Sunday, July 19, 2009

Word of the Day

Bungee-Cam.

Today's Word of the Day is a reference to a cinematic technique used by Hollywood as a substitute for acting ability, directing ability, talent, choreography, skill and/or training inherent in either the actors or the director of an action film.

This technique is easily reproduced by The Common Man via four bungee cords, a camera, and a set of hapless actors.

Each bungee cord has one end tied to the ceiling, and the other tied to the camera. The camera is then pulled until the bungee cords are taut, and the actors are then instructed to engage in a slap fight -- hair-pulling and weeping optional.

As the actors begin flailing about, activate and release the camera, allowing the bungee cords to catapult the camera willy and nilly through -- and around -- the previously mentioned squabble.

Voila! You have now simulated the use of the Bungee-Cam! Affect an accent, crank your nose 60 degrees skywards, practice snootily announcing that anyone who suffers a near-fatal case of mal-de-mer from watching the nausea-inducing random gyrations of your action scenes simply, "Doesn't get 'cutting-edge' art."

Now you, too, can be a multi-million dollar action movie director!

Bungee-Cam -- simulating talent for the last decade!

LawDog

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Okay, so what movie sparked this post? I need to know so I can avoid it or at least take some ginger before plopping down in a theater seat.
tgif-s

pdwalker said...

It was probably the last James Bond film.

KBCraig said...

I've become completely jaded about American movies, particularly action movies, to the point that I no longer bother.

I find that the best part of Netflix is the huge variety of foreign movies available, including on Instant View.

Sure, there's lots of crap produced overseas, but it's not overhyped crap that cost a gazillion dollars to produce. There is also a lot of something you seldom see in domestic movies: production and direction that lets the actors tell the story by, well, acting.

How quaint. And enjoyable!

Rabbit said...

You've hit on one of two reasons- primary ones, of course, as to why I no longer enjoy the cinema. The second is the wildly fluctuating sound levels. Plays Hob with my tinnitus.

If I care enough to watch a movie, I'll rent it or buy it, and enjoy it at home where I can have closed captioning and regulate the volume my own self, and self-medicate with Dramamine, as was the case with the second Bourne movie, last night.

Regards,
Rabbit.

Anonymous said...

What is the origin of the idea that this crap was art?
That's like when a famous photographer's exhibit was at the museum here. He made a small study of expressive hands. Now, the local media had no idea of expressive, they just knew that a famous photographer did it, so every newscast is larded with pointless pans of hands.
Hello? Intelligent life out there? Somewhere?
LawMom

seryan said...

Don't forget using transparently obvious wirework (a thrown object describes an arc, not an angle, let alone a right one, so far as I am aware) and hoping the motion sickness induced by the camera work will hide it.

Don said...

I agree about 200%. I don't get motion sick, ever... but when I saw the 2nd Bourne movie (The Bourne Supremacy)I left the theater with a pounding headache due to the shaky cam. It was a real shame, as the movie would've been an outstanding sequel otherwise.

Filmmakers use this horrifying effect to simulate "real" motion such as running, fighting, etc., but in REALITY your eyes move in their sockets and compensate for the movement of your body... otherwise nobody'd ever run, or ride a bicycle or in fact walk much. They'd be too sick to move.

triptyx said...

Knew I wasn't the only one.

The first time I noticed this was during the second Jason Bourne...well....I won't really call it a movie really.

I figured the same as you - you could literally just drive a car down the street, missing other cars by 8-12 feet, and use sound effects and massive camera shaking to make it seem like it was crashing into things and careening around.

Mal de mer indeed!

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