December 14, 2005

Video production

This blog mostly addresses the philosophical merits of commercial products: movies, tv dramas, and documentaries. In watching commercial television, however, I have been astonished to notice how quickly greed is spoiling the medium, in multiple ways: chopping up shows with endless commercials, junking up the screen during shows with corner ads and logos, and mutilating serious works to remove anything that might offend an audience person with money to spend. It may be that greed is weaning people of television more quickly than any "Kill Your TV" campaign ever could.

This junking up of commercial tv benefits cable producers. They can offer uninterrupted and uncluttered shows that do not need to pander to anybody. And the consumer equipment is getting good enough that such shows are watchable.

Unfortunately, cable producers very frequently produce junk, for no good reason. They don't respect the limits of their cameras: little cheap cameras don't do good wide shots. They are best at close-ups. If you try to get three people and a tree into the shot, everybody and the tree looks bad. Also, cable producers very frequently ignore a simple, unwritten rule of video production: "Almost never make anybody's crotch the focal point of a shot." I see so many interviews shot full body, low, of men with legs spread wide. This is, as prim people would say, disturbing and unnecessary. Finally, anybody who enters public space should have some simple reason for being there. "I want to say some things," is not and never has been a reason for taking up public space.

And finally, cable producers of the world, inheritors of the public airwaves, brave explorers of uncharted territories, never, never, never use a tree in your show unless your show is about a tree.

Posted by shea0017 at 1:05 PM