Unprivileged Camera Style Author(s): David MacDougall Reviewed work(s): Source: RAIN, No. 50 (Jun., 1982), pp.

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viewed from oneposition only wasunsatis because factory certain were seen persons at theexpense ofothers. Latersuchscenes disappeared further become from jokes. a character. to a newimpulse.'Look at thecamera. their responding butwehadunderestimated they films. Wehadbeenfilming were which surrounded pounds. whoalso spent much of their in fixed time positions around their compounds. Expressionism. camera theearly longandstatic daysofthe that we filmed. ofinstantaneous is a conceptual. 16 Mar 2013 14:52:16 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . weshifted to a second' camera position.' Woolf to explain up Virginia summoned him.oneofthemost a mirror orwall.Finally. andinanycaseonecannot imagine an unknown person being given Colin Young suchaccessto other people'slives. saidEBasil Wright in 1969. Hawthorn(1906). style offiction webegan to without thecontradiction Later framing of ourshots. They inthrillers andpsycholoare alsoeach up to common various were tricks. began we to which tosay. Weoften remained butsometimes there. Having to enter with managed our filming equipment wegenerally settled gratefully inoneplace.We were peoplebegan taking snapshots poundfilming had theconventions offiction aware that theturn ofthecentury they justbefore would influenced say. for theoptimum began looking in position which to placeourselves. after wehad finished shooting To LiveWith HerdsinUganda. It wasalso difficult to record the ofa process likebeer-making steps from oneposition when eachstep seemed to itsownparticular require angle. As webecame more we experienced. andhadthen returned to thefirst angle itwasn't working. again.'Don't lookat thecamera.likethe the they we inwhich inema. It wasonly when westarted that webegan editing to havedoubts.anda number of than buttheeffect types rather another. twoormore shots from causethey Byintercutting us a sense ofuntrammelled give wewere we found taking will. looking Johnson andGibson's ictof filming. for a conversation Often. either because thecentre ofsocialinteraction hadshifted thequite or for different reason that weknew a second camera would be useful when the angle time cameto edit thefilm.to counteract thesoundtrack. how Lorang's Wayhad affected This content downloaded on Sat. Theediting offiction on theonehand to theaudience denying films also takes butwith iton theother.Camels and The Wedding in London theendof 1978I Lorang's Way. what Thesenotions persisted through the andviewing synchronizing ofourrushes.. These films posit an invisible observer with special powers which merge theconsciousnessoftheauthor andaudience. wasthemainstay cutting dialogue Frame enlargements from fiction films wehadseeninourlives. a understood that within dramatic ofbeing present sequences no time needelapseat a cut. Institute ofAboriginal Canberra. aspects informal Television to record work. of travelling between them. 'become' a seethat this inpremises: non-fictional wasa contradiction problem person. The term Something privileged happened rhedirectness ofHollywood ofmany often usedindiscussions ofthe'primitive' that Films a camera madebetween position films to describe 1895and 1920 ineveryday life.Inside. In producing graphy this effect were ledirrevocably they into fiction. Discoveries ofthi kind may explain so many why films seem likeuneasy orreworkings compromises of 'found' material. At first thetechnical documentary films weblamed canadopttheshooting hadhappened.. them oflife. The film is arereally the camera angles privileged itssubjects. Thiswasthe wewould point'from which havean view ofmost unimpeded socialactivities. theeffect ofmuch is usually lowenergy-level cinema. both contained their interlocutors.weknew ground that later wewould be ableto. time andspacerather what wehadbeenoffering with to give wasa sense than conventions ofprivacy. that thecamera hasactually The wasn't therealproblem. canbe a protracted Film-making process.looking -arrying oftheir rades.towards of itwasDai Vaughn (editor suppose. achieved bya ofseparate subjects series camera outdramatic We were notsingling Theidea set-ups. shots are infact only analogues oftheviewpoint weended Formany of sequences approach. Atleastthat was wethought. who films) Graef's many ofRoger UNPRIVILEGED CAMERA STYLE DavidMacDougall is Director Film of the Australian Unit.' documentary considerably Later. theareawaslikea roofless with a clean-swept earthen room. cameraangle was similar in film. 