Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Spare Change: AYOBA!


The group project has come to a close with this final addition to the beginning of me and Kenneth's large project to document the lives of panhandlers in Columbus.

Running up to finals Kenneth and I decided not to follow through with our 'In Their Shoes" experiment for fear we would not have time to complete the entire project. Instead it has been added to the larger project's timeline.

I enjoyed working with the elements of film, and it's always something new, and to be able to pull something off successfully is always pleasing! I am seldom happy with anything I do - proud of what is accomplished, but seldom happy - which is why I try and push my personal boundaries a little further each time. 

It's funny though - pushing those personal boundaries tends to make things harder for me. I could have just added footage to our trailer, but decided to make something independent. 

The primary issue Kenneth and I had was the audio. We had a lot of footage, but was tainted with wind; lesson learned - be weary of cell phone mics, and get professional equipment!

It will benefit us to build a relationship with the people we wish to interview over the course of a few weeks through a reliable source so that we can have the tech aspects of our project under control, to avoid the issues we ran in to during the production. 

All considered, I am pleased to present Spare Change: A Day in the Life of a Panhandler.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Spare Change: teaser por la alma!

Good day all!

Last week Thursday Kenneth and I - accompanied by Ms. Posey - were supposed to shoot a group of less fortunate people that were residing in a camp. Ms. Posey was familiar with the group, but because she had not been contacted in advance, we didn't shoot anything on that day. I was mildly frustrated. We had all the equipment that we arranged to get.
The silver lining is that this project is being seen to be worked on further in the future, so we there will be plenty of opportunities to make up for what we lost.

On Tuesday, Kenneth and I want to set the 'In Their Shoes' part of the project into motion with Kenneth getting dressed as a panhandler and playing the part.
Hopefully this week plays out better than last. The end of this week will see it's final piecing together.

In the meantime, Kenneth put together a trailer for your enjoyment.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Spare Change: Striking! Camera rolling! Sound ro-...wait hold on!

The week has been in the project's favour, and we have not taken any part of it for granted! Despite the way the project began, we  began shooting, and managed to work with three individuals as a starting point. Their information has been recorded, and two of the three individuals have let us know that they would be available for follow-up interviews should we need them.

Needing them again will most probably be in the project's timeline because we lacked the microphones that would have made the interviews sound professional. The only audio equipment we had to work with last week were the recording applications on our phones, and the in-camera microphone. It was really windy that day so the product would require a lot of  trying to scrub the ambient noises out of the recording - experience that Kenneth and I do not have. 

We are, however, looking to others to assist us with working on the audio files should we need to use them for any reason at all, and if anything, gaining more experience in this field!

The footage, if it turns out to be too much trouble to correct, will be replaced with new interview footage. We have been arranging to acquire Lavalier microphones for our next day of shooting this week on Thursday. Below are a few snapshots from our outing of the individuals that kindly took the time to speak to us. 

Monday, 15 April 2013

Spare Change: Week 2

It's honestly a little unnerving when you blink and realise how much time has gone by, and the amount of work that was predicted to have been done and dusted, has been touched but not all done. Gah!
The mistake that was made was waiting on an email from a lady we were referred to to give us information on how to deal with the subject matter of our documentary in a way that wouldn't offend anyone.
It's difficult coordinating our work schedules and trying to find the best times when we're both free because the project needs the both of us to be present.

A peer and friend, Jen Sullivan, did a project last semester in our Photography II class where in it she took pictures of homeless people around Columbus. She gave me valuable information on how to go about talking to the people at the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless, and finding out the locations of the people Kenneth and I will be talking to. 
We're going to the coalition tomorrow, with the intention to start shooting on Thursday.
Ay miércoles, the pressure!

The equipment that is definitely on the list to use:
Canon 500D

The equipment that Kenneth and I are strongly considering:
GoPro Hero 2 camera
Lavalier microphone
Shoulder rig

The issues that may arise with the last two pieces of equipment are the availability to us.

I was lead to two additional references for our project: Hill; and No harm, Just one arm.

A man living all by himself in the abandoned Packard Factory in Detroit, MI. Hill is a part of a series by This Must Be The Place that finds people in spaces that they call home, and what 'home' means to them. 

Huxley Rodriguez interviews a man who lost his arm in a car accident. He tells the story of his life post-accident, and doing alternative jobs.

Monday, 8 April 2013

For the Panhandlers!

1. To approach and beg from (a stranger).
2. To obtain by approaching and begging from a stranger: panhandled money.

As soon as I ascertained the boundaries of the final project, I knew I wanted to do a documentary because I wanted to continue working within the cinematic field for as long as I could...which may soon change come Fall should I decide to change my major. Drawing board thoughts though.

