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Adam Freeman
Fri 2 Aug 2002Link
Hello all!

I am new to the world of film production. I have no experience, but
I have desire, drive and a potential project. I am currently a
member of a non-profit organization devoted to peace education within
inner-city schools. In the 5 years the organization has been around,
they've never studied the impact of their program upon the
community. I plan to follow a documentary format and use the film as
a PR tool for the organization to develop more opportunities for
funding.

Starting out, are there any tricks of the trade I can utilize to make
sure that I get either specific shots, or should I follow my inner
creativity and just let it flow? Also, I have access to a mini DV
camera through the university I attend. Would anyone specifically
recommend using it as the primary camera for shooting? Or could I
use something else and use the mini DV for scenes that require detail
to separate by importance of the message?

I have access to local filmmakers, but wanted to throw my name into
this community. I do this mainly because of the War and Peace
Community provided through this site.

Cheers!

Adam

Doug Block
Fri 2 Aug 2002Link
Welcome, Adam.

Your inner creativity is a good thing, but it's best to know the
essentials. There are a number of good books out there for that. I'd
recommend one written by one of our D-Word members, Denise Ohio,
called "Five Essential Steps in Digital Video." You can read more
about it at: http://www.holytoledo.com/Five_Steps.htm.

A mini DV camera will be pefectly fine for your project. Lotsa luck!

Miles Hochstein
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
...just stumbled across this forum looking for Reed College...

I made a documentary once: www.documentedlife.com

But I think I mean something different than you folks....

Miles

Robert Goodman
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
actually no - identical though different media.
A terrific site - only harbored a glance but loved the yearly photos
linked to rememberances. And the family tree was equally interesting.

Okay - now all you have to do Miles is turn it into a film.
smile.

Erica Ginsberg
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
Miles, it looks very much like a documentary to me. It makes me
think a little of Alan Berliner. I actually prefer the interactive
nature of your piece and am not sure it would work as well as a film
as it does as a website. How long did it take you to construct and
what gave you the inspiration in the first place?


P.S. My dad went to Bronx Science too, but he's about 7 years younger
than your dad.

Dani Dion
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
Welcome Miles - I'm curious about how the FAQ's failed to ask why you
never use names in the pictures of your children. Just curious.

Deleted User
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
Dani....

Well one might question the wisdom of posting pictures of one's children on the web at all "in this crazy old world of ours...."

Not using their names seems like an obvious precaution, given that I have chosen to be public with their images. Maybe you have to be a parent to see how obvious it is?

Why not ask it in my FAQs? Well I never ask it, and you are the first person to ask it.... so it isn't frequent yet I suppose... ;-)

Miles


Deleted User
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
Erica, Thanks... I honestly don't think that my life is "yet" a good subject for a film documentary... At 43, I still have vague hopes that it might turn out to be a good subject, but at the moment a web autodocumentary seems like a much more modest and appropriately scaled kind of documentary. I mean, I think I'm fascinating and all that... but not feature film fascinating, if you know what I mean. My web site is a celebration of the ordinary... or would be if it wasn't so not ordinary to celebrate the ordinary...

I'd like to see a world of hundreds of documented lives, portraying the face of ordinary life. I'd like my web site to be an inspiration for others to represent their "ordinary lives" (which of course cease to be ordinary as soon as they are represented). A few people have told me that my web site has had that effect on them, making them want to look into their past and document the reality of their lives... Nothing makes me happier than to hear that it has that effect on people, to hear that when they look at my life, they begin to think about their own life and want to represent it.

Thanks for your comments!

Miles


Deleted User
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
...oh and Erica, you asked how long it took to make... maybe a year or so, with many evenings in front of the computer scanning, looking for the right photo.... It is of course not finished, since their are many other old photos, sometimes "better" ones, that I may yet use, and of course I'm planning to live the rest of my life as an ongoing documentation project, so every year there will be a few new photos to add, a few new stories to tell.

Even worse, one quickly realizes that one's past doesn't stay the same as one ages, so that the true story of my adolescence or young adulthood keeps changing, and will need to be retold....

This raises the question of what to do with the "old" versions of my past.... See the representations of my past on the web site are really representations of myself at the time they were written, circa 2000 and 2001.... but now its 2002 and I have new truths about my past that I understand....

... and so I really need to archive each version of the entire web site with each passing year to see how my auto-representation changes over time... Well you see the problem this could create if one had too much time on one's hands.

Fortunately, I have other things to do, so I hope to avoid that level of complexity. I will probably just discard the old versions of my past, as time and wisdom lead to new understandings, although they may be saved in some great Google index in the sky somewhere....

Besides, although the words I write will change, the pictures themselves constitute a kind of solid data point that is fixed, even as the meanings I ascribe to them in words may change. Post-modern issues with photographic representation notwithstanding, I think photos ultimately are data about reality, and they have a certain reassuring solidity that my changing words about the past will always lack.


Erica Ginsberg
Fri 9 Aug 2002Link
To me, the most powerful documentaries are the ones which are
celebrations of the ordinary. I guess many others feel the same and
that is why you have had enough of and impact to make others want to
do the same thing.

As for your question about adding information to past years, maybe
you could add little postscripts to each year as you "discover" more
about your past rather than creating multiple versions.

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