Arnie had it all taped

Arnie Wilson is right about “taping” and not “filming” (Letters, 15 July). But
even though I was trained in the days of 35mm film, when referring to
single camera videotaping I find myself reluctantly using the term
“filming”.

Of course the term “tape” has an honourable film past
as well; it was generally used to refer to sound only, then along came
the studio VTRs with videotape not unlike industrial loo paper, and
this became taping, too.

For some reason, however, almost
everyone continued to refer to single camera video work as “filming” –
maybe because there was quite a long handover from film to tape. To
avoid confusion, I find myself going with the flow, though it still
feels wrong.

What has perhaps been more alarming has been the
assumption by people who really should know better, that the smaller
the format they used, the less they needed to spend on research,
pre-production and production. I once heard an ITV head of news
briefing his station’s journalists about the then new ENG (electronic
news gathering) cameras.

“Now that we have this technology,” he
said, “you do not need to shoot ‘cut-aways’, or set up shots. It will
all be much quicker.” To which, as a flabbergasted ex-editor, I said to
the stunned throng: “Amazing… do these cameras write their scripts
too?” Sadly, I think I had it in one, looking at the general output
these days.

Stuart Nimmo freelance cameraman, Paris

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