How Not To Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File by Hito Steyerl

After watching the video(see title), I got to think about what we determine as to be seen and what is not. Hito describes it as ways to engage with the camera to hide our identity. In another video, she explains that the video comes from a homage to another video called “How Not To Be Seen”. The video talks about how been seen is dangerous as they “kill” each person that appears. Obviously, this is for comedic purposes but makes you think how dangerous it can be if you are seen when you shouldn’t be. That’s where Hito mentions that her video is talking about how to disappear from security cameras which are dangerous in certain situations, especially when trying to hide.

Hito’s attempt in showing people how to not been seeing demonstrates some actual plausible ways to hide oneself but there are others that do not work. She knows that but still wanted to talk about how disappearing and hiding are hard with how technology advances. I found the video rather interesting but it also showed some imminent fear of how every time someone is not seen is regarded as eliminated or deleted. I kind of related that to get killed for knowing too much or to keep someone silent. This turned out to be more darker than expected if we see it in that light, but at the same time, it teaches us how much technology has evolved to the point where we can make ourselves disappear even if only through post production or some simple techniques.

Nevertheless, hiding and not been seeing seems like an appropriate way to keep yourself safe but also, make yourself gone from anywhere. Whether we are there or not will mainly depend whether we want to be seen or not.

Now, lets put this into another context that is green screen and how someone can choose what to show or not. Just like Hito Steyerl! Green screen is method that allows people to remove something unwanted from a film and replace it with something else. It can be anything, seriously anything! The problem is what looks good and what doesn’t look good when using green screen. If you look at today’s films, most of them are actors in front of green screens. This makes production “cheaper” and allows more freedom with visual effects. Not all films look good though. Some are terrible at handling green screens but the more technology advances the better the effects.

If you want to know about a good and bad green screen movie, check out The Day After Tomorrow (2004). This movie is mostly green screen. You can freaking see how bad it looks because the background doesn’t match the foreground at some points. This makes the movie a terrible film using green screen. BUT WAIT. Let’s think about it for a minute. The movie came in 2004. This is long ago so if we are comparing this movie to new ones from 2019, it doesn’t seem fair at all. So, lets talk about the movie in the context on when it was released. At that time, managing green screen must still be rough. I made a quick search for movies at the time and I guess The Day After Tomorrow really does have really bad green screen. But lets give it some credit as what they did with the movie is what most companies do nowadays, mostly film in green screen. This shows that green screen was in development and it is still in development. Its applications must have been harder to use in 2004 but there was an attempt. That should be a reason as to why it is a good green screen movie for the time that it was released.

The green screen method was a great discovery and it still is. People get to have more freedom as to what they want to make and at the same time show or hide whatever they feel like. Green screen changed the film industry and with it people’s creativity. What can’t be filmed nowadays then?

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