the video. Bring in text instead or
maybe risk a voice over. I prefer text.
There's an interesting technique (under Montage influences) pursued by the Canadian film maker Arthur Lipsett:

Sampler:Very Nice, Very Nice

which 'alienates' sound from images. I think it suits the audio recording conditions we often find ourselves in. In fact you run two montages not necessarily in sync with one another: image and sound.

I guess I see Lipsett (now deceased -- he suicided in 1986) as a later day Vertov.

Today if you use the right free apps you can download and edit any video on YouTube as well as download and edit just the sound from any video on YouTube.

On terms of Montage -- and vox popery -- the world's your oyster.

A good example of what you can play with is what Brendan Cooney does with Kapitalism 101: He often uses old cartoons with voice over.
And then of course in full pro mode is the excellent 'the story of stuff'...

I think the point about film that matters is the way it is manipulated to engineer POV. (This is why I like the cinema of Iranian film maker Abbas Kiarostami who's 10 and ABC Africa you just have to watch to see what's possible so easily shooting straight without engineering.

Hollywood as well as TV using several cameras, over the shoulder POV shots and smart edits drag you into the intimacies of the moment in the same way that the novel is a quintessential bourgeois form. Then there is the way acting is played for the camera...

OUR advantage is that when we shoot digital in the context of being part of the action and also politically engaged with the subject we potentially can access a purer more real voice regardless of how grossly amateur and unskilled we are. We simply don't have the skills or tools to manipulate or warp the story telling.

So rawness rules with a certain undeniable reality about it...and passion.

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