'Hooking Up' / Telling The Story

‘Hooking Up’ / Telling The Story

A few updates on my doco to report.

Shooting: Done (I think)

Editing: Difficult…

I’ve now conducted interviews with four different participants, including a reshoot of my first interview due to audio issues. These all run from anywhere between 45 mins to an hour and a half in length… so first up, there’s A LOT of content. There’s also a whole range of stuff covered, from the more in-depth discussions that attempt to analyse our behaviour and attitudes towards hookup culture to some more personal anecdotes.

But with a whole lot of footage, comes a whole lot of problems, and by that I mean on a technical level… so whilst I *am* getting better at doing 20 things at once on a shoot, I am still prone to making mistakes. It’s tricky to setup two cameras, three lights and audio gear, as well as operate all these things all on your own without making at least one mistake, right? So in every interview, there’s maybe one camera that’s a little out of focus or poor lighting as the interview progresses. Or in the case of one particular interview, the entire front-on stock interview shot is total rubbish… great…

The challenge I’m now faced with is how to construct a narrative from all this footage. Purposefully from the get go I haven’t actually wanted to create a clear cut narrative but rather to present a collection of stories. As I begin to place things side by side though, I realise that it can perhaps be too disjointed and there needs to be at least a loose thread that ties these stories together. And maybe being about the same kinds of things, in hookup culture and dating, simply isn’t enough.

The other problem that I’m grappling with, is how to respectfully represent my participants and do them justice. I’ve had such wonderful and genuine conversations with these people that to cut that hour long interview down to a simple trivial story of a one night stand from 5 years ago seems like a total slap in the face.

I’m also learning quite quickly, that as much as I want to detach myself from any explicit meaning, it is actually impossible for me to cut anything together and it not have myself as the director stamped all over it. By placing one sequence next to another I’m giving it a particular meaning, whether I consciously intend to or not. I guess I have to figure out how to tone this down as much as possible so that I can let the stories speak for themselves.

Lastly, archival footage. The whole premise of my idea has been hanging on this juxtaposition with archival footage. But honestly, I don’t know if it’s going to work. I don’t know how to include it or where to include it or what other unintentional meanings I’m attaching to my doco by inserting it. I wanted to find links between the sorts of things these old social guidance films were teaching young people about dating (the etiquette and rules they’re attempting to explain) and the modern day tales of romance from my participants… but then I felt like that wasn’t a fair or true representation of either, and maybe a very stark juxtaposition, where the correlation is all but non-existent was more powerful. But too disjointed? I don’t know anymore.

I wanted to play with the archival footage and other stylistic visual elements in my film, perhaps not even show my participants at all and just use an audio track. I’m not sure how feasible this is anymore. The visuals from the archival footage I have sourced so far are perhaps not interesting enough to work on their own without the accompanying audio, and the time is running out for me to source more or alternatively, shoot something myself.

Many questions, little answers. In a couple of weeks, there’ll be something to show for it but I have very little idea of what it’ll be yet…