At the start of the semester I was really excited for this studio and I am finishing it feeling I have learnt and accomplished a great amount in the short six weeks. I was unsure how place was going to become the main idea of the studio but after the first two weeks of watching documentaries that have a focus on place and completing the readings I came to understand that ‘the ability of place to make the past come to life in the present and thus contribute to the production and reproduction of social memory’ (Creswell 2015, p. 121) makes place central in the process of any documentary filmmaking. Visiting the Queen Victoria Markets in order to find a possible subject for a documentary further made me realise the potential stories that are inherit within place.

My groups first potential participant, the vegan punk working at an organics store unfortunately declined and for that reason two people left the group I was in, leaving me in a group of two with Clare. Personally I have found that when possible I prefer working in smaller groups when creating media so I was happy that’s how it ended up and we worked really well together. When we realised we had to find another subject for our documentary we found one within a matter of hours. Rushing around the market looking for someone who could potentially become our participant made me quite nervous as I didn’t really like the idea of going up to them and bothering them. Clare definately took the lead when we initially approached Ariel and asked if he would be interested but I soon realised there was no need to be nervous or afraid- although Ariel was a little confused and reluctant at first he warmed up to us quickly. This was a great learning experience and helped me to gain a little confidence, realising that if I want to enter the documentary field professionally I will need to get used to this sort of thing.

In order to assist in achieving equality in the amount of work done by each of us we decided that Clare would take control of cinematography, I would concentrate on sound and we would work together on everything else. I think we both contributed an equivalent amount of work to the project, something I have found a rarity in other experiences of group work.

The most difficult hurdle we faced was when the bulk of our video footage was accidentally deleted from the media server, which meant we had to make a last minute dash back to the market to get some more material with Ariel. This resulted in one of my personal most valuable lessons of the studio: BACK UP YOUR WORK. I have always been so slack about backing things up, but now I understand the importance. I speak about this at length in the following post:

After the deletion incident we went straight back to the market and filmed what we could with Ariel to make up for what we had lost. Unfortunately it was a little rushed and rather than conducting a proper interview we just recorder a couple of minutes of him talking generally about the store. As he finished I realised with panic that I hadn’t been recording the sound through the Zoom recorder the whole time and tried to let Claire know without Ariel realising. This time she was the one who stayed calm and told Ariel the background noise had been too loud and that we would have to do that again (thanks for tip, Rohan!) I think this is another good example of how we worked well together and helped each other out when the other was a little stressed or unsure about something.

Overall I am very happy with the final documentary we produced. Ideally we would have avoided losing some of our footage but I think it taught me an important lesson in backing things up and becoming even more organised. It would have been great to spend a little more time with Ariel and to become a little more in depth but that also would have turned it into something completely different. I’m proud of what we produced and will bring the learning experience with me as I complete my degree and hopefully progress further.


Cresswell, T 2015, Place: An Introduction, 2nd edition, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, West Sussex


As our documentaries are nearing being finished we were asked to revisit the original logline and synopsis for our films in order to see how our ideas shaped and developed throughout the filmmaking process. Our logline and synopsis remained pretty similar to the original with the added focus of the Coogi Man bringing colour to an otherwise dreary Melbourne.

Original Logline: A celebration of Ariel Gabizon’s 30 year long career as the ‘Coogi Man’ and his longstanding devotion to style and colour.

Updated Longline: A celebration of Ariel Gabizon’s 30 year long career as the ‘Coogi Man’ and his longstanding devotion to bringing colour to Melbourne.

Original Synopsis: The Queen Victoria Markets has seen many changes in recent decades, but for the last 30 years Ariel Gabizon has continued to sell vibrant Coogi sweaters within the bustling marketplace, spreading colour throughout customers lives. Over the years he has sold colourful garments to every type of person imaginable, asserting the inclusive belief that colour is for everyone. Life in Colour will explore Ariel’s long history with the market, the iconic Coogi sweater and the people who enjoy them.

