Sunrise over State Street
A lot of things are dawning on me. (How’s that for a tie-in to today’s shot? More on the pic later.) Perhaps this mental clarity has to do with feeling secure and loved, perhaps it is also inspired by this daily publication of my thoughts and dreams, and perhaps we should also credit my time of life — lots of wise things have been written by people in their later years, when they have the time, experience, and perspective to make some sense of things.
Speaking of dreams, I poked around on the Web, trying to find a quote about how film makes it possible to project our dreams onto the screen. I thought it was by Jean Cocteau, who indeed said a lot of cool shit, including, “A film is a petrified fountain of thought,” and “In Paris, everyone wants to be an actor; nobody is content to be a spectator.”
But the Cocteau quote that really got me was, “Film will only become an art when its materials are as inexpensive as pencil and paper.” How very true. Filmmaking, especially back in Cocteau’s day (1889-1963) was the most laborious of tasks, involving great reels of actual film, which then needed to be developed, then cut and spliced. Everything was very expensive and mostly hard to do, and adding sound was another headache. I know, because I was around student filmmakers and tried my hand at it. Two hours at a splicing table was enough to scare me off. Then there’s the difficulty in getting good lighting for the film emulsions available back then. The investment in even a 20-minute student film was as much as a used car cost. And the hours needed to light, shoot, edit and sync were endless.
Enter video cameras, and suddenly we are free of most of the hassles of film. Editing can be done on a computer. Everything happens quickly. The filmmaker as artist is nearly here. Except of course that a decent digital video camera still costs as much as a used car, not to mention the computer.
My dream is a camera I wear, like glasses, that sees what I see and sends it back to my computer, which pre-edits scenes for me, and later, I just click and drag the scenes together. I only want to pay as much as a used bicycle costs for all this, of course.
(As for the photo, it is the view from the elevator lobby at my apartment building, looking north. That’s frozen Lake Mendota. State Street is sort of nestled below, at an angle. State Street is a wonderful pedestrian-dominated urban mall sort of a place, and as it gets warmer, I will blog about it more.)