This weekend I started testing some format ideas I’ve been thinking about for my documentary. It’s a little frustrating making a documentary in comparison to making a short-film as at least with a short you can script out different ideas and things that come to your head. So I thought as a good way of giving people a better understanding of what I’ve been doing was to just go out and start getting stuck in to some filming.
I interviewed my friend Stevin King this week. He’s in his mid twenties and has been writing songs since a very early age and writes around 10 songs on average every week. I thought this kind of songwriter would be a very interesting character to interview as a ‘Test run’ to see what kind of stuff I ended up with. I’ll probably be the only one going out when filming so I also wanted to start practicing my interviewing skills as this is something I’ve never really done before too.
Last week I put up different format ideas I was thinking for the documentary.
1) Putting them inside a box
2) Loosey Goosey
3) and Mr.Formal
For my experiment this week I went with Loosey Goosey as this was the one I felt more comfortable with for first testing.
FINAL CUT X is actually great
This was also a test for me trying out Final Cut X. I was always planning on editing my documentary in Final Cut Pro 7 but after some really good convincing by Ian Cudmore I said to myself I’d give it a go, and you know what “I really kinda like it”. I use a Panasonic GH1 DLSR camera for filming and this offers some trouble for getting clips into FCP 7 as it’s not a native editing format. This usually involves encoding the files to the native Apple Pro Res (LT) format which is not only a longer process but also an increase in file size too but in FCP X they have resolved all these issues and it now recognises AVCHD which is the panasonic format. Not only am I speeding up my workflow but I’m also decreasing my file sizes too. This is very awesome, so these are the reasons I bit the bullet and started testing.
I put the video up ‘Unlisted’ on YouTube so only people with a link can view it. I sent it to a view people to get some feedback and was really happy with some of the thoughts and constructive criticism I received. This is something I really want to do so I won’t get tunnel vision in what I’m doing and also by doing this I can get peoples thoughts on what kind of things they’d like to see covered in a documentary on this particular topic.
That’s class, just like a nice little chat.
Doesn’t look forced, could watch shit like that all day like, really interesting.
Its a solid piece, could be excellent with a few tweaks. (ill be overly critical here, take what you want from it but in the end its only one dudes opinion)
A) Its one of my pet peeves to have musicians interviewed holding their instrument, we know what they do, having it there is at best a prop, and at worst a barrier between you and them.
B) Im sure youll have realised in editing this you gotta stay as silent as possible during films, in conversation we always say “yeah” and “Um” to show were listening, when that shows up in Docs its super distracting.
C) Its a little still, the most interesting part is where he is rummaging around his notebooks and theres a clatter of tapes. Maybe if you interview him again interview on the move (if its at all possible) If you watch a Louie Theroux documentary he never really sits down with them they’re always doing their job, making a sandwich whatever, the distraction gets them out of their head lets down their guard a bit.
D) Its hard to tell what the full shape of the thing will be, but if you’re just focusing on this guy you have to remember then the audience will only like the documentary if they like him. If they don’t like him, and people can pick loads of arbitrary reasons not to like someone, they wont like the doc.
So those are my thoughts, take em as you will, I’m focusing on the negatives, but I think its a solid piece and with a few tweaks it could be great.
I love the shot where he’s walking towards the shed/house and the audio is him flicking through his notebooks. The clatter sounds like his footsteps which is great. Did you record his footsteps as well? It’s little things like that which I love.
You definitely need more than one camera next time, better sound of him playing too and also consider a nicer more like famous place like whelans for filming