为小银幕而制作的纪录片

保罗·克里瓦切克 (Paul Kriwaczek)

 枫 叶译

 Part I 第一篇

The Nature of Television Documentary 电视纪录片的本性

Chapter 1 Introduction 第一章

 引言

 Haven’t I seen you on TV? 我在电视上见过你吗?

 Television, in all its forms, is a dominant feature of today’s world culture. From Baltimore to Buenos Aires to Beijing, from Malmo to Makhachkala to Mahabalipuram, televison is the in the home, in the office, in the factory, in the hospital, in the post office, in the hairdressser, in the bar-room. Everywhere where people are, there is television. It comes by transmission from terrestrial antennae, by cable, by satellite, by closed circuit wiring.

电视及其一切形式是今日世界文化的主导特征。从巴尔蒂摩到布宜诺埃利斯到北京,从玛尔摩(一个瑞典一南方城镇-译者注)到马哈奇卡拉到马哈巴里普兰,,电视存在于家里、办公室、工厂、医院、邮局、发廊、酒吧。只要有人的地方就有电视。它从球形天线、电缆、卫星、闭路电线传输过来。

TV is the primary communications medium of our age. It is our entertainer, our informer, our educator, our transmitter of culture, our codifier of ideology. It sets the agenda for political debate, manipulates our attitudes to ourselves and others, suggests shared images, stereotypes and paradigms. TV programmes put in front of us role models powerful enough to alter the way we behave. Real police carry out real actions in the style of their representation on the small-screen; politicians take up catch phrases, gestures and mannerisms ascribed to them by television satires. We know how undertakers, soldiers, bricklayers, authors, airline pilots, rock stars, factory workers are supposed to behave because we — and they — have seen it on television.

电视是我们这个时代的主要传播( 亦译作通讯)媒介。它为我们的娱乐者,是我们的信息来源,是我们的教育者,我们文化的传播者,我们的意识形态的编纂人。它规定了政治辩论的议程,操纵了我们对自己和对别人的态度,提出共享的视觉形象、定型人物和范例。电视节目把人物模式推到我们面前,它强大到足以改变我们的行为模式。真正的警察照着小萤屏上他们的代表人物的风格来执行实际任务,政治家们接受了电视讽剌剧给他们规定的俏皮话、手势和行为举止。我们知道殡仪员、士兵、泥瓦匠、作家、民航飞行员、摇滚明星、蓝领工人该如何行为处事。因为我们-和他们-都在电视上看见过。

Television is our favoured way of presenting ourselves to the world. Most youngsters would prefer to tell the wider community about their school in a co-operative video rather than a written essay. Most company marketing managers judge the publicity value of a promotional film well above that of a printed brochure. Most political pressure groups or charitable foundations know that the persuasive power of a single television appearance is worth hundreds of leaflets.

电视是我们所喜欢的向世界展现我们自己的方式。大部分年轻人宁愿用合伙拍摄的录像片来告诉更多的公众关于他们的学校,而不愿意写文章来说。大部分公司的销售经理都认为一部促销影片的宣传价值远高于一本印刷小册子。大部分政治压力集团和慈善基金会都知道在电视上仅出现一次抵得上成百传单的说服力。

This preference results from a number of television’s particular qualities. One is the illusion of transparent truth that film and video seem to offer. Another is the very familiarity and ubiquity of the medium. TV is such a part of everyday experience that its codes and conventions, its complications and craftsmanship go largely unnoticed. The process of making a television programme seems to the casual observer to need little more than common sense and an eye for a picture.

对电视的这种偏爱是来自电视的一些特殊性质。一个是电影和录像似乎能够提供透明的真相的幻觉。另一个是对这一媒介的熟悉和它的普遍存在。电视是这样一种每天每日的经验的一部分,以致于电视的惯例和成规,它的复杂程度和技艺大都被忽视了。电视节目的制作过程看起来象是随便的观察者,它只需要稍稍多一些的普通常识和有绘画感的眼睛。

One important factor which gives television its special status is the fact that until now access to it by ordinary people has been severely restricted. In the capitalist as well as the former communist world, in the developing countries as among the new industrial tiger economies of the Far East, television has been under the exclusive control of a cultural, political, social, commercial or artistic elite — at face value, a wide enough spectrum of people, but an elite nonetheless. The selection criteria for admission to that elite differ from country to country and society to society, but wherever on looks, broadcast television programmes have been made by a privileged few, and those in control of broadcasting their works have been an oligarchy also. This might not be so important in fiction film-making, but in the field of documentary it has meant only the chosen few making films about the unchosen many. It has not been possible for ordinary people to present their own image of themselves; they were only ever to be seen through the others’ eyes.

