Documentary Reflection

Research

When I started this module I knew I wanted to explore the ideas of fiction and how it affects us as individuals, I believed that fantasy be it fiction and/or the romanticism of the truth could influence in profound for good or for ill. However this did not truly dawn on me until after completing the summer task for this module wherein I created a video about something that interested me. In the video I used a clip from the Hogfather that I believe illustrates my thoughts on the relation between fiction and us.

Humans need fantasy

This inspired me to explore what fantasy meant to individuals and it encouraged any ideas that they hold dear. I knew I wanted to shoot the documentary in the same style as Michael Moore because I believe his participatory style is very good at engaging with the audience, as he gets involved it feels we’re involved.

Capitalism_a_love_story_posterBowling_for_columbine

The most difficult thing for me was finding someone not from the university to interview for the documentary. I found it difficult to reach out beyond my circle of friends to find like-minded individuals, which I feel may have hurt my documentary.

Process/Development

From the beginning I was very enthusiastic about exploring my idea however I feel that one of the biggest problems I faced was my own low self-esteem, which contributed to the less than stellar performance in the early weeks. I also found myself comparing my idea to those of the other students whom I always felt outmatched mine. Combine this with the fact that the project was a group exercise in which the best idea would ultimately be chosen was disheartening for me. Unfortunately I allowed this affect my work, as I was hesitant to contact anyone to star in my documentary. When it came time to join groups I found myself unable to find anyone to work with, in hindsight I could have done more that posting on the university’s facebook page.

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I was allowed to use members of my anime society in my film, which made it much easier for me to arrange meetings and interviews, it also allowed me explore whether fiction from different cultures would have the same impact on the consumer as something from their own culture. Knowing the anime society members are familiar with many forms of entertainment would yield some enlightening results in the documentary.

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 01.07.42

Analysis

I started filming relatively early with my flip video camera, these shots were meant as a intro that would set the tone for the documentary, although in hindsight I wish that I had reshot these scenes with my Cannon 700D camera due to the grain effect in the footage. For this individual project I was assigned to work Nawaz Noah Shelkh whom would provide technical support with his equipment whilst I arranged everything else. When it came time to shoot the interview Noah really helped with getting good answers from our character as he really connected with him and really allowed him to open up as opposed to my more formal questioning. From this I’ve learned the importance of being loose when interviewing characters and try to connect with them personally to get the best answers from them.

In hindsight I wish that I could have booked more recordings of the anime society as I don’t the documentary represents them as much as it could and I wish I could have gotten more footage from the MCM Birmingham comic con as there was so much there that could have worked in the documentary but didn’t think to record them in except hindsight.

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Evaluation

Overall the documentary turned out very different from what I originally envisioned. I didn’t use any scenes of myself reflecting on the interview because I felt they weren’t necessary as I believe the footage conveys it’s own ideas and I found myself wanting to leave the ending open to interpretation so that the potential audience would be able to draw their own conclusions. Although I still regret not getting more footage of the anime society and the MCM comic con for more variety in the footage.

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One thing that I take from this editing exercise is how time consuming a single edit can be when there are so many factors one must consider when structuring the footage in order to convey a comprehensible narrative. With so much footage it was difficult to pick what to use within such a limiting time frame of 3 minutes, many of scenes are cut and pasted from their wider context in order to cover as much information while avoiding bogging down the film with relentless banter, which was one of the downsides of the loose interviewing methods and also explains why some of the audio sounds like it’s being cut off midway through a sentence.

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When editing I couldn’t help but think about Werner Herzog’s ecstatic truth when I was cutting the interview footage and selecting witch parts best conveyed the ideas that I was looking illuminate in the documentary. Of course none of the out of the context of their respective questions I just a sieved through in order bring out what I believe conveyed what my documentary was about best.

I wanted to ensure everything said was relevant in advancing the narrative and answering the questions I asked at the beginning of the film. I took interview questions and answers out of order so I could arrange the structure in a way I believed to be the best for the story to flow naturally. For Example the question regarding Locky’s views on personal fantasy and the anime society were swapped in order to escalate the scope of the story, which is illustrated when the film transitions from the society meeting to the MCM convention. I believe this helped to reinforce a grand scale to the question as opposed to the original order where I don’t think it would have had the same emotional impact on the potential audiences.

Truth in Fiction

This film was made with assistance from Nawaz Noah Shelkh, Locky Birch and the Conventry University Anime Society. In this film I want to explore what fantasy means to us as people be it a gateway to social activities, an escape from the mundanity of our lives or something greater? In this documentary I will sit down with Locky Birch in order to seek answers to these questions, which will hopefully paint a picture that will make us rethink the way we look at fantasy and maybe learn something about ourselves in the process.

Evaluation

Overall the documentary turned out very different from what I originally envisioned. I didn’t use any scenes of myself reflecting on the interview because I felt they weren’t necessary as I believe the footage conveys it’s own ideas and I found myself wanting to leave the ending open to interpretation so that the potential audience would be able to draw their own conclusions. Although I still regret not getting more footage of the anime society and the MCM comic con for more variety in the footage.

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 01.13.11

One thing that I take from this editing exercise is how time consuming a single edit can be when there are so many factors one must consider when structuring the footage in order to convey a comprehensible narrative. With so much footage it was difficult to pick what to use within such a limiting time frame of 3 minutes, many of scenes are cut and pasted from their wider context in order to cover as much information while avoiding bogging down the film with relentless banter, which was one of the downsides of the loose interviewing methods and also explains why some of the audio sounds like it’s being cut off midway through a sentence.

