in 200 words or less please outline your goals, desires – what you want to get out of this semester. You will review this later in the course. You may rethink this dramatically – this is a good thing.”
You were asked this at the beginning of the semester. Now, could you review constructively what you got from this semester – has the course lived up to your expectations, delivered what you expected, maybe even surpassed it?
most importantly for me this semester i want to make a film i am proud of, something i will want to show people. i want to learn a lot more about documentaries and the different forms. it’s never particularly been something that has interested me at all so i think this will give me an opportunity to make something i normally wouldn’t and it will be a really good experience.
i also think making a doco is an excellent opportunity to learn and discover a different way of filming. not everything can be planned, not everything can be perfect and often the idea can evolve and change along the way which i think is really important and something i’m looking forward to this semester.
Although we have not yet finished our film, from where we are currently at (which is very close to finishing), i am very proud of our film. similar to what i was hoping for at the start of semester, making this documentary has been completely different to anything i have done before. documentary is an incredibly different style of filmmaking to fiction and i certainly respect it a lot more.
what i have learned is that nothing has to be perfect. but not just that, nothing has to be done in any certain way. i went into this semester with a lot of preconceptions about the way things must be done when creating a documentary. for example, that if you are interviewing multiple subjects, their framing and time must always be the same. or that you can’t have the voice/questions of the interviewer included in your film. what i really enjoyed learning throughout the semester is that you can literally have anything in your film because it is yours. that was a big thing for me, not trying to base what i was creating off what others had done before me but to suit it towards what i was making.
overall, i enjoyed this semester a lot more than i had initially anticipated and i am a lot less hesitant to make documentaries in the future as i know understand that they don’t have the restrictions and limitations that i once believed.
In this clip from Forbidden Lies, Anna Broinowski’s 2007 film: describe in detail all of the audio, how it may have been recorded/sourced and how you think it has been edited / layered in post. (You do not need to describe how the music was recorded)
sounds heard throughout the clip include:
magical sounding sound effects
walking in sand
camera shutter sound
opening cigarette box
the clip is comprised of a vast array of sounds, some of which would have been recorded while filming the footage and others recorded or collated during the editing process. for example, the women talking to the camera or even heard as a voice over of other shots was most likely recorded while filming. however, sounds such as the music, the “magical” chime sounds effect or the camera shutter sound effects would have been recorded or sourced after primary filming was colluded. these sounds are then all complied together onto various tracks which are layer over one another. tracks could include the dialogue track, the music track, an atmos track (which would include sounds like the birds chirping or car engines or wind), an effects track (like the camera shutter as mentioned previously), and perhaps an action track. this last track may include sounds to complement actions seen on screen such as typing, turing pages or opening a packet of cigarettes. these sounds would not have been recorded while filming but rather by a foley artist afterwards and layered onto the other sound tracks to add depth.
“From a distant gaze …” (1964) directed by Jean Ravel, picture Pierre Lhomme & Chris Marker, words by Louis Aragon, narrated by Jean Negroni, music by Michel Legrand. Describe a few things that intrigue you – it might be shot construction, camera work, editing, overall structure, thematic concerns etc. Describe the camera work and why you think it has been shot that way.
the thing that intrigued me the most about this film was the camera movement, both of the subject within the frame and that of the camera itself. it became apparent quite quickly that the overall thematic feel of the film was movement as there was never a truly still moment throughout the film. there was always an element of something moving. however, the pacing often changed, and again this came both from the movement within the shots or the editing between shots. at times there were long shots with little edits but then a period of fast music would begin with quick and sharp edits between shots and even though the content of the shot was still for that sequence, it still felt as though everything was moving because of the quickly changing edits and fast paced music.
what fascinated me the most was right at the beginning of the film where the camera followed various people along the street. the things or people who were being tracked by the camera were moving a great deal slower than everything else in frame and were often completely obscured by fast moving cars. the camera was impressively still managing to follow its subject and the tracking was so smooth and everything around the subject was moving so fast that it often felt as the the subject wasn’t moving at all, even though you could see it moving along the street. it was almost mesmerising to watch something that appeared to be stationary even though it was moving because everything around was moving so quickly and the camera movement was so smooth. i was very impressed.
