After we made our final prototype, we had the following idea:
If we had to redesign the Moves app into a travel documentation app, we would add a timer feature to it. This is so users can set their own time intervals. For example, if you set the timer at 5 minutes, whenever 5 minutes pass, your phone will buzz as a way to notify you to take a photo or a video. Once you are finished with your journey, the app will put the data together and it would look very similar to our prototype.
Pawel Pawlikowski mentioned in his article, ‘Imagining Reality’, that “for [him] the point of making films is not to to convey objective information about the world, but to show it as I see it and to find a form which is relevant.” This confused me a little because it basically complicated my definition of documentary. To me, a documentary was a visual form where you shoot stuff as time goes by, compile it, and put it together for the whole world to see. But what Pawlikowski mentioned made it mean that a documentary is very similar to a film in the sense that you CHOOSE what you shoot and what you want to show. That conflicted with my idea of a documentary where you don’t choose anything, you just shoot and show all you have (at least try to). I get where he is coming from though, because in the end, there is a certain direction a documentary always takes and that usually comes from a vision of what the documentary is supposed to be and what the documentary filmmaker intended to present to the viewers.
I loved reading the bit where he explains the commercial aspect of documentary on TV, how TV needs documentaries to survive yet consequently TV is killing documentaries because of the effects of sensationalism. To elaborate, he notes that cameras are planted in areas that were considered “interesting” and just filming as events unfolded. How this kills documentaries is that there is no “heart” or “thought” put into it, in other words, it’s just an easy way to make a quick buck and get higher view ratings.
Curren Bernard’s pointers in ‘Documentary storytelling for film and videomakers’ was also a real treat to read.
He mentioned something along the lines of finding a story during the production or post-production of a documentary, when the filmmaker “alters the story’s focus or…its structure.” It’s true that your documentary won’t end up like what you had in mind because somewhere along the way, the docmentary’s “path” may diverge and you end up with something completely different. Kind of like life itself.
Accessibility for an area for the documentary is something I have a real gripe with because of past…unpleasant experiences. Normally, it’s the one restricting factor about documentaries (or anything that’s relatable) that I loathe. That’s why I found it intriguing when Bernard pointed out that lack of access may become part of the story. I still don’t get what this means though, how does it become part of the story exactly?
The most memorable thing about the the short film titled ‘End of the Line’ was the conflicting opinions about Broken Hill between the elderly and younger folk. More specifically, the elderly seem to really like living in Broken Hill and even plan on staying there towards the end of their days (especially that one lady who was really gung-ho about it), some even suggested that it’s an ideal place to raise a family. However, the younger population who were most likely born and raised there had different ideas about it and plan on leaving which is understandable seeing that the town seemed “isolated” from the world. In other words, it striked me as an uneventful, boring place for them.
What made the town seem “isolated” to me were due to the visuals; shots of desert-like scenery, scraps(?), town looked somewhat deserted, I can’t recall much and I fear my memory may have altered it a little, but hey, that’s all I got.
Frankly, if the production crew intended to present the town’s “story” (the inhabitants’ lives and how they feel about the town, and what the town is really like through sound and visuals, etc.) then I suppose they did achieve in doing so. Otherwise, I’m not sure if they achieved what they wanted to do.
During this exercise, we recorded a small fountain, footsteps, an automatic door, the elevator, the basketball court, and a sound of something which I am having trouble describing.
For the fountain, footsteps, automatic door, and the elevator, these sounds were very specific with no other sounds present therefore it is highly probably that people who hear these audio tracks might be able to pin point what we recorded. However, I must add that the fountain and the automatic door can be associated with a mini waterfall and a machinery of some sort, respectively.
As for the basketball court, this audio track was able to give off a school image in my mind because of a multitude of sounds; the shuffling sounds of footsteps, conversations in the background, sounds of the ball being moved and bouncing around accompanied by cheers.
I was able to visualise a setting based on the woman’s description about her travel to the North (I assume that she did, to be honest, I wasn’t so sure). Soon, a man’s voice sets in, overlapping hers, followed by another. At first, this caused me to feel disorientated because it was difficult to focus on whose voice I should listen to. Listening to the track another time, I noticed that the people who were describing their experience of the North had different ideas or experiences about the North which eventually made me realise that it intended to convey the concept of what the North actually is. In other words, it relates back to the title of the documentary. When the host, Glenn Gould, mentioned that the following speakers were people who had actually been and lived in the North, therefore truly experiencing what it was like to be in the North as opposed to just traveling and staying there for some days and finally returning to their respected worlds when they were done, I came to the conclusion that he aimed to dispel the superficial ideas/descriptions of the North by the previous speakers.
Brian Hill’s ‘Drinking for England’ reconfirmed the things I’ve learned in the course, True Lies: Documentaries.
The documentary features the drinking culture of England with a poetic and musical spin. I thought this was clever and I enjoyed it immensely. It shows that there isn’t only one true form of a documentary where a narrator is being overly didactic about facts and that it is a sort of an art form because of the way it was put together and how it was carried out. However, this also placed me in a position to question its authenticity; was it staged and how much can I believe in it? Since I’ve only seen one section of the documentary itself, I cannot actually think it was staged even though the song seeemed professionally sung by the man as though it was a music video. It could be that the creators decided to be creative with it so as to make the documentary a little more engaging.
Throughout the whole scene you will hear one consistent sound that is almost barely audible, the chirping of crickets. I thought this was to place more emphasis that is it night time for this scene as well as to place a calming atmosphere/effect. I know this sounds strange considering that the two men are discussing about the end of a contract killing where tensions should undoubtedly be high. Pure silence can definitely have an unnerving effect, perhaps the cricket sounds are used to build up shock value for when the man shoots the other man because the audio for the gunshot was very loud and had a reverb effect to it. Most sounds used are also made to sound diegetic (traffic noises, toilet flushing) to clearly establish the spatial setting.
As for video, there were a lot of close ups of objects, and the actor’s faces. They were edited in a fashion that emphasized what the actor was looking at as well to bring attention to said object. This was especially so when the man slowly pulls out the photo of the dead, we can see his unsettled expressions as he looks at them and the video cuts to a part of the picture where it showed the dead man’s arm.
There was a lot of movement for both the actors and the camera. Considering that the room setting is relatively clustered with objects, Antonioni would have to consider where the actors should move to as well as the position of the cameras. Most of these shots had to have been planned beforehand, because of the series of tracking and panning shots that went with the actors’ movements creating some sort of synergy between the two. I thought this was quite evident at 1:56 where the camera tracks to the left and pans to the right to bring David Hemmings into view.
The reading I chose to focus on for this question is “Developing a crew” by Rabiger, M.
When working on anything that requires a group collaboration, it is important for the group members to clearly know what their roles are and the responsibilities that come with it. Fully understanding what your role entails will lead to a more efficient system of cooperation because you will know what you need to do and what you don’t need to do. I think of it this way; we’re all cogs in the same machine and the machine will work when the cogs are going in the right direction. If one of those cogs goes in a different direction, the other affected cogs will stop and the machine won’t work as well as it should.
Another point I’ve taken is that for a film project, there is a certain chain of command and this was made clear with Figure 28-1. This was relatively useful because it clarifies who should answer to who and such.