intro to documentary production
Self-reflection: What did you learn about yourself (the way you prefer to work, how you tackle problems, deal with uncertainty, organize our work) during this project.
I've posted my footage logs below. I only logged the footage that I knew I wanted to use, so I don't have things marked as usable or not. The two pages on the left are my transcription logs. I would play one of my video files and when I got to something I wanted to use, I would enter the starting time code, then the dialogue, and the ending timecode where I wanted to cut. To get to the paper cut on the right, I first copied my transcription table and deleted everything in the cells. Then I would copy and paste things over a few at a time and work them into the overall order that I wanted.
I can say a few things with the footage I have. For example, my mom talked about my brother and I more than I was expecting. It didn't occur to me that now that we're in college, she's working on maintaining her connection with us as well. With my footage, the entire film could have been about her parenting and her relationship with her kids.
The idea I did focus on is more how her ways of staying connected have evolved over time from growing up with two brothers already out of the house to now where she lives a couple hours away from most of her family. I did include a few pieces about my brother and I in how they relate to this narrative thread.
The structure in the piece is somewhat chronological, but I didn't edit it thinking it needed to be chronological. It starts out with present connections with her mom, then shifts to growing up and her family, then shifts back to the present with more of a focus on my brother and I as well as my cousins and how our family has expanded. I wanted to connect the themes through related points that she made about slightly different topics and emphasize them through the B-Roll footage.
My idea has evolved a bit from the beginning stages. It has become more personal to my mom and our family specifically as opposed to the general idea of maintaining connections with family who lives further away. I also was not planning on putting myself in the video. In a way I'm not because my voice isn't heard and I'm not in the video at all, but photos of me are placed as B-Roll because they worked with what was being said.
I thought Mistaken for Strangers was a really cool and unique take on documentary filmmaking. It started off as an idea to do a documentary about The National on tour, but it changed into a story about Tom making the documentary as well. I appreciated Tom's realness in both the film and in person. He talked about the honest emotions in the film and how he felt he was influenced by depressive episodes when making it. As someone with similar mental illnesses, it meant a lot to me to hear from someone in the same field who's been able to make it work for him. He also talked about how they had I think four additional editors who helped find the story. That really spoke to me because sometimes you do just have to step back from your work and get a new set of eyes. For me, that has always been really hard because I get anxious if I don't feel like I'm in control of the project. Overall, I appreciated the opportunity to see the film and talk to Tom. Even though I'm not familiar with the band, I enjoyed it a lot and think that reflecting on moments in it will help me improve my own documentary filmmaking.