Why Text Becomes Literature

Words can be so rewarding – text becoming literature – I think precisely because they form such a narrow-bandwidth pathway to the brain.

A comment I made at a recent speaking gig (about video being the highest-bandwidth pathway to the brain) got me thinking about why literature is what it is.

Words can be so rewarding – text becoming literature – I think precisely because they form such a narrow-bandwidth pathway to the brain. The slow trickle of words forces a constraint on the brain that leads to rich associations and images. And when – in the case of Shakespeare and other great artists – the gentle architecture of their words begins to collect into a bigger whole, the reward is unspeakable, so beyond what seems possible from such a singular narrow trickle of text. This fragile lattice of words takes such genius to construct that I wonder that it’s possible at all.

Images are so much easier. Film is an embarrassment of images. The systems and symbols are so overly rich the mind has to filter out rather than strain to construct (as with text). Literature stretches the mind to build from the abstract; still images stretch the mind to explore, abstract and imagine more; while motion pictures stretch the mind to filter out the unnecessary and focus on what’s worth more of my attention.

Vision in Motion eBook Released!

What does it take to create a visual story that moves people? Vision in Motion is an eBook written to answer that question. Using images from real-world productions, we talk some about the equipment, process & technique required to put your vision in motion.

I’ve been itching to tell everyone about this for months… and the day’s finally here! I’ve written an eBook for readers interested in stepping into the world of motion picture storytelling. The full title is Vision in Motion: A Photographer’s Introduction to Digital Video, and it’s available for $5 from Craft and Vision (Just $4 if you use the discount code MOTION4 before June 27th).

Though targeted at photographers, the eBook is for anyone who’s interested in the world of motion picture storytelling. With the explosion of video-capable stills cameras, many are considering dipping their toes into moving images. But while there are many resources out there on how to operate a video camera, what does it take to create a visual story that moves people? We talk some about gear, but mostly about process. What is story? How do you build a story? How do you connect images together to build towards a climax? What are the differences between composing a shot for a still image vs. motion?

It’s tough to pack all that into one eBook, but feedback so far has been positive. It’s gotten people excited to give video a try and get started with motion pictures storytelling. Go check it out!

VISION IN MOTION is a downloadable PDF. USD $5.00

Kurt Vonnegut on Writing

I myself find that I trust my own writing most, and others seem to trust it most, too, when I sound most like a person from Indianapolis, which is what I am. What alternatives do I have? The one most vehemently recommended by teachers has no doubt been pressed on you, as well: to write like cultivated Englishmen of a century or more ago.

  1. Find a subject you care about
  2. Do not ramble, though
  3. Keep it simple
  4. Have guts to cut
  5. Sound like yourself
  6. Say what you mean
  7. Pity the readers

— Kurt Vonnegut, “Palm Sunday”