I am for access. When a technology becomes common as dirt, then it is significant. HD is cool and all, but when you can't buy a standard resolution video camera because HD is so cheap, then HD will have a big impact. That is just beginning to happen.
There is a lot of resistance to this. Part is built on assumptions previously held about how something should work. This can be technology, this can be a medium. I like to talk about how Michael Moore broke the documentary forever. There really was no illusion of objectivity before, but putting the cameraman into the story as an actor -- well that changed things forever. The illusion of the impartial observer is broken, but a new illusion is born, that we are seeing a well thought out, well considered story. That may be true. Or we may search for meaning, and make our own sense out of it. But the important tie-in here is that Michael Moore could not have accomplished what he did in Roger and Me without cheap, affordable video technology.
This forum discussion really got be thinking about access. I find this bit interesting:
That's the problem, I've been to Arts college as well, and you find yourself surrounded by some pretty "interesting" people in class, and giving the classes (well, especially in some parts of Australia) who have some "interesting" ideas that are totally unrepresentative of what the audience wants ;
Well, I am in Art + Design. Perhaps I am one of those interesting people with "interesting" ideas. I maintain that audience (perhaps another antiquated term -- can we talk about the individual?) often doesn't know what it wants.
I am in the market for a new video camera. I sold my tape based camera 4-5 years ago. I did this for several reasons, most important was the most practical; I had grown tired of shooting video. This had been an old thing with me, going back 15 years or more when I shot/edited video for money. I began to see it as a mechanistic process. It almost killed it for me.
The camera intrudes. People do not like it. Michael Moore used that to his advantage, a weapon of intimidation at times. I want to avoid that, instead drift into the background. I am not being coy here. I understand that I drive the camera, and I understand the audience gets that too.
However, in shooting Ideation a year and a half ago, I used a cheap Pentax Optio MX that shot sort of mediocre NTSC resolution camera. It looks like a remediated Super 8 Movie camera, and that is exactly what it is.
The inspiration for working this way comes directly from French New Wave filmmaking. The loose group of movie makers were simply taking advantage of the fact that film technology had become quite affordable, if not quite perfect. It didn't need to be, and the imperfections could in the end be part of the presentation.
I think things like the Pentax Optio MX and the Sanyo HD1a represent something that purists will hate. It is not state of the art. It is cheap. It has noticeable flaws. It will end up the hands of everyone.
I heard this same discussion 6-8 years ago when MiniDV tape first showed up. It was not "broadcast quality", the video professionals would tell me. Really, how could a cheap consumer camera compete with a $10k Sony Betacam camera.
Access. It Disrupts. People get that.
Okay, enough. History is littered with this stuff.
I think the future is indeed form and motion. It is something we want to utilize. Just like the cell phone lets us of sort of teleport (at least our voice), cameras let us manipulate time, light and space. That is access. It is disruptive. It is profound. As I mebtioned in my last posting, media changes people's perception forever. There is no going back.