Still Holds Up-City of Gold (1957)

When my kids and I watch an older movie or show that we haven’t seen for a decade and it still looks good in terms of special effects and watchability…the go to term is to say “still holds up”.  Sometimes it applies to a movie we’ve never seen…or perhaps even an older video.

Video.  It’s a strange thing to dive into the world of video creation.  What most people share on their FB wall and on twitter and vine and other places are things that were simply recorded.  The intent is to entertain, to exasperate, to shock.  What we mostly see are the visual equivalents of cheap candy.  Sometimes I too suffer from a sweet tooth.  I am not knocking it…too much.

But what I really love about video is the challenge of making it meaningful.  What is your story saying?  Will it hold up?  When we watch it a decade from now or more, will a viewer be captured by what you captured?

Anyone can “make” a video.  But can you tell a visual story?

Recently I have been increasingly drawn to how effective a well taken photograph holds up.  I have been poring through the Leslie Jones archives.  I have been studying MC Escher’s prints.  I have also been thinking a lot about how parallax 2.5D enhanced with 3D realism via dimensional mapping can bring photos and prints to life in new ways.

What can video do differently, to enhance  one’s ability to share a moment in time that will leave a lasting impression upon a viewer that informs, educates and inspires.  It’s that last descriptor that is missing from nearly all video that is shared in this day and age.  Inspires?  Who makes a video with the intent to inspire?  Not enough, in my opinion.

What can video do that we haven’t even considered yet, that inspires others?

I have been reading a lot about Ken Burns, the famous documentarian, who is also apparently a self described Luddite.  If there is any style of storytelling I am drawn to most, it is his.  Long fascinated by his use of panning, scrolling and bringing history alive with various animation effects,  I read last night that he was first inspired to appropriate this style by watching City of Gold (1957).  I just woke up early today before work to watch it.  There it was, in the credits…Animation Photography-Douglas Roberts.

It’s over 50 years old.  Still holds up.



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