Wildside: Kinematography

Lately I have been getting into the ABC tv program. I like the dialogue and the distinctly Australian humour. Sometimes I genuinely laugh while watching the show, not at the characters or writing, but with the characters when they laugh. It is a different experience to laugh at something like South Park compared to laughing with Wildside.

Anyway, I was doing a little googling on the show and I found an interview with producer, Steve Knapman. He says:

We had a view of scriptwriting that was inspired by a lot of shows, but we wanted to produce scripts that had a velocity in them, that had attack. We didnÂ’t want to write scripts where people wallowed in their own emotions. […] We wanted to make serious adult drama that had humour, that was entertaining, that was fast moving and that was relevant; a drama where the story folded back onto our central characters. As a consequence of that we were very hungry on story and research and characters and the casting implications of that were huge. […] In the design of the sets with Steven Jones Evans who did Romper Stomper, we went for a back lane, back door feel so there are lots of pipes, air conditioning ducts and cyclone wire. You add that to a long lens, back-lit feel multicam with a lot of movement and kinetic energy in the frame before you even start. […] Various characters are fighting for their goals. And the nature of the world, the fact that there is this conflict between the street and the police, compassion and order – that battle demands a certain energy.

I can relate to the conflict between compassion and order. What you want to happen and what should be done. The specific violence of ethics confronting duty is masterfully explored. Between co-workers, father and son, mother and daughter, client and service professional, the police and the public, etc. All involve various ratios of ethical responsibility and the duty implicit in various kinds of relationships.

The interesting thing for me is his invocation of kinetics. The notion of ‘speed and attack’ (affect) compared to wallowing in ’emotions’. One is brutal and of the body and the other is reflexive and highly social and thus implicated in stratified sedimentations of affect. The show is not non-emotional. The pace of life’s infinite unraveling and the way dramatic intrigues develop has an engaging out-of-control feeling.

And “a drama where the story folded back onto our central characters”? ‘folding’? ‘speed and attack’? This dude is so a Deleuzian…