Re: 45th Ann Arbor Film Festival

From: db (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Mar 30 2007 - 09:05:33 PDT

Hoping not to start "the old format war"...

This says little about content. Only about not understanding the
tools being used. If that is important to what you are trying to
articulate, well, the same could be said of someone who used film
stock and equipment without understanding the technology, or even a
framer who doesn't know how to use a square and a hammer correctly.

Understand your tools/experiment with the technology/discover
characteristics unique to the medium you are using.


On Mar 30, 2007, at 7:08 AM, Robert Schaller wrote:

> One of the clearest reminders to me, though, that the format does
> matter,
> came, paradoxically from digital editing. I was working on my
> first 720p24
> project in Final Cut, and had original footage in a wide variety of
> formats
> that I was working with, in DVCProHD60p, PAL anamorphic, PAL 4X3,
> and NTSC
> 29.97. I edited away and got a fine cut, only to realize that I
> didn't have
> anything at all: because I had used all these different formats, I
> couldn't
> output the piece, and the visual quality of what I had was a mess.
> I had to
> go back and transform the source material to a common format, and
> redo the
> edit. Which was an object lesson that format matters very much,
> and that
> programs like Final Cut are not doing us a favor by letting us
> think that
> they are all interchangeable and somehow equivalent. They are
> not. How
> many of us have endured almost unwatchably bad interlaced video
> projections
> at film festivals? I remember going to IDFA a few years ago, and
> feeling
> crucified by work that was sometimes very interesting from the
> point of view
> of "content" but was visually hideous, as if the filmmakers had no
> idea that
> they were creating a visual work, and didn't care about visuality
> at all.
> And then, for the last screening, I saw a film shot and projected
> on film,
> by Frederick Wiseman, and it was like being reborn. It's not my
> purpose
> here to single Mr. Wiseman out for specific praise, but it was so
> clear that
> he was thinking about how what he was making would LOOK, in
> addition to
> attending to documentary "content" -- in fact, the visuality of the
> work and
> its content were one: he was making a FILM, and it was a pleasure
> to watch.
> The difference was clear.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.