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Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Hate The Film Look

I was interviewing a cameraman the other day and he made a big deal out of his ability to get "that film look" with a video camera. He looked at me with amazement when I told him that was the last thing I wanted.

I hate the film look. I want it real and in your face, not warm and fuzzy "like a movie." Why this nostalgia continues for the look of the 1920's astounds me. I'm pretty sure that had the film pioneers of those days had a choice between the realism of today's hi-def video and the otherworldly softness of film that they'd choose video in most cases.

I'm not talking about basic shooting fundamentals like framing and focusing, I'm referring to shooting at 24 frames per second instead of 30, shortening the shutter angle and limiting the dynamic range in an effort to make it look like the shoot was done with a film camera.

This goes especially for music video. The cinema look provides a kind of space between the viewer and the subject that seems so anti-Music 3.0. In these days of reaching out directly to the fan base, why try to keep them at a distance when they want to be as close to you as they can?

I'm about to begin writing a new book called "The Music Video Handbook" that will cover everything that a musician needs to know about making any kind of video that might be helpful to his career. I'll include a section on how to get "that film look" because I know that some readers might want that look, but I'll continue to stay away from it myself.

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