doc mode 1

I chose to do an observational piece. I chose it because it seemed the easiest type to do, but actually it was not. Observational seems to be a movie where the it shows the course of events over a certain amount of time. Take the documentary about Metallica for an example against my documentary. The movie seemed to have gone to a point and a theme. Their theme was that the members of the band are normal people. The movie I made is just a dysfunctional family and I don’t know if there even is a theme. I just took my camera to an event.

It is similar in a couple points of views, there are people who are interacting with the camera like showing that there really is a film being done on the subject. It doesn’t include interviews though. It does however clue us in to the subject by telling us via text what is going on during the presentation.

There are things however, like the theme, that make the documentary unlike the movie about Metallica. For example, in the movie we watched in class, the band (Metallica) used expository techniques such as using MTV snippets of the band to prove certain points of the narrative. My film, however, doesn’t use any stock footage, nor footage from another film. Mine is purely observational.

Another thing that separates this documentary from the Metallica movie is it doesn’t include anything poetical. Referencing the movie about Metallica, there is a part where the main singer is talking about giving up temptations. During the song, some footage of women getting undressed are overlaid on the original film. I only say that it is poetical because of how shots are juxtaposed, yet never shot at the same time. But the random shots juxtaposed against each other is brought to a specific point. My film doesn’t include that.

Lastly, there are some interviews done during the Metallica film. I didn’t interview anyone. I tried to remain the fly on the wall just like the Maysles brothers who we learned about in class. Because I took the fly on the wall approach to the movie, I was able to find things to shoot. I did, however, seem to miss putting some great moments on camera because it was pointing somewhere else.

Some might be able to argue that my film is partly poetical. I only say this because of the movie The Maelstrom which is a series of home movies strung together to prove a point, or evoke emotions of some kind. Mine is shot like a home movie. I did try to keep myself off of the camera though. When I was off of the camera, I was interacting with the subjects. I was even helping serve food. I guess why this doc was rather hard to shoot. I have a relationship with this family and it is hard to catch all of their personalities on film.

One thought on “doc mode 1”

  1. I really enjoyed your Halloween Birthday Party Doc. In many ways it’s a classical observation doc. The rather stationary camera captures events as they unfold with little to no interaction. As you wrote in your documentarian’s statement, you were very much inspired by the work of the Maysles Brothers and strove for a more fly on the wall approach. Indeed, most of your camerawork was removed and spectative, but a few moments of interaction breathe a different sort of life in the film. From the moment the woman dressed as Maleficent addresses the camera, the viewer understands the individual behind the camera is in a familiar place. This in no way detracts from the observational path of the film; rather it engages the viewers in a more intimate glimpse at the lives of some perfectly likeable perfect strangers.

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