Wednesday, 23 August 2000

Chicken Run and international lighting practices

Listening to:

Duke Ellington, Reminiscing in Tempo.

A recent movie:

Chicken run. Writing on Monday, I realised that I’d not mentioned some of my other recent movie experiences. Chicken run is a cute film by the people who did the Wallace and Gromit TV programmes (Nick Park et al.). Even before going to see it, I'd read many people say that CR was OK, but not as good as the three WG programmes (particularly the last two). I’d have to say that I’d just about agree with this. (Phil Agre wouldn’t; in this issue of his Red Rock Eater digest (you'll need to scroll down past a lot of other interesting stuff to get there, or use your find/search option), he says it sucks, which is overly harsh I think, though the general points he makes are quite good.)

Having read a few online reviews of Show me love on Monday, I was struck by how many American reviewers commented on how lousy they thought the lighting in the film was. This wasn’t something I noticed at all. My reaction tended to be understanding and sympathetic, along the lines of What is it with these whingers?, but it is definitely true that different countries use quite different lighting conventions in at least their TV programmes. It’s usually pretty easy to place a programme that you don’t recognise that’s running behind a shop window, say, just by something about the light.

Superficially, I’d say that American TV seems to generally be quite brightly lit, and that Australian TV is even more so, but I think there’s probably more to it that my perception is aware of, but which I can’t express.