Kenneth and I have decided to collaborate on this project and solicit the time of a panhandler and how he lives. We have acquired the location of one, and plan to see him on Thursday to establish a relationship through letting him know where we stand.
I thought it would be an interesting concept to follow a panhandler because it's something I haven't been exposed to, and a lifestyle I haven't been allowed to fully understand in the culture I grew up in. Sure, they are all snowflakes, and covering this individual's story isn't going to speak to the thousands of others that are in the same situation. However, I would like this project to inform me, as well as others and increase their level of empathy.

Kenneth and myself are currently in our pre-production stage, and looking to documentaries and cinematic resources that will help us with this venture. Below are a few documentaries I was drawn to:

A Day in India is video produced that, through traversing India, shows a variety of lifestyles that thrive connected by their culture and beliefs, moreover food being the central theme.  

Last Minutes with ODEN from Eliot Rausch on Vimeo.

In telling the story of Oden's life story, coming to his last moments, his owner is devastated when Oden must be put down. The narrative cues used, and editing techniques aim to drive the audience toward what Oden means to his owner.

Dream World from Frank Sauer on Vimeo.
This film appealed to me because it showcases an alternative lifestyle and embracing it with a healthy mindset.

This is the schedule Kenneth are going to run with:

Monday, 1 April 2013

Project Duboe: Narrating, and Final Thoughts

With just a week left to put the entire project in place in post-production found me as the narrator for Snow-White and Rose Red. I got together with Palmer, the head of post-production, to work on the narration portion of the video. 
Despite having being told voice acting is something I should consider at some point in my life, this was the first time behind a microphone! Palmer guided me through the process, and we had a couple of takes done to ensure that he wasn't lacking with material to use. I enjoyed it, but didn't want to listen to the playback...that's tomorrow's doing! 

The premier tomorrow will be awesome to see how everything came together. 

It was a blessing of an experience to have worked with everyone, and been in a film-making environment. At some point I began to think I may have made the wrong decision to terminate my enrolment at the African Film and Drama Academy, and gone on to become a production designer or director as I had planned. The energy that comes from working with a group of creative individuals on set is something that cannot be recreated.
You would have to have been there.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Project Duboe: Aaaaaand it's a wrap!

In an article written by Pye on SLR Lounge - a photography tutorial blog - he referenced a conversation he had with an intern regarding a photo shoot he did not feel went well.  

"I think that was one of my worst shoots of the year, nothing went my way." he said. When asked by his intern what he was going to do about it he said,  "Nothing, the images are still going to be great, even on my worst day we are delivering images that will exceed our clients expectations..."

The context of the conversation was being able to produce a consistent level of great work in one's portfolio. 
The reason why I am referencing that particular segment of the article is because that is how I felt when we shot on Saturday (16.03.13) and Sunday (17.03.13). Pye acknowledges that 'obviously there is a little bit of pride and bias in that statement', and indeed there is, but the crew of Project Duboe strived for the best we could do. I strived for the best I could do. I had never been granted the responsibility I had during the shoot, and even though I felt out of my element, I wanted to be able to have produced work that people can appreciate, and the group can be proud of.

On Saturday we shot at Griggs Reservoir Disc Golf in Upper Arlington. We chose this park space because it had the same look the metro park we shot the previous weekend had, and wanted to create a consistent aesthetic.

Photo: Todd Dwyer

Photo: EvanLovely

The forecast for the weekend was overcast/partly cloudy so I brought along my reflector, and asked Katie to bring hers too just in case we would need more lighting. Karl and I devised a plan to shoot simultaneously - he shot the scenes requiring the 50mm lens, and I shot the scenes requiring the Lensbaby. This plan was very effective in that we were able to reduce the time we spent on set, but still have Beth overlook everything we shot as we continued through the day. 

Sunday was our long day with the most scenes to shoot. Coupled with that was the fact that our location was in Hocking Hills which is an hour and a half from Columbus. My my what an awkward feeling it was to beat the sun to the world haha!

The cottage we shot at had had contemporary elements that fit really well with our story line. It was overcast once again, and it seemed to be a challenge to adjust the lighting in each shot that required moving from the interior to exterior, and vice versa.

Photo: Sarah Brevick

Karl and I continued to shoot simultaneously since it worked so well the day before.

Photo: Kathleen Knilans

Photo: Sarah Brevick

Photo: Sarah Brevick

Photo: Sarah Brevick

To say I felt that working with this group was fantastic, would be an understatement. Everyone understood their role, and had the capacity to help each other along. There was a little tension amongst the group that arose from the frustration of working on set for the period of time we did. 
All in all it was great.

Karl, Yazmin, and myself.
Photo: Sarah Brevick

Karl and I expressing our excitement after calling it a wrap on set!
Photo: Sarah Brevick