How has the digital "revolution" changed film making from your perspective?
I am an Amateur video enthusiast, nevertheless, I do believe that the 'recent digital revolution' has released a deluge of creative energy across both professional and cultural divides.
Almost overnight the cinematic expertise, polish and finish of the Studio System has been overturned and usurped. A studio can now be carried in the trunk of a family car, well almost, and at an accessible cost.
I can see the potential for enormous change in all areas and applications of Professional and non-commercial production. Exactly where and how the market place for such an explosion of quality product will be found remains to be seen.
What do you bring with you from 16 mm photography?
As a young man I found 16 mm cinematography a very disciplined medium. For an amateur enthusiast the cost of film stock was considerable. The mere sound of the celluloid running through the gate of my old Bolex was enough to induce a rising sense of panic in my wallet.
Lip synchronisation was a further area of difficulty and expense to be endured. I therefore have a tendency to relate to my short stories in visual terms rather than through the use of dialogue (e.g. transition).
I think it fair to point out that the writing of dialogue is an 'art-form' and it is one in which I do not excel!
The DSLR video cameras are called "game changers". What are your thoughts about that?
DSLR Video is not really a "game changer" at all - it is a compromise that has apparently caught the manufacturers of video camcorders by surprise. DSLRs, by their nature, are not ideally suited to Moviemaking and in order to bring them under control a raft of bolt-on appendages is required. I love my Canon 7D for its picture quality alone. In all other areas such as sound and ergonomics it is at present inadequate, which hardly come as a shock when given the genetic history of the DSLR camera.
It is now self evident that a large sensor within a Digital Video Camcorder that will also accept interchangeable Standard 35 mm lenses will clean up financially in the 'Prosumer' marketplace.
What are the most important aspects of storytelling?
Recently, on Vimeo, I have been watching the most beautiful, confident and astounding computer animated abstract short films. They are seriously amazing to watch. But, I am reminded of a Kaleidoscope that I had as a child. You would look into the tube and the crystals and mirrors within would astonish the eye of the viewer with their ever changing variety and beauty. Then one day you never looked into the tube again - this is the flaw that is integral to beautiful but abstract work. It has the power to divert and astonish but eventually without a tangible narrative, no matter how tenuous, we switch OFF.
Human beings are programmed by cultures, time and generations to listen to stories. It is a fundamental and base instinct that goes back to the Cave, the winters and the log-fires of long ago. Once upon a time...
I remember at my boarding school in the late 50's there was a healthy, black market appetite among the pupils for swopping those 1 penny/ 1 cent graphic pocket-size magazines. A practice which was frowned upon from on high. These illicit magazines portrayed the blood and guts of heroism, love, war, betrayal and death. The graphic artists of the day, whether they knew it or not, were depicting Storyboards for the Spielberg and Gaming generations.
Bullets, Bayonets, Breasts and Legs were all shown to be bursting out of the constraints of their frames to impregnate my youthful and impressionable cinematic mind!
The great film directors of the world are all telling the same stories. They just tell them in different ways.
Bob Lorrimer took up 16mm filming with his father's Kodak Royal when he left school. Business, expense and work intervened until five years ago when he suddenly realised the breathtaking changes that were taking place in digital photography. In an amateur capacity films like The Drill has won competitions. In his own words: It is entirely self filmed! I know my limits, I have no future expectations, only a learning curve.
In a new web series here at storytell.in, we will introduce you to several storytellers with at different approach to the DSLR technology and storytelling. You can see the film that they have made, followed by a version of the same film with audio commentaries.