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The digital camera can become a part of a system, whether it be a computer system or an urban traffic system, and is thus able to follow algorithms and have a level of artificial intelligence. Although not mainstream, these movies by well-known directors indicate the potential to use the camera as co-collaborator, co-director, co-cinematographer, and co-editor in a way not possible with the film camera where the relationship due to factors like reel length, size, and inability to program was one of control between filmmaker and camera. Computers do not so much operate by montage and juxtaposition.

On the computer one can hold more than one window open, can multi-task and follow a complicated, non-causal order. These everyday processes represent a change in mode of viewing and experiencing audiovisual culture and communication. New modes of montage are made facile with computer editing where manipulation within the frame is easily done. Deleuze describes this way of viewing as a changing function of the screen. He writes:. The mind must put together the different visual, textual and graphical information.

New-media theorist Alexander Galloway discusses what he sees as the waning of in-time montage as a hegemonic style. Figgis shot real time in four locations and the movie shows each sub-movie simultaneously on a screen divided into four quadrants. On the DVD, users with multi-unit stereo equipment can manipulate the sound of the movie, thus choosing which quadrant to focus on and which conversation to overhear when. Instead, proleptic montage creates a necessarily interactive aesthetic of cinema and a new experience of diegetic time and immersion in that the viewer must decide at each moment where to look and what to hear.

It is impossible to be completely involved in any one screen as attention drifts and shifts to the others. This style simulates our experience of new media and particularly video games where the screen might be divided into sections or have overlays with different simultaneous viewpoints or information.

The State of the Real : Aesthetics in the Digital Age -

One sector might show the first person perspective, another might show action in another location or list treasures, kills, points, timeline, overhead view, map etc. Manovich, who refers to the aesthetic of multi-window cinema as macro-cinema, cites certain cultural forms like the computer-user interface, news, financial and sports broadcasts as participating in this multi-window, multiple information source format Manovich In order to represent the search, hypertext and multiple windows of our contemporary audio-visual environment, creative filmmakers have developed new modes of putting moving images, sound, graphics and text together.

The proleptic montage enables a hybrid function of the screen combining the screen of the cinema with the interface of the computer. Digital editing and the use of a digital intermediary DI have become ubiquitous. With the DI, filmmakers digitize any capture medium and then can manipulate the images on a computer, changing the color and other image characteristics.

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This is used most often not for traditional special effects but just to change colors for feel, match different light scenarios, or to remove a safety line or scratch. Increasingly manipulating movies and compositing within the frame is becoming as common, as Manovich has predicted, as montage between frames , Compositing allows animation to be mixed with live-action and live-action to be captured and taken apart and recombined easily, like animation, creating a hybrid moving image Manovich , Before these digital techniques, for the most part, live-action images on the screen looked as they did in front of the camera, but the composite digital image no longer has to represent vision of a real time and place and thus the traditional delineations between animation and live-action blur.

Below, I will give some examples to demonstrate how new aesthetic styles are emerging, which use the hybridity of digital images to transcend filmic visuality, employing styles more familiar from other types of digital moving images. The Virtual Moving Image — the Unfilmic In defining the language of cinema through semiotics, the shot was considered the smallest unit and yet the modularity of digital images processed by computer allows even the shot to be put together of different component parts, uncountable parts.

The method was initially developed in nineteenth century France to create topographical maps.

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The technique uses multiple overlapping photographs to build a three-dimensional photographic image. This digital information can then be manipulated in combination with computer-generated imagery [CGI]. One can then virtually zoom across and take different viewpoints in the hybrid space Dussere, Paul Debevec, as a PhD student, first utilized photogrammetry to create a short film called Campanile of the campus of UC Berkeley in 4.

This film inspired John Gaeda of ESC digital effects company who improved on the technique for The Matrix , applying the image based modeling and rendering to moving actors 5. As he stresses, this mimics our use of computer technologies; he focuses on catalogue and Internet shopping as per the plot, but I would add the use of video games, Google maps and virtual reality worlds. The use of photogrammetry demonstrates a blurring of video game design and viewpoints, computer user interface and traditional cinematic forms. The hybridity of the image is common in video games and some of the more stylized Asian cinema of the past few years has taken parts of anime and video games and combined them with live action.

What is different about these films is the way characters and objects move through the environment, flouting the rules of gravity or traditional camera lens perspective. These movies are increasingly using the viewpoints and means of motion in virtual or hybrid space characteristic of video games. This style is very different from a classical filmic style and demonstrates a new visual aesthetic, which would be almost impossible to achieve with film. Rodowick points out this demonstrates a changing frame of reference. But increasingly as new techniques are developed and storage capacity falls in price, independents have been jumping into the fray.

Animator Bob Sabiston had developed the process, which allowed for rapid animation of live action digital video on a personal Macintosh computer as opposed to a professional mainframe network Minor The rotoscoping technique involves the separation of images into layers that could be painted, manipulated, and moved from frame to frame. For A Scanner Darkly the process creates a color and shapeshifting type of image with artifacts of live action. A computer algorithm controls the rotating colors and shapes.

This fits very well with the story, which involves drug addicts in the near future who have delusions and difficulties separating the real from the imagined. As hybridity and virtual worlds become an everyday part of audiovisual culture, the aesthetic becomes increasingly a stylistic choice that can be used across genres and for various aesthetic and stylistic purposes. This documentary blends historical film footage with animation to tell a story about the Democratic National Convention. Filmmaker Brett Morgen said that he did so in order to update the events for a younger audience Again the mix of animation and live-action is not new, there are examples going back to the early twentieth century, but the increasing ease, the use across genres and the true hybrid mix of animation and live-action, where the lines become increasingly blurred, portends a way of filmmaking that affiliates itself with a new mode of aesthetics not dependent on filmic realism and which coexists symbiotically with a world of video games, graphic novels, anime, and virtual worlds.

Conclusion Cinema has been freed by digital and computer technologies from the necessity of certain aesthetic and stylistic tropes and languages inherent in film. Some of the aesthetic prophecies of theorists like Astruc and Bazin have been fulfilled, but then the camera-computer with innovative filmmakers has gone on in directions unforeseen by their philosophies.

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The camera as computer allows a collaboration between the filmmaker and the machine, which leads to new affordances more conducive to computer processes than filmic vision. This is not to say that many of these aesthetics and styles discussed above were impossible with film, nor that the new mode completely parts with previous filmic styles.

Certainly close to the majority of contemporary films do not vary from traditional modes at all and the examples given owe much to analog models. New filmmaking processes are enabled, which although aimed at by previous innovative filmmakers, are made easy and increasingly irresistible by digital technologies.

I, too, see this tendency traced above not as a determining of aesthetic forms by technology, but as a great opening in the means of expression of filmmakers. He gives the examples of a footprint, thunder and the photograph. Astruc, Alexandre. Peter Graham.

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