Most applications reserve keyboard shortcuts for the functions that you use most often. It is really good to learn all of these as it will speed up your editing and additionally alert you to functions that the software developers and other users find important. (You can learn much about the software by looking at keyboard shortcuts). Find the keyboard shortcuts for Premiere and note four or more functions that you’ve never used before and why they may be invaluable to your editing.
Cmd+ T: create a new title. this is useful as not only can i never find the new title button, but often i use a lot of title or text so this shortcut can really come in handy to save time so that i’m not looking through a dozen menus for the new title button.
Opt+Cmd+V: Paste attributes. another great one, not only does it save me having to go through menus to click the option, but it will save me having to add the same effects and changes to multiple clips which can be pretty time consuming. if i change the colour slightly on one clip i can easily change it on others.
Cmd+R: speed/duration: i can never ever find this option quickly when i’m looking for it in the drop down menus so this is really handy to have. especially in a documentary when we may be speeding up or slowing down a lot of clips for dramatic effect or to show time passing.
Cmd+G and Shift+Cmd+G: group and ungroup respectively. i’ve put both of these together coz they’re connected kinda. i use this option a lot when editing and never knew there was a shortcut for this so this will be saving me a lot of time in the future.
Paste the link here from your version of the abstract editing exercise.
Then reflect on the whole process – Consider: the quality and usability of your recordings; the effect of layering and juxtaposition of both the audio and the video and; the things you learnt from working with this kind of audio and video.
i was not such a huge fan of this process. maybe it was just me but i did not know when we first went out to record the audio that it would then be used to create these abstracts so i may have recorded some things differently. on the other hand, however, i think it is a good thing that i did not know because it makes the footage have a more raw, real feel to them. i find abstract difficult, i like to have a neat plan and know before i set out where i am going and what i am making so jumping head first into the edit suites with no real vision was difficult for me. i do think though it was a really good excerise in combining the different elements to make a film from footage that wasn’t necessarily taken to go together. i tried to layer the sounds on top of another to create a more interesting soundscape rather than just one sound following another. however, the sounds were all very different and of varying qualities so i don’t think it had the best effect. similarly, wight he video, i was trying to make/form a pattern out of nothing so i think creatively it’s definitely not my best work, even if it was a great thing to do and learn from.
Select from one of the readings and briefly describe two points that you have taken from it. Points that excite you, something that was completely new to you.
the reading i have chosen is the chapter “approach” from Bernard Curran’s “Documentary storytelling for film and video makers”.
the most interesting point i took from the reading was the overall contention of the chapter, that any approach to documentary is different to any other approach. Curran discusses how drastically approach can differ between filmmakers, even those who may potentially be working with the same concept, equipment or even footage. this is such an important notion because it makes you realise that it’s not as important what you film but how you film it and how you then put it together to create the film itself. this was evident with the first lenny excerise last semester where the entire course was given the same footage to cut. you can garuntee that no two lennys looked exactly the same. approach is the all important element to creating your film and getting across the meaning or story that you want to communicate to the audience.
the second point i liked was when he discussed the different methods of approach. Curran discussed all the little choices and decisions the filmmaker must make when constructing the film that will make the film unique to them. going into making films, i always kinda assumed that they just ‘happened’. reading this article has made me realise that ever step along the way has been a decision, a choice between two or more options with a specific intent in mind. whether to make the film observational or interview based. whether to have narration or not, whether or not the interviewer will be in frame or if their questions will be heard by the audience. all are conscious decisions to be made by the filmmaker which will influence the outcome of the film itself and are things we must consider in the preparation of making our film.
