Author Topic: Video cameras...  (Read 6110 times)

lagatta

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Video cameras...
« on: November 26, 2006, 09:56:34 PM »
I can understand them at weddings, and political events, but a friend was filming us with a video camera as we were laughing, singing, eating, drinking etc at a party last night. I simply left the room until she stopped - didn't want to make a scene, but refuse to have to be "on stage" when I'm enjoying myself...

I hate that!!!!!  :rant
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
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Timebandit

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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2006, 10:47:22 PM »
It's very common for someone in our social circle to pull out the video camera -- or with one close friend, a super-8 camera.  I don't see it as being any more on stage as I do with a still camera, though.  It's candid.  People like to record events in pictures, but now they do it on digital media as well.
Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it. -Rene Descartes, philosopher and mathematician (1596-1650)

kuri

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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2006, 10:50:24 PM »
Not only that, but I suspect that most of these "ordinary life" movies are incredibly boring. Some of my friends had camcorders and after an initial few months, making (and even more so, watching) home movies lost its appeal. I also don't like the presence of cameras at a party or a family event. Photographs often capture what you want to remember of party pretty well anyway (who was there, what was eaten, etc) and the rest we can usually remember well enough by looking at a picture.

lagatta

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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2006, 04:10:59 AM »
It makes me very ill at ease - I wouldn't have gone had I known I'd be filmed. This was not a "social event", it was just a small, casual party among friends. I don't feel I should have to be concerned how I look in such a situation, which is to relax and enjoy oneself.

I hate being photographed anyway, but am resigned to it in family events etc (where I wouldn't think of relaxing)... Find this trend far more intrusive. Who watches those videos anyway? Don't people have lives? These are supposedly cultivated people...
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Timebandit

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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2006, 10:20:59 AM »
I'm not sure I like the idea that using video cameras is a sign of being uncultivated...  I like to think that among the friends who use their video cameras, there is quite a high level of cultivation, many of them being artists or cultural industries people.   :?

What we often do is take our year's worth of raw footage and cut it down to a single tape of highlights of the year.  Sometimes that includes casual socializing, sometimes bigger events.  

It might be that nobody watches them for a few years, but later on our tapes will be something to look back on.  When my dad died, I realized that, even as a filmmaker, I had only two short tapes with him on them.  It makes me sad that I can't show my kids what their grandpa was like in person.  So I record things for posterity.  You never know...  It might mean something to someone, someday.
Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it. -Rene Descartes, philosopher and mathematician (1596-1650)

lagatta

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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2006, 10:25:03 AM »
Odd, Timebandit, I know the same kind of people you do, including several filmmakers and video artists, but none of them use camcorders at parties...

I do confess I think of people at a great remove from creative filmmaking doing that kind of stuff...

It is horrible to contemplate not being able to attend parties and relaxing...

(I mean relaxing, the party was not a drunken piss-up, and none of us were doing anything vaguely embarrassing)... I just find it extremely intrusive.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

brebis noire

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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2006, 10:31:24 AM »
My parents took many films when my brothers were kids, on Super-8 (?)film, and it used to be a lot of fun to watch them - we'd set up the screen and the projector, it was a big production.

Unfortunately, they had grown bored of filming by the time I came around, so I have no videos of when I was a kid, except as an unrecognizable baby.  

The films dad took were pretty good quality, but he was never interested in camcorders, and even less in digital video.

I'm the same way - I loooove my manual Pentax camera, and I'd like to use a simple videocamera, but I don't like digital technology. It seems simultaneously too easy and too difficult, for some reason. :?

fern hill

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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2006, 10:37:24 AM »
It is simple civility to ask permission to take someone's photo by whatever means. Someone sticks a camera in my face without asking is going to get an earful. At least.

Sleeping Sun

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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2006, 11:22:03 AM »
lagatta, you've reminded me of a disturbing event that had been banished to the dusty corners of my memory.

One night, a few years ago, I was out with some friends at the pub.  Mr. Sun was sick, so I was bach'n it.  Anyways, somewhere halfway into my first pitcher of beer, a friend of a friend showed up with his new fancy digital recorder.  No big deal, we're all geeks, so we all ohh'ed and ahhh'ed over it, and used it a bit.  But then we returned it and resumed drinking.  