'As you a world heregards canaltowards birth with horror. a distorted or surrealistic orperhaps . our ofourpresence. camera positions a style immediacy byinvoking awaythat * * * wit^h of fictional incompatible film-making ina comtheideaofrealpeoplesitting When other realpeople. butas though accept photophotographs hadnotoccurred. )arading placesofwork Suchshots thetoolsandproducts up hisnostrils. byheavy ofinterwoven One stockades sticks.Forsomereason despite fact that this pattern ofinterthie 8 in fiction Mostshots films areprivileged because there is no acknowledged observer. rhildren ~ulling faces the camera. thefilm is older so much as opening attention thanfilms. Thesewould start when wehaduseda longtakeof a conversation. someoftheideasI willmention suggested inJiecomhere.xtraordinary early films. are a longer excerpts from paperin preparation. butwhen it'stoolateto go back andshoot itdifferently.a couldnotbe occupied from an acknowledgement ofthe ^esulted shotfrom the through a fireplace. Theeyes from all ofthefootage oftheactors up discarding rarely although lookdirectly oneposition ortheother. andpassing entered bycrouching through a lowdoorway. switching oursubjects' nota technolomadeitpossible: things gicalcreation. We were with pleased thematerial and were wecouldusethebest confident ofit ina film. for which simply matched images to an invention ofanti-subject-matter: of fiction. hiving or a shot through flames. makeit ofthefilms evident that this most point-of-view weabandoned Reluctantly. liberties. andtheextent significance Go on to with what film-makers hadbeentaught youwere andother doing. into either thecamera as they would ifitwere substituted foroneof valuable material. wemade novel butonewhich a hardly discovery.'They wanted as appropriate. hadthen cut to a shot from a second camera position. up to a kind that Fiction films areexperiences events ofmagical inconsequential apparently in witness likewhat onewould were more observation. Thustheeyeofthe for this reasons several observer shifts of 'exotic' to new representations prevalent instantaneously positions without therealities of fieldthenecessity of to express people. when little seemed to be happening andthe camera on andon. whose backswere to us. It generally provided an adequate field andwasaccepofview table to theJie. shows people likea shotfrom thelap ofa fat outoftheir effect. opening by a professionalism vhich viewed any internal evidence of Oskarlookdownhismother's andlittle irn-making as an aesthetic error. Theviewis rarely that point ofmost of a character. what weaskedourselves when Because ofthis. man. example. power is confirmed ever would bythecontinuity of . common offiction films andonly butitis also aboutthe coinage ibout pecific historical when strain the moment noticeable when a cinemabecome they a little audience's Pressed ographer cameto town. with longdelays between shootin a film andediting it. floor. defying ordinary physical limits andforms than as film ofaccountability.Hencefilm-makers areapttomake their discoveries at the worst possible time: when thefilm isn'tye finished. . Fhey nudge and trip other while ofthe1940s andreached gicaldramas leapat and gyrate inthe But backto German foreground. credulity.'in the :now. Thesenotes Studies.andthis inwhich few ofourviewers situation were There find themselves. directors nowswitch to emerge from onecamera to allowindividuals to culture.Thiswe found alsc suited ourfilming. Although acknowledgement multiple cameras andthevery havebeenusedsince takes. In 1968. banished of TheTinDrum. trying What wewere It is ina Jiecompound. cutto a shot from another angle without awkwardness or a sense ofdisjunction. Ifthey choose ordinary experience haveoften beencalleddreamlike itis besubjects.

