Today I photographed a short-film for a friend who is a senior at UT Arlington. It’s a dramatic film in the mode of “Almost Famous” and “Submarine” , about a boy in the throws of teenage hood who has to confront the end of a friendship. We shot it in 16x9 and the shoot was an exercise in my trying to use the entirety of the native frame from my DSLR, rather than shooting with the intention of cropping the image into an non native aspect ratio. Theoretically, and historically, the medium dictates the aspect ratio, however in these digital times all reason has gone out the window. Shooting digitally widens the sandbox considerably - you could shoot in nearly any aspect ratio you wanted to provided you have enough resolution. This presents more problems than it does solutions, in my experience. It would seem like it would provide the filmmaker more options to make the film better but in reality it tends to muddle the process and often makes me lazy as an image-maker. Because of the plethora of options available, the decisions made carry less conviction and it’s felt more often than not in the film. I consider this to be a major dilemma for myself personally, but am convinced this applies to many : What are image-makers to do in a world of nearly infinite possibilities? A good problem to have, perhaps? I’m undecided.
I’m working more actively these days to make more aesthetic decisions with a sense of conviction, rooted in what the film demands, rather than an of-the-moment aloofness.
We shot from 9-5 and I drove home on I-30, for the first time in months, and went straight to the lake to get a run in. I managed 7 miles at a surprisingly speedy pace. It’s becoming easier to run faster as the weather cools down ; although I am still putting off getting in my long-long runs. Soon I will have no choice but to run the prerequisite 18 miler before I can call myself marathon-ready. It was a relatively easy run, I used the time to consider the decisions made during the shoot as I’ve yet to look at the dailies. I used the time to think about what I would have done differently, and to think about all those things i’m still unable to articulate about the filmmaking process ; like how a certain mood is achieved on set amongst the crew and performers, about how split-second decisions get made in favor of the film rather than in hurt; and how to better find the precise place where the camera should be. As in running, there’s always room to try harder.
I walked the last mile back to the car covered in dusk and guided by the spooky orange streetlights, the insects were roaring and I drank my cucumber-lime flavored Gatorade in one gulp.