The Logic of Yinzers

The conductor looked a couple times at my ticket, which indicated that I would board the train in a sleeper car in Connellsville, PA, ride it to Washington, DC, get off, get back on, and ride back to Connellsville in one day. I didn't look like a security threat, but it admittedly looked weird. "I'm a photographer," which is what I tell people when I don't want to attract the extra attention of being a filmmaker, or explain why they haven't seen any of my work in a multiplex. "I'm just taking pictures from the car." "Oh." 

Thinking about timing today. I'm shooting raw video, which is a lot like shooting film both in terms of its look and latitude and in term of its expense. Except the expense is time and drive space. My 64GB card is like a 400' load of 16mm film, I get about 10 minutes then I have to stop and reload the camera, which fills up my spare drive. I guess I started out skittish on the train, because I kept cutting off the camera too early. I'd have a great shot, and then I'd start getting twitch about time and space, then I'd cut, only to have something happen 3 seconds later that would've been great to catch.

After getting pissed off a bit, I started rolling and the train went into a tunnel. I recalled an essay I'd read by Wim Wenders that was hugely influential during my days as a student when I was trying to break free from deeply ingrained self-constraints. Wenders had been filming a scene out a car window (on film) and when the car went through a tunnel, he kept rolling film all the way through until the car came out the other end, and that was the scene. Someone was annoyed and demanded to know why he'd burned film all the way through the dark section, and then why he left it in the scene, and the reason he gave was simple:

That's how long the tunnel was.

This had a big effect on how my thinking evolved about duration, pace, and making agreements with the audience. That the relationship with an audience can develop and change. That you can ask more from audiences than most films, and there will be people who want to have that relationship.

So, I let the camera run through the tunnel until it came out. I don't know if I'll use it in the film, but it ended my timing problems for the day.