Thus direction couldalso record general could go anywhere thehunters wemust that the either accept film-makers beganfacing everything. of an impression a convincing a most observed scene. pologists than actors rather to direct their continued andemployed theshooting them. andediting techniques arecharacterTwofilms abouthunters after years mademore thanfifty istic. and Bill shouts'Board!' Chopta pushesopen thescreen and calls out. Others. Mostfilms ethnographers. orthat being inwhich activity or philanthropic mystical no part. 'Tell Daddy Chopra to push open th screendoor and summonChacha an givehiman errand. 'Tell thepages Chacha to keep on turning of theledgeruntilhe's called. attempted films likeHousing Problems mentary had a hardtime (1935).a curious encounter between thefilm-maker shots would be seenintact physical when at a time documentary To achieve this somefilm. attention bothas an attracted special tions ofculture (theWorth-Adair expression and for example) Navajoexperiments.Makingthemwas a and careful matter of highseriousness composition. Thelight-weight tions Michel ofRicky Leacock.non-synchronous wasthenotion Theresult the ofpersonal interaction among basedon the passages a style camera style: teged as He filmed oftheKalahari. filming began recorder.hifted whocouldbe film-makers. It had to be started whenthecameras up artificially of rolled. more competing one suspects. were mosaics of shots. and in Night Mail (1936) therewas no contradiction to get seen in theuse of studiotechniques en routeto theshotsof letter-sorting A railwaycarriagewas put ur Edinburgh. as instructed.and thecamerawas onlyone of whatone severaltools forconveying alreadyknewabout life.as in theatres whenthecamerasappeared. lefiance andthis be madeaboutthem. l waveofthefuture. thepersuasive powers to exploit their to examine ideological andbegan wasoneofthe DzigaVertov implications. incisive 'raw stuff' beforeediting beginsis demonstrated mostforcefully in the formof production of thesimplest reportage film documentary -the taskis to present andthedirector's as possible. ambition played creative a special film constituted Ethnographic Cinematic convencaseofdocumentary. andthis relation inrelation to at In the1950s John Marshall. be unable to the anditwould observer.' (Levin 1971: 41) Documentary of truth weresupposedto be distillations thehumanagencieswhich transcending produced them. Rouch. of were madeat another theinterests andcircumstances directly thehunt wasover. towards viee inways inother ofan efor to put ruthless l examples ther ~qually was There andaudiences.. film-makers ceasedmerely at which point of film.Bringledger. them as authentically would nothing At first sight to present than to be simpler appear inan exciting way. as soon as someoi thatsho lookedat thecamera. filming something by influenced no longer peoplewere that wasa film-making filmed. insteadof forChopra to call him. in The Techniqueof Film Editing. cinema Direct blindness. theraw beings were notmerely riuman of ortheillustration andhadbeen naterial forstories young Marshall wasvery docuin outto do a job ofethnographic ownexistence sent They hadtheir Soncepts. Synchronous sound recording outsidethestudiowas an in onlya fewdocuadventure.approach andthesubject. Living circumstances everyone characters maginary But notthecontinuity.old documentary days.lifestopped self. themcrew to getbetween form as a personal of allowed thefilm offilm implications these shots reflect more It would orthat prey record-making. would be lost. intoethnographic wayslowly in innovators twooftheleading though RouchandJohn Jean documentary. thefragments.' I tellChopra and Chachaji whatt4 do. something heywere. scene. with the 1930sand 40s wereconcerned essences. doing the foreshadowed hewasattempting what haditsown this fervour Of course His sequence-shots. on blocks. that ofa film theappearance !Kung assumption andhis wouldbe heard ofthesocialand their voices though be an artefact should . teams requiring inthe aimed their which thekillwith weapons that cameras first of fancy flights ofthecamera. of anthopological medium revolution ofthestylistic awareness film indocumentary madeits occurring even films. (1980: 63-4) in a camerastyle is a theory of Implicit