This film was made on Mount Kinderscout in Derbyshire, England.
It is a continuous, "real time" tracking shot of a
stream bed. The length of the track was ten yards. The camera
was suspended in a motorized carriage running on steel cables
three feet above the water surface. The camera pointed vertically
downwards recording the contours of the stream bed and the flow
of water along its course. The sound of the water was recorded
synchronously from the moving carriage.
The "drama" in this film comes from the topography
of the stream and not from the camera motion or from the editing.
Throughout the unedited length of the film the camera tracks
along a straight line at an absolutely regular speed. In contrast
the stream runs fast and slow, cascading over boulders and swirling
turbulently from left to right.
I think of the straight line formed by the tracking device as
a metaphor for technology. However, the straight line does not
dominate the landscape like a highway or a row of buildings;
in this model the straight line is used as a means to articulate
the complexity of nature.
The tracking device is invisible to the viewer, but if one were
to take the spool of film and roll it out on the floor one would
see a surface of celluloid running parallel to the water surface,
a second straight line complete with rocks and rushing water.
When the film is projected the viewer becomes aware of this line
through the passing of time; in Stream Line space is represented
with assistance from the Arts Council of Great Britain.