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Tony Grist

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Afternoon TV [Feb. 9th, 2018|03:17 pm]
Tony Grist
I'm cold enough as it is- and watching a documentary about a chap living alone on a Hebridean island doesn't make me feel any warmer. Beautiful landscape, no trees, not even the odd writhen thorn crouching up against a wall, and the sun barely tops the sand dunes at midwinter...

Attractions include rare swans and otters- which wouldn't be enough to get me up there. Perhaps if I were forty years younger....

It's an odd convention of this kind of documentary that the film crew- which must consist of several people- is totally self-effacing. Our chap talks to the camera- but not as though he has any kind of relationship with whoever happens to be behind it. The vehicles that bring them to his door are kept out of sight, the helicopter they have hired to swoop over his cottage makes no noise, not even their shadows are allowed to fall into shot. And yet there must be plenty of interaction, shared meals and cups of tea- unfilmed conversations.  Why would one so scrupulously edit all that out of the picture? 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: puddleshark
2018-02-09 05:22 pm (UTC)
Why would one so scrupulously edit all that out of the picture?

Because television is an Art. Or because television is inherently dishonest.

Or both.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-02-09 06:59 pm (UTC)
Both, I suppose.

A book I'm currently reading has this epigraph from Benedetto Croce: "All history is fiction, just as all fiction is history."
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[User Picture]From: heleninwales
2018-02-10 01:30 pm (UTC)
Regarding the aerial shots, these days it's probably filmed from a drone not a helicopter. Far cheaper, quieter and less intrusive.

And as for the team, it could even have been one person, at most two or three. One cameraperson, a soundperson and perhaps someone in overall editorial control. The idea is to make it seem as though the person being featured is speaking directly to the viewer with no intermediary.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-02-10 01:33 pm (UTC)
We were filmed once for a documentary. They used three people. It opened my eyes to the artificiality of what passes for fly on the wall. Almost everything we did was directed and took several takes.
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