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 01.11.38

When editing I couldn’t help but think about Werner Herzog’s ecstatic truth when I was cutting the interview footage and selecting witch parts best conveyed the ideas that I was looking illuminate in the documentary. Of course none of the out of the context of their respective questions I just a sieved through in order bring out what I believe conveyed what my documentary was about best.

I wanted to ensure everything said was relevant in advancing the narrative and answering the questions I asked at the beginning of the film. I took interview questions and answers out of order so I could arrange the structure in a way I believed to be the best for the story to flow naturally. For Example the question regarding Locky’s views on personal fantasy and the anime society were swapped in order to escalate the scope of the story, which is illustrated when the film transitions from the society meeting to the MCM convention. I believe this helped to reinforce a grand scale to the question as opposed to the original order where I don’t think it would have had the same emotional impact on the potential audiences.

Analysis

I started filming relatively early with my flip video camera, these shots were meant as a intro that would set the tone for the documentary, although in hindsight I wish that I had reshot these scenes with my Cannon 700D camera due to the grain effect in the footage. For this individual project I was assigned to work Nawaz Noah Shelkh whom would provide technical support with his equipment whilst I arranged everything else. When it came time to shoot the interview Noah really helped with getting good answers from our character as he really connected with him and really allowed him to open up as opposed to my more formal questioning. From this I’ve learned the importance of being loose when interviewing characters and try to connect with them personally to get the best answers from them.

In hindsight I wish that I could have booked more recordings of the anime society as I don’t the documentary represents them as much as it could and I wish I could have gotten more footage from the MCM Birmingham comic con as there was so much there that could have worked in the documentary but didn’t think to record them in except hindsight.

IMG_0065IMG_0072

Process/Development

From the beginning I was very enthusiastic about exploring my idea however I feel that one of the biggest problems I faced was my own low self-esteem, which contributed to the less than stellar performance in the early weeks. I also found myself comparing my idea to those of the other students whom I always felt outmatched mine. Combine this with the fact that the project was a group exercise in which the best idea would ultimately be chosen was disheartening for me. Unfortunately I allowed this affect my work, as I was hesitant to contact anyone to star in my documentary. When it came time to join groups I found myself unable to find anyone to work with, in hindsight I could have done more that posting on the university’s facebook page.

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 01.08.48

I was allowed to use members of my anime society in my film, which made it much easier for me to arrange meetings and interviews, it also allowed me explore whether fiction from different cultures would have the same impact on the consumer as something from their own culture. Knowing the anime society members are familiar with many forms of entertainment would yield some enlightening results in the documentary.

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 01.07.42

Research

When I started this module I knew I wanted to explore the ideas of fiction and how it affects us as individuals, I believed that fantasy be it fiction and/or the romanticism of the truth could influence in profound for good or for ill. However this did not truly dawn on me until after completing the summer task for this module wherein I created a video about something that interested me. In the video I used a clip from the Hogfather that I believe illustrates my thoughts on the relation between fiction and us.

Humans need fantasy

This inspired me to explore what fantasy meant to individuals and it encouraged any ideas that they hold dear. I knew I wanted to shoot the documentary in the same style as Michael Moore because I believe his participatory style is very good at engaging with the audience, as he gets involved it feels we’re involved.

Capitalism_a_love_story_posterBowling_for_columbine

The most difficult thing for me was finding someone not from the university to interview for the documentary. I found it difficult to reach out beyond my circle of friends to find like-minded individuals, which I feel may have hurt my documentary.

Treatment

The film begins with blank screen and a voice begins asking the audience a question, “What is the significance of our fantasies?” Cut to a sit down interview mid shot with an interviewee answering the question. Part way through the answer footage will be shown of the anime society members during one of the sessions for illustrative purposes, I will be sure to avoid showing any copyrighted material. Cut to a mid shot of myself giving my own answer to the question and elaborating on the subject of the documentary, This leads into a set up for the interview with Locky (My character for this documentary). Locky Birch is a post graduate student and a former commitee member of the anime society, as such he has a long standing history with the medium in tandem with his own professional interests. it would be interesting to investigate how anime and/or fiction in general affects him personally, then compare his views with my own to paint a broad picture of how fantasy affects different people in different ways. There will be a sit down interview with Locky that also include myself in some panning shots between the two during the questions and answers (Very much like Michael Moore’s interview with Marilyn Manson in Bowling for Columbine). During the interview there will be footage from the anime society meetings to serve as illustration of the subject matter as explained in the beginning of the treatment. After the interview there will be some closing thoughts from myself reflecting on what has been said during the interview.

Weekly Task 2 Raging Bull Analysis

The film I chose for this week’s task was Raging Bull directed Martin Scorcesee. What struck about the cinematography of this film was that the camera was often in motion following the characters around and jumping between shots quickly, it was only still during conversations between characters, this was often accompanied by a sense of tension considering the context of the scenes. This method really elevates the scenes where it is used because you don’t know when the characters might explode. An example would be the scene where Jake is questioning his brother about whether he slept with his wife.

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I could use this method for my documentary in the following way. Use a lot of illustrative imagery but have it in motion constantly shifting shots and moving the camera to provide the widest breadth possible to visually reinforce the context of my point. This style can be seen in Michael Moore’s documentaries as he interacts with his subject matter from both a first person perspective (i.e actively getting involved with the subject) and third person perspective (i.e using other’s experiences and speaking over them). 3rd person is where the camera is very active with shots and positioning and first person is still.