Almost Black & White…


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Neobohemia has a nice post about Ozu‘s famous tatami view. This week I watched Tokyo Story, which is a brilliant and beautiful, if not exactly uplifting movie Ozu made in 1953. Highly recommended and on many directors top ten list.

tatami view « neo bohemia
…any attempt to view such a life through a camera held up high on a tripod was nonsense; the eye level of Japanese sitting on the tatami becomes, of necessity, the eye level through which they view what is going around them.
– Yasujiro Ozu

A brand new tatami has a great scent and Ozu-san was a great director with his own distinctive style.

An explanation on the tatami view. Ozu was famous for placing his camera on a tatami mat to film each scene. It is a unique view. It is the very idea that camera could be a person who might be seated (kneeling) on a tatami mat. The view allows the scene to be observed straight on and almost with the feeling that the person seated and viewing could be in the next room. The view is uncluttered and has a simplicity of straight forwardness in the vision. By filming in this fashion there is a focus that creates its own poetry

My first experiement with a low camera angle happened during a walk in Houston, last August. The angle I liked was even lower than the Tatami View, and I started calling it to DM-View or DMV, stemming from this dialog on Flickr:


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This is how we set up in Florida this month, except for the first show in Miami. In Miami I could not see Michael and decided I should be a little further stage right. The reason I should not sit in the middle, with Michael stage-left and Jon stage-right, is that my guitar microphone should be as far away from the much louder drums as possible. The closer I am to the drums, the more of the drums end up in my mic. This is called bleed:

Wikipedia:
In a music recording setting, the term “crosstalk” can refer to the leakage (or “bleeding”) of sound from one instrument into a microphone placed in front of another musical instrument or singer. A common example is the leakage of the high-pitched, heavily-amplified sound of the lead guitar into the microphones for other instruments. Note that this is nearly always an acoustic effect, not electrical.

And, in any case, bassists usually love being right next to the drums.

The following image shows the angle from the audience, in Orlando. Nevermind the weird altar-like contraption behind Jon – it’s supposed to keep people from falling down the stairs to the dressing rooms which are in the basement.

If you have center tickets, you will have a great view of the whole band.