The following is a fragment of a conversation with Argentinean Film Director Gastón Solnicki, author of Papirosen, in preparation for my final presentation and research paper for Documentary seminar.Image

Because of a poor internet connection, technical difficulties and time constrains on both ends of the conversation, I still have not been able to achieve the full length of interview.  Will be posted when successfully achieved…

**** to hear more about my reflections on and about FAILURE, please come join us on Friday night, may 3 at 7:00 pm, at ICP for SLIDEFEST. An evening in which the 11 artist currently finishing up the first year of their Masters in Photographic Studies, will share with the audience our images, ideas and reflections upon our practice ****

Aline: you established along with Andrea Kleinman –in charge of the montage- a certain rhythms which expanded the possibilities in terms of  structure and narrative when you started shooting with a wider angle, when you moved from very tight dramatic close ups, to further shots which allowed the characters to have breathers. Can you tell me about it?

Gastón: The technology with which I started shooting in the year 2000 was mini DV, and it is a type of material that if you stand far from your subject, it breaks apart quickly, too contrasty- granted it does support  low range situations, as soon as you start walking away or you come a cross a high contrast situation, the material doesn’t support it anymore. It Works exactly opposite of how the film Works. It seems to me, that often people assume that if you are shooting a documentary, the creator overlook at certain aesthetic details, assuming that its audience will accept them.  And I don’t relieve that is necessary true. And if they do they will be missing out on a more formal experience.

I stepped to making documentaries coming from a fiction film background. I had a different cinematographic upbringing, so I when I first started shooting with this materials that were new, and attractive I tried to stay close to what the materials where capable of offering me, not in a condescending way but rather respecting the possibilities without pushing to force it to do something that wasn’t possible.

So back than when I started shooting, I was still young and inexperienced, I had never done a film before,  so I stayed close; and not only just close, but, with a telephoto lens on.  That has a short focal range and it was my only way to achieve a focal separation from my subject; and not have this horrible hyper focused scene, the cameras used to have a very small sensor to control focal range, which has been changing with newer technology.

The problem about using this way of shooting way too much –and this happened to me, when shooting my first movie (Süden), a good part of the movie is made with very short planes, and that  when seeing the film on a movie screen is like a permanent highlight effect, that for dramatic purposes is not the most convenient thing to do.

But for the most part, I think the problem that every person who starts to make films encounters, is how to organize the information that has been gathered, so you don’t over exalt nor taking for granted information. So this more open planes are a response to a better newer technology: HD –which also have a lot of disadvantages, because it is a technology that it’s still in transition, being developed; but at the same time it allows me to step back and start contemplating and compose in a way that is not compromising for the quality, the materials are a bit more resistant, better contrast, definition. So I was able to take a bit more risks.

It also gave us a starting point for editing. More flexibility when shooting, but the deal is that constantly one is confronted with making decisions. Often some you take intuitively, but those choice are determining for the whole time that you are editing the film…

With time you learn, I even wrote it on my personal journal, as a reminder for myself: to stand still and give myself some distance and allow for the action to develop on it’s own, with out distilling it so much in shorter planes. But some times details are also important.

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