A Plea To Filmmakers:

Please stop with the excessively shaky camerawork. It’s unnecessary and vomit-inducing. Please learn to handle your camera more carefully. I’d like to tell you what I thought of Chalk, which I tried to watch at IFFBoston tonight, but I had to leave after about a half hour for fear of vomiting. And I was so nauseous I couldn’t go to any other screenings either. So please stop torturing your audience. Thanks.

3 Responses to “A Plea To Filmmakers:”

  1. David Chien
    April 21st, 2006 | 4:57 am

    you know, i love handheld camerawork in films, but unfortunately as of late, i feel “handheld” is synonymous with “shakeycam,” and hence we have many projects that are, quite simply, unwatchable. which is a shame, because the aesthetic of a moving camera is so great. lodge kerrigan uses it to good effect in “keane” (but even in that case, it was coming close to vomit-inducing visuals).

    my half-assed theory: perhaps the onset of “reality tv” and pseudo-documentarian styles have become chic for filmmakers (no doubt, you’ve heard your share vis-a-vis herzog’s rants). it’s startling how so very shakey the camerawork is for the second seasons of “the office” (US) and “arrested development.” part of the reason why i sort of got turned off by each show was due to the needlessly kinetic movements which, again, are done so as to give the impression of spontaneous performance and fictional legitimacy. neither is produced…for me, at least.

    in the end, it is rubbish. dizzying rubbish. i recall almost dying after “the blair witch project” and “manic.” the latter was a bummer, because i think there were great performances in “manic,” but it was a bloody visual mess. i really did vomit in the bathroom afterwards.

  2. David Chien
    April 21st, 2006 | 5:03 am

    in fact, now that i think about it, the bad camerawork in “the puffy chair” is the reason why i was so bothered by it. virtually everyone i know is enamored with the movie…and many people whose opinions i value greatly. but the film, i think, fails because it just looks so terrible. the acting and story are fair enough, but the handheld work is unbelievably bad…all the more so because i really believe it was deliberate – again, to stress whatever false notions of “realism” and “authenticity” jitterycams imply. it’s not a popular opinion, but i am not a fan of “the puffy chair” and i blame the photography.

  3. cynthia rockwell
    April 21st, 2006 | 9:03 am

    damn i was gonna see puffy chair this weekend in the festival, i guess i should bring my tums. and yeah the trend is definitely coming from docs and reality tv, and also i think from the availability of dv (i ranted about this elsewhere on this blog). cheaper cameras mean more people can make movies and more quickly, but it also means a lot of amateurs who don’t know how to handle the camera properly and think whipping it around looks cool.