In life we tend to get comfortable with things, or are raised with a particular mindset that certain things comply with a set or rules, and they have been and forever will be the same. When it came to documentaries I always saw them having to meet a certain criteria, and if they didn’t they weren’t a documentary.
One of them was that I always thought it had to be about history and its goal was to present information. Secondly the information had to be presented by academics or experts in the particular topic that is being covered in the form of interviews. Thirdly it had to be shot. That was my mindset when it came to documentaries anything else was just not authentic, as I was never aware of any other kind of documentaries.
What this meant was that I was stunned when I found out that among the criteria for the projects of this course was there could be no interviews or shot footage for most of the projects. Initially I did feel overwhelmed by the prospect of not having to follow the “rules” but then I realized that myself and the people I work with are being presented an opportunity to be creative in different ways and quite hopefully create very unique pieces of art. I’ve often heard the expression learn to think outside the box and I always felt that was the standard of making original however the experience of making a found footage documentary made think otherwise. Limitations are interesting way of harnessing creativity and that and that being restrained or in the box is what actually helped me see things in a different light.
Of course the end results of the film didn’t come without a source of inspiration or reference, I had seen some great examples such Santiago Alvarez’s film Now (1965) which was five minute film that used one song, titled with the same name as the film, and still images to show racism in the sixties and that it really should be a line that should be crossed and left behind us in the modern world. This film was a very helpful guide, not in the deliberate sense, but it ensured me and helped give me a sense security that a project like that could be accomplished, which I think was a good thing because whenever I, and I can only speak for myself, hit a creative low point or was feeling stressed I always knew that we could do it.
Looking back at the projects that I’ve worked on there was a lot creative humps
I faced alongside with my groups. There were times when a project wasn’t working for weeks and no matter how many we discussed it together we couldn’t really figure out how to make things work, that’s were all the feedback sessions came. Hearing the thoughts and ideas from other class member as well as out tutor was very helpful and once again speaking for myself, allowed me to be more proactive in class as well as outside class, and motivated to experiment and try the different styles involving the different elements of the films, such as music, sound and structure and what all this working and discussing back and forth helped me realise is that as great as having ideas are its true value is in its execution.