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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: July ::
Film and Videotape
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 433.  Saturday, 17 July 1993.
 
From:           Tad Davis <
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Date:           Friday, 16 Jul 93 15:37:45 EDT
Subject:        Film and Videotape
 
I was talking to a friend about Shakespeare on TV, in particular about two
productions of "King Lear," and was reminded of an issue that has always
bothered me.
 
There is a clear visual difference between something that was taped and
something that was filmed. The contrast is particularly sharp in many BBC
programs, where indoor scenes are often taped and outdoor scenes are often
filmed.
 
What has frustrated me for years is finding a way of describing this
difference. I know it when I see it; it's an immediate and exact response;
yet I can't think of any words, except possibly "texture," that even point
in the right direction.
 
A similar difference occurs in the audio world: listen to a radio play and
listen to a movie soundtrack. There is a distinctive quality to each;
neither can be confused for the other. But why?  Which components of the
experience are the critical ones?
 
Has anyone else pondered this? Does anyone know of a learned discussion of
this curious phenomenon? Is this one of those categories of experience,
like how to keep your balance when riding a bike, that CAN'T be put into
words?
 
Tad Davis

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