Friday, September 02, 2005

Help Find A Cure For Hyperactive Camera Disorder

Having finished up some work I went to see The Cave yesterday and was subjected to yet another movie where the makers somehow felt that shaking the camera a lot would add suspense, or maybe tension -- but more likely nausea and a growing awareness of my butt falling asleep.

It reminded me that I wanted to post something to my blog that I had mentioned on DISC/ontent -- and this time I figured I'd add in a little icon. Feel free to steal the image for your own use, or steal and make look better.

The striking inability to... hold... the... camera... still... in a lot of modern films. I figure the invention of smaller, more mobile cameras and the fact that so many directors come out of music videos contributes to this, but, really, if the scene is so boring that you feel the need to have the camera bounce around, maybe change the scene.

This also occurs as a result of the desire of some film-makers to increase the realism and immersion of fight scenes by editing them to look the way they'd look if the audience member was watching the film while being beat with sticks by a gang of neo-nazis. Just tell the damn story.

I suspect one contributing factor to the increasing incidence of this disorder is artists transitioning from marijuana to Ecstasy as their drug of choice. Isn't it time for barbituates to come back into fashion?


Anonymous said...

I think NYPD Blue ruined this shaly camera technique, I am starting to hate it, commercials use it now..what's next CNN Headline news?

Steve Peterson said...

LOL -- it'd give Soledad O'Brien that authentic, gritty look!

Scott the Reader said...

It certainly didn't help Woody Allen's "Husbands and Wives", either, though with a few more actual fight scenes (give Mia a bat with nails sticking out of it!) I guess it could have coalesced.

Steve Peterson said...

Thanks for dropping by Scott!

I like your blog, but, one thing: cut them soem slack on the fart jokes in screenplays, please -- they're often the only thing I laugh at in the movies nowadays.

Phoenix said...

Couldn't agree more on the shakycam. I don't like the justifcation of, "Well, we want to make the audience feel confused, so we make the camera confused." Such a literal and ineffective method really needs to be put down.

Steve Peterson said...

Thanks for dropping by Phoenix and congrats on the Dogs-damn-dogs project! Probably best to go ahead and take that one. Just remember that James Cameron's first film was Piranha Part Two: The Spawning.

K.C. Baxter said...

"Hyperactive Camera Disorder." I love that! The most concise and appropriate term I've heard so far! Much better than mine, "bobble-head perspective."