I’m thinking in particular of Emmanuel Lubezski‘s hand-held photography in Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life…photography that swoops and glides and swirls and float-pans in dizzy circles and basically goes “oooh, wow…the wonder of nature and life and the whole quiet, gobsmacking symphony of it all!” Well, the GoPro footage in this 18 month old promotional video beats Lubezski’s stuff all to hell because it can get into and top of more places and POVs. The result, I think, of GoPro‘s constantly expanding visual realm is that Lubezki-like nature-encountering photography will lose (or has already lost) its lustre because no director of photography can beat the GoPro stuff — the “wow” element is totally unchallengable. Which leaves the aesthetic of the cinematographer as the only distinguishing characteristic that can possibly matter at the end of the day — restraint, particularity, focus, stillness, this or that form of transcendence, etc. Or good old, straight-on cinematography that tells a story without getting in the way.
I’m thinking, frankly, about getting a decent-quality GoPro camera so I can post you-are-there action videos from time to time — motorcycling-around-LA stuff, of course, but maybe some kind of shoulder-cam that I can wear at parties and premieres and on flights…capturing whatever unusual adventures I might get into. It’ll be a cool way of dumbing things down in a sense. A slight wince from the $400 purchase, but then I’ll be on my way.