The F Word

Okay, it’s not what you’re thinking. This is not an expose’ on the merits of an overused expletive appearing not only in everyday life, but in crashing symphonies of dissonance in virtually every pay-for-TV dramatic show now airing. Instead, I’m referring to that other “F” word that’s thrown around as carelessly as “Kleenex”, “Xerox”, “Googling” and a host of other phrases that once proudly referenced a one-of-a-kind product or brand. The F word is “Film”. As in, “Quiet, we’re filming!”, or “I hope you have enough film in the camera for this.”, or “Are you filming now?”

In virtually every case, I can assure you there’s no film involved. In fact, there’s nothing even remotely mechanical that suggests that the camera or recording medium is “running”. Today, sadly, it’s mostly photons of light hitting silicon chips that create an endless stream of digital bits recorded to a frozen slab of God-knows-what in an organized procession of data. You can’t pick up a memory card and “see” what you’ve “filmed”. And if something goes wrong with your “filming”, there’s not even a scratched, jumpy image to console you – there’s usually just a silent slab of jumbled recording bits, unable to acknowledge that you even attempted to “film” something. [Read more…]