Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Eyes Have It!

Saturday I'm getting lasik surgery - so I won't have to wear glasses any longer.

I went through a very thorough exam today, and as I spoke with my ophthamologist, Dr. Matthew Sharpe, M.D, he made some comments I thought lots of directors and actors might like to read.

First, there are hundreds of thousands of people in the eye health care profession throughout the world - all of whom, we agreed, watch films and TV.

Deal is - they can all recognize plain glass in glasses frames when they are used for props by actors in roles. Which means as soon as they recognize the clear glass lens, they're pulled out of the story and their suspension of disbelief - which we rely on to keep them keyed into our films from beginning to end - and they scoff that they're phony!


I explained that when we put glasses on characters/actors, it's a visual metaphor for the character not seeing something clearly: life as it actually unfolds around them; their life as they actually live it; other people; the past, the future, whatever.

Well, all except for Superman. Clark Kent *should* have clear lenses because he sees everything very clearly and we understand that is merely a (rather weak) prop to obfuscate his identity. It's OK because we the audience are in on the gimmick -- we understand that Mr. Kent is Superman, although the lack of phone booths has put a cut in his attire-changing strut!

So here's what Dr. Sharpe suggests: with the help of an ophthamologist, the actor can be fitted for contact lenses that muddle the actor's vision ... and then given glasses with a proper prescription lens that will give the performer 20-20 peepers!

I know there have been cases in which actors have used heavy-lensed glasses that made them dizzy and even nauseous because their vision is perfect without them.

Here's an idea to help them out.

Of course, the budget and cooperation of ophthamologists will be the final determining factors for implimenting a more accurate pair of glasses on characters in films - particularly indie films.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sharpe says he'd be happy to answer questions from directors, writers and actors regarding eyes, vision health, vision problems and solutions. You can reach him at Matthew Sharpe, to send him an email.

Be sure to tell him you received his name from me!

No I did NOT get any sort of a kickback, discount or payment from him or the company for writing this blog! It's just for your information and discussion! :-)

I know it certainly gave me something to think about regarding future use of glasses for character props!


  • At 2:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for the mention, Colleen. I hope you're doing well today. It was a great pleasure to meet you and to be able to help with your vision.

  • At 1:42 AM, Blogger Digger said…

    Brave move ceep. Glad it worked out for ya. Me? I'll be sticking with my specs thanks. It's that "98% success rate" they claim that does it for me. You mean TWO people in a hundred don't work out? Eek!

    Oh yeah, and that "one eye for distance; one for close" thing? How does that work? Don't you need stereoscopic vision for driving? Eek again!


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