Monday, June 20, 2005


Has anyone else noticed how much of our lives are now recorded? Never mind Big Brother CCTV everywhere - everyone has a digital camera - and every year its smaller, better, its added sound, it can take movies.... mine now even has a button that you press and it prints out a contract for the people I photograph so I will have the rights to make photo-tie-in action figurines from them. Everyone has a camera on their mobile (or cell, for you Yanks) phone. Every moment of your life is on (digital) film somewhere some how - even when you are being born these days its a tossup for the midwife between cutting the umbilical cord and doing some slo-motion kung fu for the father as he gets busy being the new Tarantino with his just-bought Sony handicam.

But - with all this filming going on - the art of actually LOOKING at pictures seems to have entirely disappeared. When is the last time anyone said "have a look at my holiday snaps?". Truth is, unless you carry round a PC, 18" monitor and 6 speakers for full 5.1 Dolby surround sound, you NEVER even see anyone else's pictures nowadays - in fact,. You never even look at your own!

So - there is a world of multimedia recording every single act any of us ever makes - but its never ever seen.

Well - almost. This is talking about the GOOD pictures. The ones where you look cool. Where you got the sunlight just catching the wavetops. The ones where it could be turned into a A3 poster, sold in a million shops, appearing on a million student bedroom walls and faking your "Robert Doisneau - Le Baiser" - (French for "lucky bastard") style fortune.

We are forgetting the only place every last bad, drunken hung-over- bad hair day evil twin red eye "you dated HER!!" damn picture ever taken of you ends up.

The Best Mans Speech.

Yes - the million gigabyte mega multipixel multimedia interactive photoshop enabled picture-ipod multi-verse has been brought into creation.. just to make you look a total dickhead on your wedding day. Doh!

But lets face it - the recording technology is outstripping the display media - the A3 picture held up in front of the horrified family and knowing buddies is not really enough to do justice to the multimedia capabilities of the recordings of today, never mind of the future. So, how long before wedding receptions are being held in cinemas - there will be drive in weddings, IMAX weddings even - all so that sound and vision MPEG clip of you aged 6 months, farting out of a pimply arsehole can be shown 3 f__king storeys high in all its 3-D widescreen multiplex glory.

And lets remember the other big societal trends - weddings are going out of fashion. So - what happens to all this multimedia then? It can't go to waste! Maybe soon people will skip the wedding entirely - there will be "Best Mans Speech" parties for unmarried couples - your friends and family pool together a lifetime of 3am phone-camera shots, school sports day peeing-down-the-leg incidents and "you really tried to hide your ears in that school photo" montages, hiring out multiplexes just for ritual humiliation.

And with more pictures, there will be more REALLY REALLY BAAAAD ones. Like, with hookers (old, Wayne-Rooney style hookers). With time and date stamps. Or just really, really bad hair, awful dress sense - showing a side of you you had hoped to keep secret from the love of your life, for good reason. But now there is no hiding - it WILL come back to haunt you. So then maybe some smart ass lawyer will catch onto the commercial opportunities of a "pre-nuptial image rights" agreement - allowing you to separate amicably Britney-style minutes after the vows if the best mans speech reveals anything too unacceptable in all its Technicolour Widescreen Panavision glory?

Who knows - maybe even in time there will be a category at the Oscars - "Best Best mans Video" - before you know it, Steve Martin will be announcing the winner just after "best use of excessive latex rubber makeup" but before "best film in a foreign language".

So - just remember folks - turn the phone off..

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