Let’s imagine a moment - Episode 7

A film by Benoît Labourdette (5’18s, 2009).
26 November 2009. Published by Leny Müh.

Let’s imagine for a moment that this poster is a face...

For some time now, I wanted to talk about the camera I use. Actually, I had the idea and started shooting this series of films “Imagine a moment” three and a half years ago, in 2006. I shot a number of episodes at the time, with a mobile phone. I was quite convinced of my interest in this approach, but I was not satisfied with the result, technically speaking, in terms of sound. The microphones in the phones are small mono omnidirectional microphones (for the moment) that produce a sound that can be quite correct in situations where the environment is quiet. But when you’re in a noisy space, all the noises get mixed up and the sound becomes difficult to “decode”.

One of the principles, in “Imagine a moment”, is to confront words in a real context. With the filming on the phone, listening to the films was unpleasant, you had to listen to them, it was cacophony... in short, I never showed these first films, because it didn’t work as well as I would have liked, and the project stayed in the boxes.

At the same time, in 2006, after numerous comparative tests, I bought one of the first memory-card sound recorders, the Zoom H4. It is a micro-recorder, which produces a very high quality sound. At the end of the hand, by picking up the sounds, you could produce sound atmospheres of incredible quality. It is now widely used in the audiovisual profession. Then came out the Zoom H2, smaller. And a few weeks ago, I learned about the release of the Zoom Q3, which is equipped with the same microphones as the Zoom H2, but in which a small camera has been integrated! It was finally the tool I needed to make “Imagine a moment”!

In this film, I chose to confront my eyes and my text with the moving images present in the city, like an abyss of the image itself. This is not usually my point of view, because I am looking for a confrontation with reality. The images, advertising in particular, which are linked to each other on the walls of cities, are less constitutive of reality than places, buildings, people... we can see it in this film, at a time when I am able to make these images disappear (although it is more difficult to make a building disappear, for example). And it is probably not by chance that, precisely during this question posed to the image itself, the question is asked explicitly by a passer-by, which leads me to have to say everything about the camera object, up to its price. It seems to me that the subject has deepened in the confrontation with the words of another person.

“Let’s imagine for a moment that this broom is a human being”, “let’s imagine for a moment that this pavement is a sun”, “let’s imagine for a moment that the night doesn’t exist”... in everyday life, incongruous and surrealistic visions of the world.Twenty and one sequence shots, shot in 2009, in which I film myself, as I travel through life’s peregrinations, imagining by words a fiction based on the reality I am crossing.I made this series with an innovative tool, the “Zoom Q3”, the first pocket camera equipped with an excellent quality microphone. It was this camera that invited me to do a work (...)