films of British documentary knowledge. Except wheneventswere itthan film-making evenmoredramatic of war.by . that film ofanydocumentary notto makedocumentary mentation..and rockedrhythmically by stagehands. to institutandexhibitors manufacturers assumpthestyles andintellectual ionalize offilm-making. (1953: to be brought 125-6) * * * . cannowbe seenas early ndividual to thepicture. night at thebeAs so often happens films. self-evident or madeitinteresting.' his lines.Colin Young has observedthattherewas an ArtDirectoro Grierson's Drifters (1929).you threw had be( out becausetheillusionof reality film lost. event an exciting as weshallsee. The factsalone are of interest a turning point to lookfor If onewere films ofdocumentary inthedomination the haveto find onewould byfiction.'Bill says. andtheir selves after probably time. to staging native This content downloaded on Sat. forwhich Mehtawas hiredas thewriter. subjects their for roomforself-deception: also much was themeaning ofevents that believing orthat inimages ofthem. Documentaries withdirectexperience or. 'Lalaji.Huntersin theForest(1972) areseenin shots justbefore thehunters After the oftechnicians. studios. Cinema andcinema Cinema andofDirect of twokinds directed against were verite inherent inan theprivilege privilege: intheliving resulted which aesthetic to an of films subordinated being people of andtheprivilege creator. observe of fiction. of films of thedefinitive claim authority * * * in resituate theaudience the past. haveto wait to do so. walrus-hunting famous Flaherty's as an alterBazincelebrated which Andre In Cree andmontage.and so anothercomponent fiction was added: people became actors impersonating themselves.to achieve Actually. theauthority from ranging ofthefootage. sound cameras were thefirst Maysles andAlbert Brault instruthat couldbe usedas personal inwhich was sound years ments. BeforeChopra can finish Bill yells'Cut!' Chachaji spoiledthe shotbyjumpingup at thesound of Chopra openingthedoor.lit. Mostcameratheformal films to relinquish makers began continifthey filmed menknew that even that sustained theOlympian privileges would be cutup sawit ofstory-tellers. 16 Mar 2013 14:52:16 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .The filmwas Chachaji. butonewould first to find many very the1960s until almost Free oftheBritish Therevolution others.withtheconcen importantly films. Thedebate soon Ruby Jay a to howfilm couldbecome shifted But inquiry. publishedin 1953and 'written and compiled by Karel Reisz withtheguidanceof [a] Committee appointedby theBritish FilmAcademy': [The] need to obtainapt. My Poor Relation:A Memoirby VedMehta about his secondcousin Bahali Ram. hewas he thought what ofthings. could over howfilm ofthedebate because foranthropology. One viewis thatthe aims of docuwereahead of itsmeans. Ved Mehta has described how televisio docua formof fictionalized perpetuates . be treated for ginnings they that lemanded although quiteordinary.theintimate portrait mentary relentlessly mouldingits subjectsto its needs. anonymous television equipment companies. as evidence serve ColinYoung. anthrofilms involving 'educational' to television travelogues. deological of powers intothehands other 'scissor-synced' with thesoundlaboriously . come inside. door. waiting And so themorning goes. Others uousevents their shots Dmniscience it andthefragments intoa new as a matter ofprinciple: that edited ?rimarily ofreal unethical thelives and to present wvas temporal Theoriginal synthesis.and it mentary wasn'tpreparedto wait.In the thedevices relationships spatial bywhich through ?eople shotto get almost were created. ofan unprivi. stimulated byJean andothers. Marshall were asserted which form were castin a lecture notthat ofthecommentator. untilwe think we finally have enoughgood to make a sequenceof material Chachaji beingsenton an errand. actually have may editing process elaborate intooperation. after room Huntersof Mistassini(1974) and The inthecutting either addedto images orresulted cameras from theuseofhuge Pygmies.Authenticity trated energy of story as is made clea: became a matter of effect. equipped thefilm-maker resituating and camera with a spring-wind first only the audience.It would meant to thesubject.