Select from one of the readings and briefly describe two points that you have taken from it. Points that excite you, something that was completely new to you.
the reading i chose is “Imagining reality” by Pawel Pawlikowski.
my favourite point from this reading was the following quote: “for me the point of making films is not to convey objective information about the world, but to show it as i see it and to find a form that is relevant”. i think this is extremely important when considering making a documentary. the filmmaker is making their own film which is a representation of reality and so it must be relevant to the filmmaker themselves. the authro talks about his most meaningful films as being thsoe where the subjects strucka chord with him, those which took time to make because his heart was invested in it. this is something i really hope to take into account when making our documentaries this semester, to make something which is important to us or means something to us, it will give it so muhc more heart and be more interesting and hopefully better quality than anything that we may make but are not fully invested in.
the second point i got was rather new to me where that author discusses the impact which television has had on documentaries. it was interesting to read how the commercialisation of tv, the need to just make money and sell merchandise has even bled into documentary making where filmmakers can no longer experiment or take risks with what they are making because the productions studios are breathing down their necks. he also discussed about the rise of voyeurism in tv docos where people are content to simply set up a camera in an intersting location and film the people there. but there is little thought or heart put into these and thus, while they may sell money immediatly, are worth nothing in the long run and are diminishing the overall standard and expecations aroudn documentaries.
In the lecture we screened a short film called ‘End of the Line’ – the film shot in Broken Hill.
Please describe in 300 words or less if you think they achieved what they set out to do. You may not remember much detail, if so, it could be helpful to talk about your first impressions, after all this is what most of us are left with after one viewing. The treatment which we showed in the lecture is avalaible here. Feel free to write to any categories you wish. eg. story, choice of participants, sound, camera, editing etc.
although i don’t remember all too much from the first viewing of “end of the line”, i remember enjoying it, even though i was a bit disturbed/surprised by it. the main visual concepts adn stimuli that i took away from the film was the incredible landscape shots and i think these worked really well in serving the group’s treatment of demonstrating the emptiness and vastness of towns like this in the outback. contrasting these shots with the lives of Kevin and Beth told throughout the film does really make the audience wonder how people can live out in places like that. again i feel like the treatment worked because the audience is left wondering whether or not they could actually live out there in such seclusion. the visuals of the vast land gives a disturbing feeling of being all alone in the empty outback of Australia, almost like being stuck in a horror film, yet can also present the idea of serenity and peace in living so far away frmo the bustle of the inner cities.
Listen to the audio you recorded in Tute #1. Here. Write a paragraph or two about your recording from a technical and/or “poetic” perspective.
What these sounds evoke for you. What associations they have.
Do any of your recordings suggest images? What might they be?
Do any of your recordings suggest the possibility of other recordings?
it’s difficult for me to judge these sounds on an emotional/associational level because i know what each of them are and where their sound originates. technically of course there could be better recordings. we were just experimenting not just with using the device itself but with gain, volume, movement and the location of the microphone compare to the origin of the sound which we were trying to record.
some of our sounds are a lot more obvious than others, for example, the opening of the microwave, beeping while the buttons are pressed and finished and the sound as it cooks. another obvious sound was the tram going past, although with this one we tried to experiment as well with other vehicles on the street and to see what types of sounds we could generate by either keeping the mic static or moving it to follow the source of the sound to produce different ideas and noises.
from a more poetic perspective, two of my favourites are the waterfall and the treadmill. the waterfall was a steady stream of unchanging noise yet because it was a waterfall it was also constantly changing. it is not immediately obvious to the listener what it was but is also somewhat soothing, as running water generally is. the one i really like is the treadmill. it is not obvious at all what it is and the sound is consistently changing throughout as the treadmill sped up then slowed down and this makes the track interesting because it doesn’t feel static. but what makes it even more complete is the faint beat of a music track you can in the background because the sound was recorded in a gym. not really sure why but i really do enjoy listening to this track and i feel like it has the potential to become part of a series involving the sounds of other equipment in the gym.
Listen to the first 10 minutes of Glenn Gould’s radio documentary, “The Idea of North”. Record your impressions in a paragraph or two.
i found this doco very difficult to listen to. for one, it kept crashing so i got it in a very disjointed manner. however, i felt as the the program itself was rather disjointed. the beginning made me almost entirely lose interest as all the voices began speaking over one another. it was impossible to listen to one over another so in the end it just became an indistinguishable babble.
the program became easier to listen to once a definitive narrator took over and some actual ideas were discussed whereas originally i had no idea what was going on. there was the introduction of some background noises to accompany the dialogue which made it seem more natural even if the noises could be a bit loud at points.
unfortunately, the whole thing dropped out completely at the 7 minute mark and nothing i could do would fix it, it just kept crashing, so thats all i could get out of this.