Blind Man Journal by Jason Cowan, Cinematographer

I’m sure many have viewed the interesting film, The Blind Man. A soldier who returns from war finds himself in another world. His injuries are to the cranial area, and his eyes are protected by a bandage.

Travis both directed and played in the film—an exasperation on an entirely new level! But to make matters even more interesting, he also remained blindfolded during the entire day. Even behind the scenes, Travis found himself without his vision.

I believe there to be a sort of connection which joins a director and his cameraman. It’s important to acknowledge and discern the difference between the two; much like the conductor and the flutist, one must understand the instructor from the instrument. Criteria must be satisfied for both parties respectively. In the process of capturing images—I mean expressive images, dynamic images—there must be a common pathway. Perhaps a most functional method of communication is that of words.

In terms of photography, various “key” terms are used between creative members; each corresponds to a rather ambiguous concept. The whole idea here is to provide an objectification which rationalizes thoughts into a vocal language. Without Travis’s eyes, his words were nothing in relationship to the environment. In no way was I able to objectively translate his artistic hypotheses.

I found myself blindfolded as well. I was exposed. No, I was over-exposed. The film was to be decided from the little information given, and to be materialized in a grand manifest to which I was most unfamiliar. You never know who is watching. Still, a more fervent state of paranoia occurs when you know nobody is watching.

However, for the first time I found my own images, my own framing, and my own composition—from my own eyes. It’s scary knowing that the entire project, your work and the work of others, could devaluate with a single peek from under a bandage.

But those fears ended that day.

Because it doesn’t matter who’s watching. Nobody has the right to control your gut feeling. The Blind Man reminded our true purpose—it’s the reason why we make the films that we do.

If all the images you create are in the lens of someone else, than a true state of blindness has occurred.