About the Films

Black and white photo of Cameron Tingley at a young age.

The Flying Spot Players preparing to shoot the Pass-the-Buck scene in “Kindergarten Tycoon”  (2013)

Right from the get-go when I made my first 16mm film in 1972 I became infatuated with the whole process of making movies, from storyboarding to sound mixing. It felt like I had landed in a brand new playground, and I’ve been running amok in it ever since.

Working in the film/video/digital medium has provided an opportunity to bring my observations of human behaviour to life using visual humour, playful satire, hyperbolic scenarios, visual metaphors, and even sound puns. And lots of custom-made props.

In 1999 I started a small theatrical troupe called The Flying Spot Players to act as a vehicle for manifesting my new ideas. The troupe is somewhat like a community theatre group except we don’t produce stage plays we produce short films.

The films are caricatures of the modern world.

I wanted the new films to be quite short and more socially and environmentally relevant, effectively functioning as “live-action editorial cartoons”. So we began producing low-budget shorts on an ad-hoc basis under the banner LIFE AS WE KNOW IT.

The films utilize incidental moments of day-to-day life to ask important questions about how exposure to mass culture informs our relationships with each other, with society at large, and with the natural world. They’re essentially meant to put a face on those relationships to help bring the underlying connections and patterns to the fore. Pollution, advertising, popular culture, electronic communication, consumerism, and social etiquette are some of the topics examined in the various films.

The visual style, similar to an editorial cartoon, uses playful and whimsical imagery to provide humour. But the practical function of these exaggerated images is to draw attention to aspects of contemporary society that are normally hidden or obscured by the hubbub of daily life. Quite simply, the films are “caricatures” of the modern world.

Be prepared to laugh, think, and wonder. All at the same time.

Be prepared to laugh, think, and wonder. All at the same time.