The Digital Era and Films

The growing availability digital devices has grown rapidly within the past couple of years. This has changed filming culture drastically. Jay Ruby talks about how documentaries used to be a difficult field where a small group of filmmakers would use a 16mm camera and record what was in sight. The filmmakers knew their devices inside and out as well as filming history. Anthropologists would go to exotic locations with a film crew and film what happened around them. Nowadays, an anthropologist can simply bring a cellphone and record what is happening around him/her; there are even recordings of the tribes or natives recording themselves.

What made these films different rather than the older films with an entire crew? The anthropologists were simply anthropologists, not filmmakers. The consequences the digital era brought upon film were the lack of need for anthropologists and how “commonplace” it is for anyone to record what is around them, as listed by Ruby. However, it may be a plus for the world to be open to all these videos and recordings, it is a negative for the filming culture because many of the films are done by inexperienced people. The filming community is seeing barely anything new or creative but instead just the rehashed-same thing that your average Joe can create. The digital era has brought the world more resources to view but ruined a large part of the filming community.