As cinema's traditional structures, methods and tools for creation and distribution crumble and reach an Armageddic shift; we spit and laugh as they fall! As filmmakers, we are aware that the established practices have not evolved in pace with the current advances in technology, and that they bind us to archaic and restricting dogma.
Now that the individual no longer need submit to bureaucratic and unwieldy structures that were born from the necessities of the technological limitations of the past, we may get closer to expressing the essence of our initial inspiration, intent or story.
We have set out to redefine the entire cinematic experience away from its place within the BROADCAST structure (BROADCAST, as defined by Gene Youngblood as all corporate media and the culture it creates), back into a medium of inter-personal storytelling that facilitates and fulfills human needs rather than dictating them. A cinema that bypasses the socioeconomic and administrative movie making machine, a gauntlet that batters many a film into just another watered down and unsuspecting vehicle for the “big message.”
In order to make this journey, we must first break away from institutionalized formulas that regurgitate the mindset of anachronistic sociopolitical structures and keep us indebted to agenda-laden, corporate-influenced funding systems.
Filmmakers are constrained by the “mandatory” festival circuit and the established marketing and distribution models, made to feel obliged to use unwieldy procedures with large crew requirements that are no longer needed, only serving to hinder the process as well as maintain financial dependency, and brainwashed by the geriatric maxims ingrained by film schools that breed inadvertent conduits for the Broadcast and perpetuate costly procedures that help sustain and maintain an economic subjugation to the machine that holds the right to approval. WTF?!
It is time to unload all that is superfluous, and reveal the new cinema of today. Here are some of the head shifts, stylistic and procedural techniques, and tools we are developing that enable us to help redefine the entire cinematic experience:
1. We begin by eliminating the practices that have been developed as ways of working with extinct technologies, ones that required the division of labor because of the cumbersomeness of the “ancient” tools: the specialization and subsequent segregation of the creative and expressive processes.
The mammoth cinema making machine will be pared down to its essential elements by reducing the variables at every possible moment. By re-evaluating current procedures juxtaposed against the actual requirements of the newly emerged technologies as they relate to each unique project, we will then employ only the essentials.
Though we see film itself as an obsolete recording medium, we have no intention of throwing everything out and starting from scratch. We keep procedures and natural hierarchies that still empirically hold true. This is not an anything goes approach. The idea is to simplify, not complicate the process.
2. We must redefine the entire cinematic experience around today’s emerging technologies.
In production, the exponentially rapid development of camera technology points to new and unexplored possibilities for the camera person – abilities that allow them to actively participate in the action, interact with the performers in the scene, and effectively immerse the viewer even more fully in the experience.
We are designing and prototyping a new camera so as to fully explore these new possibilities.
In post-production, the division between editor, graphic and effects artist, colorist, and finisher has been made obsolete by today’s technology, as is evident by the practices adopted at i^3 hypermedia, where the division between production and post-production is also being challenged.
A single integrated and lean system can now accomplish tasks that once needed many separate departments and even different companies. Because of this, the creative process never ends at any specific stage of the timeline because of procedural or large budgetary restrictions. Everything from concept to production to post-production to distribution becomes part of one dynamic creative experience. Writing, shooting, re-writing, editing, re-shooting, re-etc. do not compromise efficiency because they are part of the technique.
3. We must redefine content creation, presentation and context around this new cinematic experience.
Unencumbered by the gauntlet artists had to run through (and still do) while trying to manifest their cinematic visions, we now have the freedom to redefine cinema as the medium it can evolve to:
- A cinema where the initial transition from theater to film can finally be completed. Where the conventions of the stage that were adopted because of the limitations of the early cameras and tools will be recognized as compromises that can finally be made optional a century later. Where maintaining a third person perspective is no longer sacrosanct. Where “breaking the fourth wall” is not just a novel theatrical concept, but a basic and essential part of cinematic vernacular. Where holding a scene for as long and steady as possible so as to not remind the viewers that they are watching a movie is finally discarded as bullshit, and new more cinema-specific techniques for creating immersion can be developed. On and on…
- A cinema where the viewer can experience an information environment that will incite their imagination and is as immersive and interactive (i cubed) as today’s technology will allow.
- A cinema where a new kind of camera person can emerge as a more intrinsic part of the action, as a performer interacting with the actors and capturing scenes from a first person perspective, thereby enabling a more immersive experience for the viewer. We are calling this “method camera.”
- A cinema where a new kind of actor will emerge from these possibilities. A performer that is more and more engaged in the whole process. An actor that can move method acting to a new level. Where we can create cinematic environments in which performers can live out their characters as much as is safely possible. They willl be performers that are, in effect, an integral part of the writing, conceptualizing, and creative process.
- A cinema where the script is not god but simply the spark that ignites the dialog. A script that is adaptive to creative opportunities that arise through the process itself and the specific talents involved, and to reflect and respond to the current ever-changing and often times compelling internal and external social climate.
This is where it starts....