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August 1993


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Chad E Dell <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 13 Aug 1993 09:32:00 CDT
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First, thanks to all who responded to my query re an advanced production text.
It brought up an issue that I have continued to struggle with throughout my
pedagogic and professional career, namely film or video bias in the language of
production.  I'm curious what others have experienced, or if I'm making much ado
about nothing, so to speak.
My experience is strongly rooted in _video_ production, an in my experience the
language is clear (if at times sexist): we don't "film" anything, rather we
"shoot" or "tape", etc.  The field is peopled with videographers and camera
_operators_ (the old-timers still call them camera men...), etc.
In my search for academic texts, most contain an introductory disclaimer that
while the text is intended for both film and video production, the universal
language of film will be used.  Barry Hampe's _Video Scriptwriting_, for
example, makes the claim that the expression "to film" is now appropriate
regardless of the medium.
I recognize that this language has long been utilized by the consumer film and
video manufacturers, attempting to capitalize on the "home movie" market, and is
probably the main reason my students arrive in my video class anxious to make
"movies" and "go out and _film_ something." Gack!
Call me a video snob, but I still hold onto the still-emerging language that is
specific to video production, and attempt to correct its sexism.  Is this
anachronistic?  I don't think so, but would welcome the experiences of others.
Chad Dell
Department of Communication Arts
University of Wisconsin-Madison
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