Saturday, May 28, 2016

Risky business

Jessi earned some criticism from her peers for carrying a videographer in (slow-moving) Berlin traffic in such a daring manner. 

But surely the motto of low-budget production is still 'use what you've got'. And what they had was a bunch of electrically-powered scooters which were the actual subject of the shoot.

My own opinion... quite apart from paternal solidarity... is that, even if the 'Health and Safety' people might have freaked out had they been aware of what was happening, here we have an example of the kind of WTF improvisation which is by no means without precedent.

I suggested to Jessi that she should go back in time, specifically to Paris at the end of the fifties when film-makers were questioning the orthodoxy of the conventional system

I'm thinking of the movie which introduced my to the Nouvelle Vague in 1960, Godard's Breathless, for which the innovative cinematographer Raoul Coutard used a Caméflex Eclair, shooting 35mm black-and-white film in Academy ratio... although he, too, might today capture HD video with a DSLR! They, too, had moving camera shots they wanted to make, but without laying tracks orovercomplicating matter. They pressed into action not a scooter but a wheelchair.

And they took risks, as the makers of movies must always do. Coutard's vantage-point at the windowfor this shot in a Truffaut film  looks most precarious.

I am not saying that courting disaster is a good thing. But I do believe that exaggerated timidity does not fit well with ambitious creativity.

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