I first covered the term “anachronism” back in 2009 when I published Beware the attack of the anachronisms!. Now that I just published Panasonic GH3: Behind the scenes of Genesis, with Philip Bloom, I am asking myself whether we should consider the term “short film” as anachronistic when the piece is shot on video. Ahead we’ll review the term anachronism and discuss how we should call “short films” and “footage” when shot on video.
What’s an anachronism?
Here’s the Apple dictionary definition:
a thing belonging or appropriate to a period other than that in which it exists, esp. a thing that is conspicuously old-fashioned : everything was as it would have appeared in centuries past apart from one anachronism, a bright yellow construction crane.
A few anachronisms from my prior article
In my 2009 article, Beware the attack of the anachronisms!, I covered anachronisms in three categories:
- From the audio/film/video world: rewind/rebobinar, slate/pizarra, and Stay tuned/Mant©ngase en sintonía
- In telephony: hang up/colgar/enganchar (pero sólo en Puerto Rico), to dial/discar
- In the Spanish series Hospital Central
If you’d like, that article is still available here.
Is a “short film” really a short film even though it’s not shot on celluloid?
Well that depends upon how strict we are. For many years, there have been terms including “digital film” and “digital cinematography”. It gets awkward when someone asks: “Did you shoot your short film on film?”. Then again, esthetically the term “short video” sounds quite different than “short film”. I thought about how a “short film” is called in Castilian (aka “Spanish”) and at first I thought it was not an anachronism, until I broke it down and looked at its etymology. In Castilian, we call it a cortometraje which actually comes from the French term court-m©trage. The first part (court) means short, and m©trage also is related to a physical length, so cortometraje or court-m©trage actually turns out to be even more anachronistic than “film” in this case.
What about “footage” or “raw footage”?
The word “footage” obviously comes from the word “foot”, a common measurement of physical length still used in those countries (like the USA) that have not yet become completely metrified, and refers (in our case) to the length of motion picture film (celluloid). Of course, this measurement has no proper application when we shoot video as computer files, not tape (not that we measured our tape in feet anyway), so it is absolutely an anachronism in that case. A wonderful substitute comes to mind when I think about the term for “footage” in Castilian: material. In fact, it is written the same way in English; it’s just pronounced differently. If we want, we can even say: “raw material” in English instead of “raw footage”.
It all depends if we want to be using anachronisms or not. Whatever you decide, it’s good to be aware of them!
Links to related articles
- Beware the attack of the anachronisms! which covers the Spanish series Hospital Central, from October 28, 2009
- Panasonic GH3: Behind the scenes of Genesis, with Philip Bloom from September 26, 2012
- Panasonic Lumix GH3 gets more serious about audio & video than its predecessors from September 22, 2012
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My latest ebook
I have just published an ebook in two languages.
The format is Kindle, but even if you don’t have a Kindle device, you can read Kindle books on many other devices using a free Kindle app. That includes iPad, iPhone, Android phones, Android tablets, Mac computers, Windows computers, some Blackberry phones and Windows 7 phones.
In English, it is currently available in the following Amazon stores, depending upon your region:
- Amazon.es (Spain, pero a lo mejor lo prefieres en castellano, a continuación)
If you’re going to buy a Kindle book as a gift, you must do so via the Pan-American Amazon store (the first one listed above), regardless of where you live or where the recipient lives.
En castellano, está disponible actualmente en las siguientes tiendas Amazon, según tu región:
Si vas a comprar un libro Kindle como regalo, debes hacerlo vía la tienda panamericana de Amazon (la primera de la lista) sin importar donde vivas tú o donde viva la persona que recibirá el regalo.
Allan T©pper’s books, consulting, articles, seminars & audio programs
Contact Allan T©pper for consulting, or find a full listing of his books, articles and upcoming seminars and webinars at AllanTepper.com. Listen to his TecnoTur program, which is now available both in Castilian (aka “Spanish”) and in English, free of charge. Search for TecnoTur in iTunes or visit TecnoTur.us for more information.
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