Updated Synopsis: The Queen Victoria Markets has seen many changes in recent decades, but for the last 30 years Ariel Gabizon has continued spread colour throughout Melbourne selling vibrant Coogi sweaters within the bustling marketplace. Over the years he has sold colourful garments to every type of person imaginable, believing everyone can do with a little more colour. Coogi Man will explore Ariel’s history with the market, the iconic Coogi sweater and what the future holds.


The last day of the class in the summer semester has arrived quickly and the day was spent fine tuning our short documentary. After showing Rohan our fine cut he advised us of a few things that needed to be corrected. Mostly it was colour correcting that needed to be done which is something I don’t have any experience with using Premiere. After playing around with the video effects we found that using the fast colour corrector tool was the easiest and most effective way of slightly changing the saturation of images. The following shots were darker and of a lesser quality than the others due to the camera settings being incorrect without our knowledge on one of our shooting days. Adjusting the colour substantially improved the quality and allowed the shots to fit in more seamlessly with the others.

Clare also figured out how to make the colour saturation change gradually in a particular shot which we applied to the first close up of Ariel to reiterate our central theme of the Coogi Man bringing colour to Melbourne. We decided to leave the final edit for Monday, the day before the due date as we feel that will leave us with plenty of time and allow us a fresh look at the piece after being away from it for a couple of days.


Over the weekend we were lucky enough to receive feedback on our rough drafts from a professional editor. Cindy’s main feedback points were as follows:

  • When Ariel introduces himself see him say his name then cut to the wider shot of him so he isn’t looking offscreen so much
  • Drop two of the shots of his money belt and holding the mobile phone
  • Maybe weave the music in and out a bit more so there is less of it
  • Replace some of the cutaways at the end to more relevant images (perhaps architecture or nature around Melbourne that are similar to the designs of the jumpers)

I spent the morning focusing on these points and found a huge improvement. For example, the simple rearrangement of some shots after considering the relevance of them created a far more cohesive and logical piece. We also decided to remove some of the music and cut out a section of Ariel talking at the end about the markets. It wasn’t really necessary in conveying what we were trying to say about the Ariel and the Markets and the b-roll footage in that section seemed like it was just a filler (which it was). I’m often hesitant in cutting things out but I have found it’s usually best to be ruthless and cut things that aren’t integral in telling your intended story.

By the end of the day we were pretty happy with our draft and will be ready to continue fine tuning on Thursday.


Both Wednesday and Thursday this week were spent working on our rough draft to be uploaded and sent through to Rohan by Friday morning. On Wednesday I spent a couple of hours editing but found that because some of our footage was deleted we were running out of shots to use that were both relevant and unused previously in the film. Therefore I concentrated on levelling out the sound and organising the footage we did have in a way that assisted in communicating the narrative primarily communicated through the sound clips.

All of class time on Thursday was spent continuing to work on getting our rough draft finished. Clare spent some time at the Queen Victoria Markets in order to obtain the additional footage we needed while I continued editing. We mainly needed some establishing shots of the markets and Clare shot a great range of different options in order to ensure we had all of the footage we needed to finish our rough draft. Meanwhile I continued with editing, and had Rohan have a look at what we had so far to make sure we were on the right track. He confirmed we were on the right track once we had the extra market footage but suggested I change a few things:

  • Insert a sound bite of Ariel saying ‘it’s’ at the very start to complete the sentence
  • Insert market noises at the start and have them fade out rather than suddenly stop
  • Cut out a section of Ariel’s interview sound clip when he is talking about the sweaters as he repeats himself

I agreed that all of these things needed to be corrected and even though they were very small changes it made a huge difference in the quality. Especially the addition of ‘it’s’ at the very start. Without it Ariel started his sentence with ‘Typical to Melbourne…’ which didn’t make much sense so I found a seperate clip of him saying ‘it’s’ and attached it to the start- luckily it fit in seamlessly!

The footage Clare got of the markets worked well and added more of a sense of place to the overall piece compared to when there weren’t really any shots of the market. We were able to finish off our rough draft and although we know there are a few things that need tweaking we are happy with it so far and looking forward to some feedback to assist in our fine-tuning over the next week.



This morning i went into the editing suites early to put some finishing touches on our interview rushes after our unfortunate deletion indicent last week. Although we lost the video footage of our interview with Ariel we still had the audio so I replaced it with B-roll footage in the sequence I had made earlier.