Well, near the end of my first pitcher, Mr. Camera offers to buy me a second.  Turns out he though I was cute (but married, although I didn't mention this part - hey, free beer was at stake!).  Again, no big deal.  I'm out with a large group of friends.  But I begin to notice, through the beer haze, that the video camera is out a lot, and he keeps talking to me to get me to look his way.  Creepy, but I just shrugged it off.

But then I remember it getting really creepy.  He kept trying to get me to say stuff and do stuff.  At one point, he wanted me to pour him a glass of beer (across the table and down a bit, I would have had to stand and bend forward), and already had the camera set up for the 'down the front of the shirt shot'.  That was it for me.  I rather rudely pushed the pitcher his way, and announced that I needed to leave.  Before he could say/do anything, I had a few good friends (who really were good friends, and most likely more sober than I at this point) offering to share a cab 'since we lived close together'.  Well, we didn't, but they got me off home safely in a cab, alone.

The next day, when I realized what had happened, I was so freaked out.  There was this stranger taping me, and me three sheets to the wind, for a few hours, and I had/have no idea what ever became of that footage.  I feverently hoped that he was also drunk and would wake up the next morning and delete it (I'm not nearly so cute the next day :) ), but the abilities of video editing just scared me.  Since then, I'm way more hesitant around strangers and cameras.  Friends, I don't mind so much.

steffie

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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2006, 12:53:23 PM »
Cell phone cameras are particularly insidious for that.
Let the beauty of what you love be what you do - Rumi

Herr Magoo

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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2006, 01:06:10 PM »
I think we're going to need to make two changes.

First, I think we need to start cracking down on exactly where recording devices are or are not allowed (eg: change rooms?  Day care?) and so on.

And then, on the flip side, I think we're going to need to rethink exactly what "public" means, and how much expectation of privacy we can really have when we're in public.
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lagatta

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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2006, 01:16:08 PM »
Well, we could also be a tad sensitive to our friends' feelings. This friend knows I loathe being photographed, and while I'll put up with that (freezing like a deer in headlights), a camera is simply too cruel.

When I am being a public person (I mean speaking or acting in public, not just visiting people or being outside my home) of course I put up with it and just try to pretend it isn't there. But that does not include relaxing and not having to worry about my posture and camera angles.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

k'in

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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2006, 02:15:57 PM »
Sleeping Sun-that's creepy about that guy.  Sounds like he is a Joe Francis ("Girls Gone Wild") wannabe.  Good on you for setting him straight.

lagatta wrote:
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It makes me very ill at ease - I wouldn't have gone had I known I'd be filmed. This was not a "social event", it was just a small, casual party among friends. I don't feel I should have to be concerned how I look in such a situation, which is to relax and enjoy oneself.


That person had no right to do that without asking your permission.  It is important to have a few places where you can totally relax with a few people you like and not feel as if you have to be "on" in any manner.  It is an intrusion into a space of refuge.  

Cameras/films around the family is just one of those things that has always happened so is acceptable.  Then again, time spent with the family isn't always as relaxing as late night get togethers with friends.

arborman

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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2006, 03:59:15 PM »
I've always found it odd when people at casual gatherings are compelled to pull out the camera and freeze the cameraderie for posterity.

I mean, do they never go to parties?  Is it the high point of their lives, to be at a small party or in a restaurant with 6 other people?  

I can't help but think the pictures will sit in a box for years, until whomever owns them cannot begin to think of all our names, or what we were doing.

I think there is something uncomfortable behind that need for photographs.  I suspect that having moved around as much as I did in past years, I've come to know and understand the crucial difference between casual acquaintance and deeply held friendship.  Ten years as a treeplanter/student/traveller, combined with living in dozens of communities across the country, have led me to value everyone, but cherish only a few with whom I have built a deeper connection.  There are a great many friends and acquaintances I've know, enjoyed time with, and will almost certainly never see again.  Pictures of old gatherings with those people just don't seem important.  On the other hand, I have friends that I've been in touch with for a decade or longer, and I cherish the occasional old photograph that turns up.

Still and all, the incessant photography seems to impose an uncomfortable  'false bonhomie', or a somewhat higher expectation of quality on what is just a social gathering.  I'd prefer to just enjoy the company of my friends, without considering that it might be a cherished memory for an acquaintance.
The pleasures of the table are for every man, of every land, and no matter what place in history or society; they can be a part of all his other pleasures, and they last the longest, to console him when he has outlived the rest.

 

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