timewatcher

Making Slow Television.

TV BBC Four has a slow television season in the coming week, documentaries without narration and very long shots of things happening which is just the sort thing they used to do a lot back in the day before everything became repeats of Timewatch and Michael Portillo on trains (although then they would have given it wall to wall coverage and included a parallel film season with Le Quattro Volte and some late Tarkovsky).

In any case, here Ian Denyer, the director of one of the strands, Handmade, to talk about the process:

“The brief was brief: no words, no music, long, very long held shots. I added my own restrictions to this – no shot less than ten seconds, and no movement. On the first recces I investigated the possibilities of single shots lasting five minutes. Having grown up being constantly asked to move the camera more and cut faster, this was a joy. All the action would come to the frame. This was a chance to celebrate craft on both sides of the camera.”

The season kicks off with Frederick Wiseman’s National Gallery.

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