PARIS, SIHANOUKVILLE… : 24 June 2010 — There is an interesting development around the traps as Salesian education works more and more with the native digital skills of young people today and particularly their visual and kinetic skills, which come together, in a certain way, around an older but now much more available art of video production. We already know of a number of Salesians, especially in the English-speaking world, but not only, who are making a name for themselves as film directors. Now, it seems, the day is not far off when it will be one or more Salesian pupils or recent past pupils, who will join that select band. ETC….
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Here’s a COMMENT that came in from an award winning and internationally acclaimed film director who has TWO feature films and several short films to his credit. For those who don’t know him please do a Google search on “Joseph Pulinthanath”. I just did it and got 5,140 items in 0.19 second.
Dear Fr. Paul,
Thank you for forwarding this material. Very interesting, I thought because it gives enough impetus for us to put on our thinking caps.
To me it looks an appropriate moment now to set in motion some national/regional/worldwide initiatives in the filed of visual mass media.
Both Festiclip and Boscoliwood are certainly praiseworthy initiatives and my hearty congratulations to those behind them.
I don’t know if I got it right, but thought there was a preoccupation with ‘message’ in our productions.
“…young people addressing a message to other young people via video…”
“…messages of young people to young people…”
At the risk of sounding blasphemous I still maintain, in this medium, message is best conveyed only if and when the viewer is led to undergo an epiphany of sorts. To my mind such revelation seldom happens with overtly message-crazy productions. I find the very business of living inspiring enough and propose our pictures would be powerful and uplifting enough if they are able to capture the tremendous mystery of ‘life’ in its mundane glory without superimposing ‘messages’ and thus diminishing the viewer.
True, message often provides a satisfying escape route but also leaves the picture rather impotent.
We SDBs, I would like to think, have the wherewithal to join hands where need be and come up with quality productions that by their ordinariness would not stand out from the general fare the majority lap up and yet have the inner vigor and inspiration to leaven the society and transform it by and by.
Ain’t it time for us to turn our cameras 90 degrees away from stage-managed christmassy stories with declared messages. (They are at best a modern version of the medieval mystery and miracle plays that quickly satisfy and even edify but seldom transform). Perhaps we need to channelize our natural urge to deliver messages, to finding better telling techniques, and acquiring greater mastery over managing light and shade (cinema) and sound too if need be.
How does being in 130 (?) countries of the world help us SDBs to enhance the quality (change the nature, if need be) of our productions!
Have I been rambling. Perhaps…the clock says it’s 1.45 AM.
With all good wishes,