In 1986, James Cameron came up with the idea to use Steadicam arms to support futuristic weapons in his feature film “Aliens”. They were Cinema Products Mk III Steadicam arms and vests and were used by the characters Vasquez and Drake. The “M-56 Smartguns” in Aliens are described in the script as; “Guns fixed to a floating body harness and targeted by thermal gun sights mounted within the operator’s helmet.” Sometimes I think we may appear as “aliens” when we are out on shoots because of the different types of equipment we use. Imagine how your average sound man appears to someone not familiar with our business, a collection of shoulder straps, bags, looping cables, headphones, multiple antennas and a big stick with a fuzzy end. Now pair him up with a Steadicam operator suited up in full gear and you can imagine the strange looks we might end up getting. In the end, we do it all for one reason, to tell a great story.
Telling stories is what we do. As with most stories you think of, it’s created using lots of words. What we do is add the visual elements to these words to make them more compelling and memorable to the viewer. Visual elements are the elements that we perceive and respond to when we look at something. Image, lighting, composition, motion, sound, time and sequence are all taken into account when creating a great story. How we see a person or object, when and where we see something or someone, how long we see something and what we hear can all be strong influences on what the viewer takes away from watching a particular video. If we can use different production tools and techniques to make the sound and visual portion of a program appealing and memorable, then that helps influence the viewer, and isn’t that most often the goal? A majestic boom shot to set the scene, a Steadicam shot through objects as someone walks among them talking about them, a warmly lit interview with crystal clear sound or even just a scene that is well lit and nicely composed all can help to make a program more memorable to a viewer.
If you want to tell your story, give us a call. At PentaVision, it’s our unique ability to tell compelling stories by making them come to life in memorable ways that can help you, even if we have to look like aliens to do it.