Viewfinder Blues got under my skin tonight. I graded all of my kiddies English papers and decided to relax by cruising through some of my favorite blogs. And now I’m crabby. Lenslinger posted an example of either staging or not staging an interview and then asked a few of those unanswerable questions…
The core of the argument is: What some cameramanthropologists consider harmless room rearranging, others call shameless ‘staging’ – a taboo practice among those committed to shooting the truth. But then again, what is truth? Is it a homeless shelter director swathed in perfect three point-lighting? Is it a stroke victim hobbling alongside some nodding reporter in a backyard rose garden? Is it a swim team coach hamming it up with a wireless microphone attached to the whistle around his neck? I ask these questions because it is easier than answering them.
Gee, thanks Lens. What this revolves around is a posting from B-roll.net. A photog shot an interview with a lawyer and placed a couple of law books in the foreground to frame the shot. Is this staging? Is asking the subject to sit in a certain seat for better lighting/composing staging? The arguements circle around and end up biting themselves on the behind…you can argue either side.
But current ahd future VJs beware…this is one of the issues you need to think about and discuss with your peers. Beyond the breakers, most news tilts over into a semi-fantasy, semi-real world. You try to be honest, objective, maintain your standards…unless you shoot ONLY what is actually happening, you could be accused of staging. So think this through…decide what you can live with…and forge ahead, ready to defend your every shot.