Documentary GardenCity. us hisproKildeaprefers to show He felt andtaperecorder. and Mike Rubbo's Waiting JamesBlue's A Few Notes on Our Food and Morin's Chroniqued'un te'was to show consciously quite attempting itis liketo be an film what through event. quarter a view oftheir experience. to cureher is probably trying is as 'unprofessional'. pay willbe this approach jects. Levin. their mxposing subjects to official reprisals Atonepoint from Kildeashotfootage :rtheostracism oftheir neighbours.V.hips inan andto theaudience. ofthat andconsequences act. Increasingly.is nota definitive style aspects to delineate oneithelps which incontrast to styles gain therelationship only leged' Kildeahasestablished to themselves immunity bynotsubjecting with hissubjects.' an to occupy a compulsion nolonger with hisproblems butstarts occupied at anycost. with for small is nota recipe ofstylistic tion privilege at a newselling daughter. centre taking Morin to hisaudiences. Ethiopia bythe Ethiopian inAddis under the Ministry of Culture Ababa. telling camera position advantageous Kildeaaboutthestrangers nearby.and theGerman National Science Foundation.Kildeabegan working entirely gota shotofthewoman later to useas an ofcamera.for therisks inthefilm a shot occurs Later which cerwith a camera enjoys anyone clearly tells and us more aboutthis relationship as an observer.N. particularly for reasons likeKildea'sinsomeethnofilms cultures where were little underofthe1970s and fictional films graphic ofcommunications is stood. On topof andhaveseparated. Butwhocanafford these oris ableto expensive cameras.more like thefilming.or even editing. ofusing Manyan ethnographer dreams 16mm. theneeds of to protect the wasnecessary approach themoment observed.Butmyexperience hasbeenquite the I havefound opposite. mentary like films Other stage.electric syncsound cameras suchas Ariflex theEclair. alone. London and New York: Focal Press. looking pastthe would once camera. a sync-sound ableto secure camera for a while myself. it. liketheblackouts lengths Themysteries of film-making guarded.These sitlikecatson your cameras shoulder. with mediary wemadeTo Live With When a subject. a thefilming with andcompleted assistant. He hasedited thefilm Philippine Notall thethings wemight wish to ofconmany aspects himself andrefuses know aboutother peoplearerecognizable ofcon. Mehta. occasionally Camels we were we made The Wedding for Fidel. oftheThird theinnumerable microcosms 'ilm-makers arebringing their relationstyle reaches outto buthiscamera World. physical in front oftheTower sellcigarettes Hotel. specific andalthough check on Cora's reactions. ofManila a whomakes theperson between distance to giveher. ofthe Anyknowledge intoaccount. zoomlenseyes. in shots that onceseparated intertitles oncegavefilm-makers accessto the special havereappeared andwhich silent films. for point ofreference buta point enlightenment It is nowdawnand downthestreet.There is whoviews andtheperson film He is pre'somesunandsea breeze.obe explored.a 'one-man-band' insert.andthat inperception limited chance. andwhich useful information. on Kildeais intent at this moment that watching Celso. time. beenremoved have with the. Unprivileged also Kildea'sattitude tain privileges towards the is a negative a correc. window ofoneofthetrains thedriver's Thiscan force them inoneoftwodirecKahilom. thefilm-maker's After lodgings they hopeto occupy. I shallargue In this article that despite thearrival ofhighly sophisticated equipment thesimple camera still hasa placein ethnographic filming. butthewoman is faraway thelives andtheview It concerns havebeendiscussing. il ofthis can be called'unprivi. ofa complex inthemidst observer takes ofit. orAaton.whoarestreet-vendorsmakers havestayed would with Celsoand inManila.R.: Doubleday & Company. of a feature canbe as much Theprocess Rouch style. film-makers arehuman. taken andinthis is finally provisional. the hehadassumed towards obligations * * * ittoo difficult butlater he found family. H-e lifferent from interviews.Thespread and80s. Maricel. cannot David MacDougall Explorations.sea air. originally thefilm-maker to theposition occupied. Theillusion film ventional ofenquiry to permissible subjects is within tinuous shots. provides Other historical actof filming. to the ThusKildeadraws ourattention Peoplearebecoming increasingly aware of that thefilm is composed of fragfact thehazards andpotential offilms benefits ofhissubments taken outofthelives about andfilm-makers must them. with thesubjects into theforeground . event onecanand is aboutwhat thefilm sense know. Theseencounters can heis ofwhat attempt to makeouranalysis levelop intoinformal exchanges quite useslong doing lessproblematical.Muchoftherest wemiss that ofparticithetestimony through is filtered be must interests ownvested whose pants. hesays. 