Weekly Reading- Week 5

This weeks reading is “Finding Time in a Digital Age’ by Judy Wajcman. She explores how complex relationship has come between technology and time. Roughly hundred years ago, John Maynard Keynes, an economist predicted that as technology will grow, there will be more time to enjoy leisure. With technology, more work will be done by machines with high productivity and efficiency, but instead we have become busier than before. In the past, work used to be defined as a certain amount of time given and a certain code of conduct to follow, but with today’s technology, it has become more approachable and interactive that we just can’t ignore a single notification and thus have to respond to it. What were just work and personal life separate, has now become integrated into one life altogether, which brings to a question that I had in mind, how personal life has become? consider a smartphone, you have the accessibility to check emails and reply promptly, which results in constantly connected with work life.

Interesting point that was mentioned in the reading of a sociologist Juliet Schor in her work ‘Plentitude: The New Economics of True Wealth’ that she is against the long hour culture and over consumption, she says that we need to revalue our daily style and people tend to work too much, eat too quickly, socialize too little and don’t have enough sleep. I can relate to what she is saying because every day I travel from public transport and I notice that people are consistent with their interaction with their smartphone and thus there is a lack of confidence when approaching to people in real life interaction.

Although being optimistic, I do believe that technology is not all that bad, it does provide you with variations of how you want to approach the working style.

Annotated Bibliography- Research Project part 2

These are the two remaining bibliographies that I researched:

3, Rutherford, A. (2012). “Not Firing Arrows”: Multiplicity, Heterogeneity and the Future of Documentary: Interview with Amar Kanwar. asian cinema, 16(1), pp.117-124.

This article is an interview conducted by Anne Rutherford with a Delhi-based documentary filmmaker Amar Kanwar, whose documentary provokes a special magical connection with the audience, which is not seen in most of the documentaries. The articles is addressed towards students of media and documentary filmmaking. The filmmaker gives his views that about the film being an amazing medium which utilizes sound, image, and color and that you can do anything with it. It also gives an opportunity with experiencing different lives of subjects, getting different reactions from audiences around the world and also providing a variety in the filmmaking perspective. Amar points out that obsession is the key in order to engage with audience. This obsession leads to a certain mental state of mind for example when a dancer enters into that zone during an act, the audience feels the connection and this relationship changes between the two as they enter into that frame of mind. One interesting point to notice is that the filmmaker also gave his insights to future of storytelling, pondering on the notion that the documentary filmmakers are shifting towards shorter form of filmmaking, with the only purpose to satisfy their own research and furthermore creates new types of storytelling. 

The article has reasonable information and seems fit for our research purpose as the interview is from the industry practitioner itself and gives out the understanding of conventional documentary filmmaking, and also invokes to rework our own understanding of reality and the means of communicating.


4, Stoeltje, G. (2003). Light in Custody: Documentary Films, the Teach Act and the DMCA. Santa Clara Computer High Technology Law Journal, 20(4), pp.1075-1112.

The article outlines the legal issues that surrounds the licensing and distribution aspect of independent documentary films in the digital age. At current stage, documentaries are being distributed by small distributors mostly on VHS tapes, but as digital formats becomes affordable, the distributors will begin to convert the analog tapes into digital formats which also includes streaming or video on demand services. the author also informs that educational institutions are developing new teaching models like distance learning programs which can be accessed in digital form for student access. This article is addressed towards media regulators and students of documentary filmmaking. The author also discusses the technical details about current format and licensing practice, the economics of documentary practice, and the relationship of documentaries to the Fair Use Doctrine. One of the interesting features of the article is the short and long term licensing questions that are brought out by new laws and new technologies. Two bills namely the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act are also discussed in this article.

This article provides rational information regarding rules and regulation of distribution of documentaries. I believe that it is vital to know about these licensing issues as filmmaker and be aware of changing developments in these regulations to stay in the game. As technology progresses, laws will change by time too and does the platforms for delivering our content.