使电视处于一种特殊地位的一个重要因素就是这样一个事实,即到目前为止,普通人进入电视这一行业是被严格限制的。无论是资本主义国家还是前共产主义国家,发展中国家和远东的新兴工业国家一样,电视一直完全被掌控在某一文化、政治、社会、商业或是艺术精英(从表面看是一大批人,但仍是某种精英)手中。尽管每个国家之间、每个社会之间磷选精英的标准哥不相同,但无论在哪里看,传播电视节目都是由少数特权制作的,而那些掌控传播事业的人也就是(传播业)寡头。这也许对故事片的制作没有那么重要,但在纪录片的领域里,那就意味着只有被选中的少数去制作关于未选中的多数的电影。那就不可能为普通人去呈现属于他们自己的形象,他们只是通过别人的眼睛被看。

In consequence, television everywhere has come to fulfil an important validating role. To appear on television is as if to have one’s existence officially acknowledged. Being allowed onto the box is a kind of formal recognition of a person or a group’s presence in society. Back in the 1970s Parosi, though not a documentary series but a drama serial set among the South Asian community of the British Midlands, and which included passages of dialogue in Hindi and Urdu, had at the time — according to a UN report — a notable effect on the self-image and self-confidence of British people of Asian origin. Even now if you ever appear on television people who normally meet you every day of your life feel driven to approach you with an impressed and almost awestruck: ‘Didn’t I see you on TV yesterday?’

总之,每个地方的电视都变成满足作一个重要的人物的角色。在电视上露面就象得到官方公认存在一样。被允许上电视是一种在社会上对一个人或一个团体的正式承认。回顾70年代的电视片Parosi(BBC1976年出品),尽管不是系列纪录片,只是把情景设置在英国中部的南亚社区的连续剧,其中包括有用印地语(Hindi)和乌尔都语(Urdu)(印度回教徒的语言---译者注)对话的段落,根据联合国的报告,在那时,这在亚裔英国人中的自我形象和自信方面有着令人瞩目的影响。即使是现在,假如你曾出现在电视上,那些平时你日常生活中遇到的人就会怀着一种印象深刻和几乎是肃然起敬的感觉趋前接近你:“昨天我在电视上是不是看见你了?”

It is tempting to compare the status of television production with that of writing in the European Middle Ages before the development of printing. In fact there is a considerable difference. Writing may have been a skill restricted to the few and controlled, in mediaeval Europe at any rate, by the Church, but the products of the literate labour of monks and clerks were, unlike the products of the television producer, only accessible to the tiny minority who could read them. It was that minority who held the power in their society. In our form of democracy, public opinion has power, and television has from quite early on been available to, indeed directed towards, the majority of the population either in their own homes or their places of relaxation and entertainment.

把电视制作的情况和印刷术发展以前的欧洲中世纪的写作情况相比是吸引人的。事实上存在着一个很大的不同。在中世纪的欧洲,在任何等级中,写作可能一直是限制在少数人手中的技巧,并被教会所控制,不象电视制片人的产品那样,神职人员的文字劳动只能影响那些极少数能读到他们的人。那是一小部分在他们的社会握有权利的人。在我们的民主社会形式下,公众意见是有力的,而电视从一开始就能够,并确实直接面向大多数民众,无论是在他们家中还是他们休息、娱乐的场所。

Thus until now television has had all the features of a typical twentieth century mass medium, with costs which are quite unbalanced between producer and consumer. Much like other cultural products of our mass age, pop music for example, television has everywhere been centrally tightly controlled by large corporations or government bureaucracies. It has been expensive to produce and distribute, At the same time it has been relatively easy to acquire and cheap to consume. Power, for good or ill, was largely in the hands of the producers. The consumer’s choice was to answer a multuiple choice question, to select between a small number of predetermined responses: to buy this record, that one or neither, to watch this channel, that one or switch off the television altogether.

因此,到现在为止,电视已经拥有一个典型的二十世纪大众媒介的所有特征,同时,费用在制片人和消费者之间又非常的不平衡。与我们大众时代的其它文化产品非常类似,比如说流行音乐,每一个地方的电视都已经被大公司或官僚政府牢牢掌控了。它的制作和发行都很昂贵。同时对消费者而言,它的获得就相对容易和便宜。无论好坏,权力大部分掌握在制片人手里。消费者的选择就是答多项选择题,在很小范围的预定答案内做选择:买这张唱片或那张唱片或是都不买;看这个频道,看那个频道,或是关电视。

Today, as we look towards the beginning of a new century, this imbalance has already begun to change. The unstoppable development of technology is starting to render the previous dispensation quite out of date.

今天,在我们展望新世纪的开始时,这种不平衡已经在改变了。不断发展的新技术正在开始给先前那种分配倒计时。

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