We showed Rohan our interview rushes and he gave us his advice on the next step in production. He suggested we don’t worry about the visuals and things like colour grading for the moment and concentrate on getting the structure of the interview clips down pat. I had already prepared a sequence with a loose idea of how we wanted to structure the final product. After discussing some finer details we decided on the following main structural points:

  1. Ariel talking about Melbourne being grey & the importance of colour

2. Ariel introducing himself & his history with the markets

3. What makes Coogi Jumpers special

4. Reflection on how they used to sell and looking forward hoping to continue

In previous studios when I have edited a short film I didn’t really sit down and map out the basic details of the story before jumping in to arranging sequences which often made me get ahead of myseld and become overwhelmed. We’re hoping that sticking to this narrative structure will assist us in staying focused throughout the rest of the editing process.



In ‘Mastering Your Craft: Casting Case Studies’ documentary makers Rohan Spong, Rachel Boynton and Marshall Curry discuss their personal process of documentary making and the ethical problems that often arise.Watching this after conducting our own interview with Ariel was interesting, as I could relate their points and experiences to my own.

Rachel Boynton speaks particularly about her shooting rules and how she works with her documentary subjects. She has a few rules which she says she will always personally follow:

  1. Always turn off the camera if people ask her to (no secret filming)
  2. She tries to show the films subjects the final product before the public sees it. She listens to their feedback but doesn’t promise to apply it.
  3. She always tries to find the thing that is worth loving in her subject and to be non-judgemental

I’m not too sure what I think about the first rule. Part of me thinks that if someone agrees to be filmed then that’s it and they can’t ask me to stop but I also think that if I were in that situation I wouldn’t want to disrespect or upset the person. Unless they were a horrible person and I was uncovering some big controversy. So I suppose it really depends on the type of documentary film being made.

They also speak about how they initially get their ideas and approach the topic. I can see myself leaning towards Rohan’s direction of seeing where a story takes me rather than entering with a specific idea like Rachel. If this semester had have been longer and we had a little more time to spend with our subjects I would have loved to have gotten to know Ariel a little more and find out what’s underneath the cool Coogi Man exterior.

DOC NYC PRO: Mastering Your Craft: Casting Case Studies at DOC NYC 2016, video recording, DOC NYC, Manhattan, New York


Yesterday Clare and I came into the editing suites for a couple of hours to organise another shoot for the following morning and do a little editing. I concentrated on cutting the interview down to only the best bits. I made two different cuts: the first brought the initial 10 minutes down to four and a half minutes and the second down again to just below three minutes. The second cut will be shown in class next week as the interview rushes.

This morning we returned to the Queen Vic Markets because Ariel is going on a holiday later this week so it was our last chance to shoot with him. We only brought the DSLR and tripod as we had enough audio from our previous visit. The shoot went well and we weren’t there for very long but when we returned to the editing suites and uploaded the footage it all looked a little odd and no where near as aesthetically pleasing as the footage collected last week. While trying to figure out the problem and reupload the footage everything filmed last week got somehow got deleted….. We got one of the tech guys upstairs to come and have a look but he said if it was deleted from the media server it was gone. Instead of stressing out about it I tried to just quickly think of a solution as we had limited time. I messaged Ariel immediately to check what time he was going to be at the markets until. He was only going to be there until 2PM so I proposed that we hire some audio equiptment and go back to the market straight away to re-film what we had lost before Ariel went on his holiday. Luckily Ariel was very understanding and happy to give us a little more of his time. In a way it worked in our benefit because the market was far busier at that time of the day and we were able to shoot footage of him interacting with customers. Although it was all very stressful it was also a valuable learning experience in problem solving with a time limit. I’m pretty proud of how I reacted to the situation as I tend to be quite anxious and controlling- I don’t like it very much when things are out of my control but I suppose that drives me to get things back into my control when there is an issue. Once we returned to the editing suites we uploaded the new footage and made sure we backed everything up on Clare’s harddrive. For the rest of the afternoon I began going through the audio from the interview and thinking about how we could structure it. I put together arounf two minutes of a loose idea which I think will be good to go off of.