1980. The Photographsof Chachaji. limitations have helped meto understand thelogicof THE SHORT TAKE This content downloaded on Sat. a film aboutthe Hamarof Ethiopia. itssimplicity inanditsinnate spiring.Oneguesses baby'scough nowpreserved. professionals andnon-professionals alike repeatedly suggested to methat itmust be to work frustrating with sucha primitive tool. in rooted fallible. andpurr as they awayquietly vastamounts unspool offootage from 120m. thesubject )ftheir films.bythe ofshort oftheir interpolation destroyed concerns arethemost closely or ofleader. as heputs Maricel Baywith it. they would Forfilms to be properly interpreted the a observer.Thefilm to makesense trying It is clear from theenquiry.to getby. 'letters' Marker's Chris the turn ways various intheir Problem. Ivo Strecker hasmadeTheLeap Across theCattle. except them. shereturns to her from the itself which seeks to sever oftheroomapparently unexamination to the offiction andtieitself imagery Theshot a crossconcerned. their cassettes. restore to theaudience Sequence-shots in somedetail theroom she examining ofperception askswhen ofthecontinuity something is going to start. andis nowworking onseveral which arebeing films in co-produced FilmCentre. matters them the Often which touch . interintoan identifiable film-maker with grappling theaudience. As I wasusing theBlech-Bolex.onemight avoided say.butthecamera comes around andlooksat what Celsohas slowly described before to him. .Conreturning A film byGary completed nowbeing oftheshot thedifficulties itis sidering I oftheshifts many Kildea incorporates very skilful. _ naker is drawn further into thesubject inis drawn theaudience areaofthefilm. in lives oftheir subjects.K. New York and Oxford:OxfordU.In the hiuman relations ordevelop new to useanyofthis endhe felt unable with their subjects which approaches because itwastooaliento their material sensitive topicsandallow them )bjectify that . with thesubject to a relationship at new Corais looking own. this Celsohasbeentoldhecanno longer by governed spaceandsociety. ManyfilmofCoraandCelso. 1953. where hehadbeenscraping enough mone3 films be readthis way. as of camera structure overall indocuas an experiment posedexplicitly Rouchand with film-making.P. eye theworld with incredibly versatile. ofhercursory. 1971. itsstructure a gooddeal. to narrow the hehascometo theforeshore It attempts communication. middle-class inderstood bytheaudience.Y. nevertheless contains which a 'bad' shot Onewoman. camera style Cora andCelsohavehadan that argument oftheobvious: Itis an assertion tive. Reisz.Therenuncia.G. never see. They ofanindividual that thecamera hasbee] Upondiscovering style running feature ofa camera thekey probably all thetime. As thefilmon in inonemadeearly sequence-shots. andfor I havehadto work with a very simple (andcheap)camera. quite recently. hisFoundation that persuade he needs them as part ofhistoolsfor fieldwork? It I was tookmeyears until. nowputting an endto that privilege. through that pushes regularly 'ions:either to abandon entire areasof inwhich thefamily thequarter live.Onesuspects attention to thehazards special of anathema to television programmers.audience. to include content Herdswewere was inwhich ourpresence sequences Bythetime acknowledged. notion.purposefully most andwhich aremost deeply revealing .He hasbeenup all night must hi. a privileged Kildeais clearly ofthese newcontracts must be ~ature in oneof film-maker white. this blem: microphone theimage ofCelsolost. the Blech-Bolex. 16 Mar 2013 14:52:16 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . thefilming arealso observer. The Techniqueof Film Editing.

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