“We talk about films being a permanent record – my belief is that we’re all writing on sand” – documentary film-maker, George Stoney.
He points out that archivists are desperately struggling to save film – and video – which all last so briefly (decades), on modern media storage systems which rapidly change format and also deteriorate – compared to the ancient ways of recording, still with us – 5,000 year old tablets of stone, papyrus.
This 13 minute featurette on him asks him why in his 90s he still lectured at NYU and is editing a major documentary film.
When people ask him how many films he has made, he says “Which are my films? – they’re always a collaboration and it’s often forgotten when we feature documentary makers, that documentary is bound to be a collaboration the first people you collaborate with are the people in front of the camera.”
“Film itself is a two-dimensional medium of a three dimensional world and you have to do all kinds of things to add that third dimension. There again, you’re not capturing reality.”
Much to ponder here, for documentary film makers. George Stoney himself was one of the pioneers to launch public access television, as a way to let people express their own stories.