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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Rear Projection

Dead Beat is going to stick with film a while so God help you - after a weekend with his little Dead Beats and their movie choices he has focussed his attention on Rear Projection. Writers might argue that Rear Projection does not really apply to them since all of their writing is rear projection. There is no real decision to be made.

Well Old D.B. might not agree. In any case let him explain what he understands by Rear Projection.

Rear Projection combines foreground action, often actors in conversation, with a background often shot earlier, on location. Rear projection provides an economical way to set films in exotic or dangerous locations without having to transport expensive stars or endure demanding conditions.

Look at any of those old Hollywood films with car scenes. Look out the rear window folks, rear projection. The car scene is shot in the studio, the 'passing landscape' is shot on location and combined due to the physical restrains of shooting in the studio. In addition, by speeding up the rate of the projected images in the background, or quickly changing its angle, rear projection allows for an impression of speed that involves no real danger.

So what of us writers?

Well we can combine anything we want at no extra cost. This can become problematic. 'Anything' just doesn't work. It has to be the 'right' thing.

When your characters are sitting in a car, what is being rear projected? Forget the car, what about the kitchen table, the cottage outhouse?

Folks, the Cut and Paste is alive and well in fiction. We can add any background we like with little effort. In film we have to think strongly about it.

I want to take you a step further. Within the minds of our characters we have Rear Projection too. Look out the window of their being and what do you see? More to the point what do you want your audience, your readers, to see?

Rear Projection informs the scene happpening in the foreground. It adds context, tone, meaning.

Don't rush it, don't ignore it.

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