Annotated Bibliography- Research Project

Here is my annotations for our group project ‘Future of Documentary’

1, Mertes, C. (2007). Future Doc: The View from Sundance. [online] International Documentary Association. Available at: http://www.documentary.org/magazine/future-doc-view-sundance-novdez-2007 [Accessed 2 Aug. 2016].

The article outlines the challenges that documentary filmmakers face with commercially dominated media and audiences being disengaged from the message that these filmmakers initiate. The author is analytical as she argues that with the evolution of technology, how filmmakers have adapted themselves with the changes and how audiences have changed their viewing over time as well. This article is addressed towards the documentary filmmakers and academic researches of media and film field. The author also addresses on what if scenarios with regards to the future of documentary. Even though the article is 10 years old, Cara’s predictions are almost true to what she wrote like people wearing tiny cameras (action cameras) for recording and people not buying ticket to a film as theatrical distribution being morphed onto on-demand projection at any location and namely any device. the author also talks about audience being fed with consumerism and that filmmakers have to not only just raise awareness or entertain them, but also to create a culture of engagement.

The articles provides a useful rationale explaining the future of documentary filmmaking and its connectivity with the audience. Her findings are her own experiences as she is a director of documentary film program at Sundance institute. However I’m a bit concerned about her findings as they may be limited to what she has experienced in her surroundings or the films that are submitted at Sundance, That being said, her finding that documentary is filling the void left by the dying art of journalism is something to think about. This article is useful for our research topic as it gives a useful insight and provides a filmmakers perspective for our group’s objective.

2, Pyburn, R. (2016). How Emerging Technology is Shaping the Future of Documentary Filmmaking. [online] Whicker’s World Foundation. Available at: https://whickersworldfoundation.com/2016/03/how-emerging-technology-is-shaping-the-future-of-documentary-filmmaking/ [Accessed 2 Aug. 2016].

The article explores how innovations in technology is shaping the future of documentary filmmaking. The article suggests that the art of storytelling elements have remained the same but the technologies have evolved which are used as tools to tell the story. The article is addressed towards students of media. The article explains how Robert Flaherty’s ‘Nanook of the North’ was shoot with the innovative Akeley ‘pancake’ Camera which lasted for two decades after its creation which is unthinkable in today’s market as technology keeps on evolving and that if Flaherty would shoot a documentary today, he would only require a smartphone and portable audio recording equipment. The author also comments on new technologies is being used besides camera like drones for instance. As per their own investigation, 9% of filmmakers have used footage from drones and 18% have used action camera in their latest documentary. More importantly, the article talks about the role of viewers that could shift with the introduction of virtual reality as a platform to view as couple of filmmakers have made such documentaries and it seems that there will be more such in near future.

The article’s findings are reasoning enough as the author has conducted researches and surveys at macro scale, however when in surveys, there is no proof of whether the ones who filled it, did it with such intentions. Secondly no personal opinions can be heard and this survey technique is based more on quantitative rather than qualitative. This research is though useful as is provides supplementary information towards our research and potentially supports in capturing authentic storytelling as technologies develop.

3, MORTON, T, & PEARSON, M 2015, ‘1. Zones of silence’, Pacific Journalism Review, 21, 2, pp. 11-32, Communication & Mass Media Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 2 August 2016.

4, Stoeltje, G. (2003). Light in Custody: Documentary Films, the Teach Act and the DMCA. Santa Clara Computer High Technology Law Journal, 20(4), pp.1075-1112.

FInal Reflection- Digital Director


What a semester it has been! I just can’t believe that it has come to an end of a wonderful studio. At first I was allocated to a different studio but due to clash with my contextual, I was moved to Digital Director studio. At the start of the studio, it was kind of vague of what was this studio about and how will it go on. As we progressed we learned more about the usage of technology and crowdfunding for your projects, which I believe is vital for an emerging filmmaker or for any project. What I liked about the studio is that it kept on changing as we progressed and in the end all of us decided to work in a single project of a mockumentary based on university life. I was part of production team mainly handling the lightning aspect of the shooting and syncing audio in the editing. To my surprise, when the time came to character selection, almost no one volunteered, I always wanted to act in a project and said to myself ‘this is your chance’. I play part of Dorian Mathews, who is a dedicated student and loves to do assignments, or in uni life’s language, ‘Teacher’s Pet’.

