Cinema's other reality

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 September, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 September, 1995, 12:00am

WHY is it that after two hours we are willing to see certain movies all over again, overwhelmed by their power and complexity. Why? What happened? We have witnessed a superb piece of audio visual production called a motion picture.

What does the term audio-visual production mean? For an engineer this term can represent towers of slide projectors, computers, screens, mixers, amplifiers, and digitalised control units.

For an artist, it can be a way to communicate ideas through dynamic artistic form. In teacher's hands, the audio-visual production is an effective educational tool.

In a broader sense, audio-visual production can be any production that combines audio and visual phenomena. Complex audio-visual messages contain an emotional and informational potential, and aim simultaneously at the two most efficient human senses - sight and hearing.

Since over 80 per cent of information is received by eyesight (some claim over 95 per cent), ours is considered a visual civilisation.

The most effective media use various forms of visuals supported by audio. One way or another, the vast field of audio-visual production represents an opportunity for people and institutions that want to dedicate themselves to the art of communication.

Although a film is only a two-dimensional system without the viewer's active participation, it is so effective the viewer sitting in the cinema feels he has become a part of the story.

Creative people select or modify existing reality to create a new, non-existent reality, and they make us believe that we are a part of that.

For an artist, writer, actor, director, designer or photographer, work in a complex audio-visual programme is demanding but extremely rewarding.

Modern technology offers marvellous new tools nearly every day. Computers allow you to create a movie in your armchair at home.

Electronic technology can create sound effects that do not exist in real life.

Behind the door is holography, the three-dimensional visual principle. Virtual reality has recently entered our lives.

Audiences will soon find it impossible to distinguish between what is real and what is fiction.

A good audio-visual programme is the successful marriage of creative work and fine craftsmanship.

The purpose of arts schools is to open the minds of young people, encourage their creativity, help them find their way. Good schools do such a job.

Good institutions dealing with audio-visual production capitalise on the experience gained in 100 years of the motion picture art.

Mr Vela is Senior Lecturer in Cinematography (School of Technical Arts) at the APA