A fascinating evening was spent in “conversation” with Gary and Holly as they talked about their creative experiences in film and video. Gary as a cameraman of considerable experience in Hollywood North (Vancouver) in recent decades and Holly as an artist who enjoys experimenting in all forms of media during her experiences and continuing development as a very creative artist. In the process they discussed the elements of creative freedom that they are allowed in their specific roles of team player (Gary) and solo player (Holly).
The Film world is complex and few realise the importance and creativity of the cameraman in setting up the shots for the sequencing of the film where the actors take predominance or the atmosphere and setting are more important. In the process Gary took us through both the creative and technical requirements required of the cameraman as well as the necessity of satisfying two separate taskmasters: the director and the director of photography. He used two striking examples of the need to balance the placing of the camera, timing, framing of the image, exposure and focus not to mention the right camera and right lens to ensure the best possible shot some of which is technical and some of which is creative and imaginative. The number of people, both creative and technical involved in a major film production are legion so the need to be a team player is essential, the combination of both creative thinking and technical knowledge are almost exclusive to the cameraman.
Holly talked as an artist, her fascination with the creative experience, her delight in experimenting with the incredible media choices now available for the artist and, in this instance, how video can be part of the creative experience and how it can also give new insights, vision and possibilities to it. She showed a short piece she filmed with her iPhone that played a significant part in clarifying an idea in one of her paintings where she was composing imagery and words (by Tolkien) that gave better understanding of the painting’s title. The piece included music by one of her favourite musicians that gave a perfect blend to her narrative, imagery and thoughts on the painting and its development. All this with a small piece of technology and a computer programme.
She also showed a short documentary of Larry Thompson and his printing press that she also shot with her iPhone in the studio with no other than the light from the windows and the fixtures. Because it was shot at different times of the day that effected the colour of the imagery she converted it all to black and white for uniformity. This actually seemed to give the documentary even more authority and style.
The audience was fully involved from the start which validated the choice MAG has made for these talks related to all aspects of the Art World: “Conversations”. Right from the start questions and comments from the audience were many as the evening progressed and Gary and Holly’s answers were both lucid and frequently had much humour as well as knowledge in them. Their informality and relative self depreciation added charm and enjoyment to the presentation and considerable value to the MAG programme. ~ Martin Green