This morning Clare and I went to the Queen Victoria Markets to spend some time filming at Ariel’s Sweaters Australia for our documentary. We arrived at the markets bright and early so we could interview Ariel when it wasn’t too busy and we wouldn’t get in the way of business too much. I’m really happy with the way the interview went, Ariel is a very warm character and I think that shows in the footage. I collected the equipment yesterday and spent some time familiarising myself with it all which I’m glad I did because the audio equiptment in particular took me a little while to figure out and doing that in front of Ariel at the market would have taken up a lot of time and seemed unprofessional.

The interview itself only lasted around ten minutes, but we stuck around for about an hour to chat to Ariel and shoot some close ups of the jumpers and market shots. He let us know that he is going away next Thurday so we have organised to return on Tuesday to shoot a little more with Ariel while he is in Melbourne and any establishing shots around the city or the market can be done at a later date. I was a little worried that it would be too  dark this morning at the markets but the skylight right near the stall made for some really great lighting. I’m really pleased with the quality of the footage recorded today- the  Canon 5D Mark III was a great choice of camera and definitely worth the trouble of needing to sync up the audio in post production.

After finishing up at the markets we made our way to the editing suites to transfer all or our audio and video files onto the media server. We had a quick look through the footage and showed Rohan-he was very encouraging and watching the footage made me excited to start putting together the final product. The first editing task I had to complete was the syncing up of the audio and video files. There’s probably a better way to do it than the way I did but I just zoomed right in on the audio track and after moving it around managed to get synced up with the video. I then listened to the interview all the way through and placed markers where all of the questions asked, something Rohan suggested we do so too much time isn’t wasted trying to locate particular sections. By this time I was pretty worn out after an early morning and decided to call it a day, but the next step i production will be to plan out any shots we need to get with Ariel and to cut our interview down to rushes.



Documentary concepts were pitched in class today and it was interesting to see how all of the ideas are progressing. Clare and I were pretty relaxed with our presentation, outlining the celebratory approach towards Ariel’s carreer as the Coogi Man that we hope to take. The feedback we recieved was encouraging, with Rohan encouraging us to continue in the direction we have planned.







The questions for Ariel’s interview on Thursday morning Claire and I initially came up with are as follows:

  1. Tell us about where you were born and why did you migrate to Australia.
  2. Tell us about how you first got involved with the Coogi Sweaters.
  3. Tell us about when you set up here at the markets.
  4. How do you feel when you see someone wearing a Coogi sweater?
  5. You said you choose the colours for the sweaters… why do you use such vibrant, in-your-face colours?
  6. What’s your favourite colour?
  7. What kind of people do you sell Coogi sweaters to? And has that changed over the years?
  8. What’s the plan for the future?


After taking to Rohan the questions have been refined a little, and are now as follows:


  1. Can you tell me how you usually introduce yourself to people.
  2. When did you first notice Coogi Sweaters?
  3. How would you describe a Coogi Sweater to someone who hasn’t seen one before? Does a lot of work going into the making of a Coogi sweater.
  4. Tell us about how you first got involved with selling Coogi at the Queen Victoria Markets.
  5. Tell us about the different types of customers that come to your stall? Has the clientele changed?
  6. How do you feel when you see someone wearing a Coogi sweater on the street?
  7. Do you think people should wear more colour?
  8. Your Role? Any life goals ahead?

I think these are an improvement and feel that the interview will progress more smoothly. From these interview questions we hope to have Ariel discuss his history with the store and the market and his own connection to the product. Our main concern is that he won’t be willing to give us much time, but we’re hoping that once he understands the process a little more he will be more open to spending time with us. Clare and I are interviewing him at 9am on Thursday and we have booked the following equiptment: Canon 5D Mark III, a Canon L Series 24 – 105mm f4 lens, Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro, a Zoom H5N mic, a Sennheiser Single Channel Lapel mics and a tripod. We have decided to use a DSLR because we were a little concerned that Ariel may be put off by the huge video camera and we will be able to move around the market easier with more compact equiptment.