Filmmaker Uses Prosthetic Eye to Make Documentaries

by Mark R

One of the troubles with filming documentaries or reality shows is that people tend to act differently when they are on camera. I suppose that is what makes reality TV entertaining, but it is hardly a realistic portrayal of life. A Canadian filmmaker named Rob Spence has figured out a way to remove that “I’m-on-camera” factor in his documentaries, as his prosthetic eye has a concealed camera.

Spence plans to film many people, and the eye will transmit the footage wirelessly to a storage device nearby. Of course, he is required by law to tell his interviewees that they are on camera. Oddly enough, the subject of his documentary is about whether people are “sleepwalking into an Orwellian society”. I’m sure he realizes that his film could be one step into a surveillance society.

The special prosthetic eye was developed by OmniVision of Santa Clara. Spence got the idea for the camera eye by watching The Six Million Dollar Man and noticing that the tiny cameras in cellular phones could easily be put in a prosthetic eye.

So now Spence can film anything he wants without worrying about his subjects being distracted by the camera. Of course, they could be distracted by a prosthetic eye. Granted, the eye is the same hazel color as his working eye, but Spence even jokingly refers to himself as “Eyeborg”.

So if you see a man who wants to interview you, you might want to take a closer look at his eye to see if it has a camera. Be prepared to sign a release form if that is the case.


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