You adress a familiar question. Each time I attempt to use live video in a
performance a different solution has to be found for the camera since the
situation/story is different each time.
It can be, as Greg described, a camera man/woman that operates from above/next
to/in front of the stage, giving close ups and adding different angles
spectators experience. This setup lends itself best for, again like Greg said
"In-the-spotlight kind of stuff." For more intimate scenes it can be disturbing.
Then suddenly the camera seems agressive and voyeuristic. A static camera
softens this effect, but still inevitably the piece will get an
"the human being as seen through media". It seems to be impossible to
piece using media without the media to be the/a subject of the piece!
The camera operator as member of the cast is a third solution. There are
wonderful examples of dances for camera operator and performer; I
the contrasting ways of moving next to each other -filming somebody
its own elegancy and yes I would call this dance (butter? cream!).
Difficulties arise when a very specific camera behaviour is wanted. I usually
find images and angles by first doing the camera work myself. This is
mistake, since it is impossible to copy somebody else's "camera eye"! I usually
have to operate the realtime processing of the live video data during the
performance, so I am very much depending on the camera person. I guess
like the situation on a film set where the understanding and close working
together of director and camera person is of major importance.
Greg Baskind wrote:
> I did lights for a dance performance in a nightclub in Austin.
> The whole show was taped by a camera woman.
> While the performance happened, she was moving around with the camera.
> It was a good thing in the more chaotic dances...lights
> flashing..lots of shadows...and this mysterious camera person
> waddling and crouching, prowling around the dancers. I liked it.
> The themes of the dance lent themselves well to this extra aesthetic element.
> The themes had commentary on Popularity, Press, Modeling, Vanity,
> In-the-spotlight kind of stuff.
> It was not a procenium stage...more like 3/4 theatre in the round
> with sunken stage and 16 Highend light instruments (nightclub style)
> to create atmosphere.
> My guess is that the camera would have to led itself to the themes on
> the dance.
> Not just a random element.
> Have you played Descent 3. It's an amazing 3D, 1st person game.
> There is this feature in the game called a guidebot. This little
> flying spotlight moves ahead of you, exploring and obeying your
> commands. In the Heads Up Display, there is a monitor. The monitor
> shows what the guidebot is seeing. It's quite a neat effect to have
> the main view and a little extended perspective.
> Much like the Huge TV screens at Baseball, Basketball and Football
> stadiums...Rock concerts too.
> Camera operators always on the sidelines and in the fly's.
> Hope that helps.
> PS...where can I get BigEye.
> >Having just returned from the 2000 Feet Festival, I would like to report
> >that the use of the BigEye sound canvas with Jin-Wen Yu's choreography was a
> >success. I personally want to thank Richard Povall, Mark Coniglio, Tom
> >DeMeyer, and the others who helped with my panicky attempts to get my
> >computer/video/sound module setup working. There was interest in the
> >system, and in the use of technology with dance in general. One slight damp
> >note was when I was referred to as the pieces' "computer programmer" and it
> >took me a while to figure out why. There's no shame in the title per se,
> >but it's like referring to a dancer as a "leaper". Just because it's part
> >of what you do, doesn't mean it's what you are. I referred to myself at the
> >conference as a performance technologist. I'm curious to know what titles
> >others have used in similar situations?
> >Also, I'm curious to know if anyone using the BigEye or other sensing
> >systems have experimented with the use of a camera operator to add to the
> >flexibility of the system? For that matter, any work which involves live
> >video would require some kind of aesthetic framing choices on the fly (as
> >opposed to editing choices, which have more time). I find often that when
> >I'm using a camera it feels a lot like an improvisational dance, especially
> >when documenting a piece I've not seen before (I shudder to think of the
> >people who will berate me now for a) referring to operating a camera as
> >dance and b) referring to documentation of a dance as being artistic. Oh,
> >Does anyone else have experiences/opinions on the camera operator as an
> >aesthetic influence to the dance?