Throughout the studio, there are lots of things I learned, but most importantly I learned how important communication is with the team and it is a collaborative effort and that everyone needs to put their effort in. More importantly, how hectic it is to be an actor. Starting of with the trailer, no one had any idea how to perform their individual roles, no one knew from where to begin. One other issue was time management as our original was to finish the whole production by end of week 12. I understand that even if it is frustrating, it is part of our learning curve and with these mistakes we did, we pushed them away and had a smooth running as we progressed further. As for my group mates, all of them were excellent in their respective jobs, and specially Nathaniel. He made sure that each of us were on the track and managed the time of the shooting with shorter but effective shot selection as we just had less than 3 hours to shoot for each episode.  Just one concern I had with this whole experience is that the management team were more involved in other groups work. I don’t blame it as few of us were inconsistent with the project. If they would have put some trust in us, then we would have had a smooth production going on.

With this studio, I think this is has been more practical than theoretical as what I thought before. I enjoyed it throughout and also, not only I learned about the my role in production, but I also got the chance to see how writing and social media team run things. As we depart from this studio, I’m taking Dorian Mathews with me!

Until we meet again.

Trailer Shoot

In week 8, our priority was to shoot the trailer and the episode one but due to slow pacing in finalising the script and shot list weren’t online for us (production team) to decide what to do on thursday shooting, so all the planning happened was on that very shotting date. It took us about 30 minutes to set up the equipment (while also waiting for the rest of the cast and crew to show up). The whole shoot for the trailer happened during the class timing and we only could come up with just three shoots for episode one. It was a bit frustrating at first as continuously we were planning shoots as we were going along which consumed half of the time. Secondly, we forgot to attach Lapel microphone with the camera for which we were left behind with the schedule planned.

As we are going along with the project, we are learning from our mistakes as well. We have noted down our mistakes and for the next week shoot, we plan to shoot both episode one and two on thursday as we have made all the shot lists. One the plus side, the trailer turned out to be fantastic. This thursday is the trailer launch. I’m excited and nervous as I make a debut in acting!

Change in Plans!

So apparently in week 7 Thursday’s class, we had to shoot the character profile or at least the trailer of the project, but for some apparent reasons, the cast is not finalised yet, mainly because only few people(including me) volunteered to act in the project and the number of characters were more than the volunteer ones. So after the presentation, all of us had a meeting and discussed with regards to crowdfunding, cast and things to be done by tuesday.

With the crowdfunding we decided that we will utilize it after many promotions be done by posting enough content on social media, with that we would have enough people to trigger funding for our project.

The cast is almost finalised, I’ll be playing the part of ‘teacher’s pet’, taking it for the team to be honest as I’m not a good actor but I’ll try my best. Finally with the production team, as for now we will be searching sounds at the moment. The guest panel Merran and Rohan suggested that it is best to find sounds early for the project. If we leave it to the end, we would only be struggling to best suit the video and wasting our time in the process. So all of the production crew will be finding both diegetic and nondiegetic sounds.


Role Distribution and testing equipment

In week 7 Tuesdays class, all of us were given specific group tasks by the management team. So our production team had to just test the equipment. Nethaniel brought his Sony A77 DSLR, tripod and an external mic input to record sound. Aravindha brought his Sony stills camera (don’t remember the model) and Aref brought his Canon 5D Mark III. Yuxin and I helped them out, set up the equipment and tested it with them. We all were pleased with the video quality that it was giving us. But there are some things we must be concerned with. Firstly as we were using the external mic attached with Sony A77, it didn’t gave us manual audio control, Aref’s Canon 5D Mark III has that feature so we’ll use that as our main camera for shooting. Also we have to keep in mind that external mic won’t do a good job at recording quality sound, so we would record it by using Zoom H4N sound recorder and attach a boom mic to it for high quality output.

