Who's Behind The Blog

 

I worked for 40 years in New York City on the periphery of the "film business", making what were called "industrials" or business to business (B2B) communica-tions. When I started we were using 16mm reversal film, which, evolved into video tape as the technology became more affordable. They were corporate image films, product promotion, marketing, product demonstration, etc., mostly for the medical community and the defense industry.

However, this was the mid 1960s, and here in Gotham we were all part of the underground film movement. Therefore, many of us who were working in the trenches, so-to-speak, were applying all those recent advances that emerged from the "film underground". I was simultaneously going to NYU at night, working for many producers, in multiple capacities during the day, and sitting on a hard bench Saturday nights at the Filmmakers’ Cooperative, with my feet stuck to the floor, watching the latest Jonas Mekas offering. The so-called French "new wave" wasn't new to us... jump cuts, shaky-cam, out of focus, film dirt and scratches were part of our filmmaking technique... and we tried to get away with it at every available opportunity. Often we'd get slapped down, but eventually all this stuff became the new "normal".

 

Computers showed up in the early 80s, video began to replace film, digital technology had arrived full force by the 90s, and these advances changed the way people communicated. The linear story-telling techniques of the past were replaced by desktop computer presentations that marketing departments could grind out for no money and little training. Although I entered the industry as an innovator, by the time I was ready to leave, I was a dinosaur. Although, they now tell me that linear story-telling – a message with a beginning, a middle, and an ending that leads to a decision - is making a comeback.

 

Upon retiring, I got involved in my personal photographic and video projects and I’d lost interest in movies. So now I’m catching up. If you're a fan of movies from back-in-the-day, the best source is your public library through their interlibrary loan service. Most of the movies I’m reviewing now are new to me; other’s I saw over 40 or 50 years ago, many of them at The Thalia, an art house just off Broadway at 95th Street. Back in the day you could take a bag of deli food and watch a whole Woody Allen retrospective for the price of one ticket. They closed in 1987… ah well. Regardless, it’s been a challenging life, an enjoyable life style, and I’m privileged to have worked with my best friends who just happened to be the most talented people I’ve known.   

Please patronize and support your local public library.

Charles O. Slavens

The apparent is never the real.

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