Beside that, we also decided what our main roles will be in terms of producing the content. Nethaniel will be the director (will overlook everyaspect of the production), Aref and Aravindha will be in charge of Camera operations, Yuxin will in charge of Editing and Sound, and I’ll be the co editor and lighting technician for the project. These roles will be shared as we continue on so that everyone gets a taste of everything. I really want to find out how to record quality sound, so I guess Yuxin will be a great help as she has industry experience. On thursday we will start shooting for the trailer, hope all goes well

Team Allocation and Goals

In week 6 Thursday’s class our group sat down to discuss our goals and individual roles. We also talked about our skills set as well. All of us share equal level of skills that is required for this campaign like camera work, sound, lighting and editing, so we will share different roles as we move along this journey of our campaign. Till now, our goals are to produce video and image content that attracts the interest of the campaign’s target audience, to understand how different departments of the media industry collaborate in a project, and how to collaborate with a diverse range of both cultural and media backgrounds, both within the group and with the rest of the campaign departments.

While we agreed to our goals, we also did a test video for a sketch that the writing team prepared, it was fun and we have some idea as to how it may happen in weeks time. It may seem easy but I know that it will be a challenging job to produce high quality content. By next class hopefully each of our roles would be clear as who is doing what, I have a feeling that I might be getting the role of the editor. No one has shown any interest in editing besides nodding their heads to every skills they know, haha!

Deciding about Campaign!

In week 6 tuesday’s class, all of us had in our minds (well at least what i thought) about project brief 3. Two to four members will have to devise a campaign strategy about any idea to be realised. It was then of our classmates suggested that it would be better if we all work on a single idea and divide roles between us. We all agreed to it and Mark gave a green signal as well, but the question was as to what idea we should work on. Couple of us gave some ideas and all of them were workable, it was then Dylan’s idea that we decided to work on. So the idea is simply to make a Mockumentary on the mishaps happening in university life. We unanimously divided ourselves into groups of management, content, production and social media. I’m paired with Nathaniel, Yuxin, Aravindha and Aref in production team.

I’m quite excited to work in this group, it is always challenging when you work with new people every semester for a studio and I’m fully committed to perform best and be a key player. I’m not sure as yet what role will I be doing in production, I’ll know that in next class when all of us will sit down and discuss our next move.

Website Post

Making a film with no script at hand and all based on improvisation, ever heard or seen such a short film? Well perhaps but I wanted to investigate whether I can make it possible for my short film. A couple of weeks ago, I watched a film called ‘The Bicycle Thief’ (1948). It is a italian neorealism film which has elements of non professional actors acting in the film, shooting on location, the struggle part of actors, cinematography which has long shots and usage of natural light and usage of both diegetic and nondiegetic sounds.

So seeing that, I wanted to discover the possibility of combining both of the characteristics into my film. The plot of my film is about a man in his 20’s who has nightmares of fire and some being that haunts him. Eventually that being grows heavily in his mind that he questions of ‘why is it happening?’ That being out of nowhere appears into his reality and confronts him of what is going through. As it appears that being is dominating, the guy wakes up and realises it’s just a dream only when further into the room that same being approaches him silently.

My objectives for this film is to make sure the narrative is understandable to the audience and they can relate themselves with the haunting dreams if they ever had or know someone that has gone through such experience. So there is a reason I have added a dialogue that would be clear for the audience of why the whole scenario is happening to him. It’s strange that when a filmmaker makes a story, you see some reflection of his/her personality into it, whereas I had a dream similar to my story and it felt so real and decided to create a reflection of it in a short film.

With the approach that I took, I shoot the whole thing as the narrative proceeds unlike the conventional films where parts of shooting are done before , I wanted my actor to go through the journey, since he is not a professional actor which also made sense to go with that approach. Secondly, I didn’t tell the story to my actor, I just told him to act as per given situation and give his best as it seems fit for the scenario and thirdly I wanted to use as much natural light as possible to portray the essence of ‘realness’ of film but for the introduction scene and the climax, I had to use artificial lightning as the room had bad window lightning.

With this film I leave it upto you to decide whether working with non actors and improvisation gives out the desired results.