P2P Documentary Final Product: Struggle with Life

Our final edit of the people to people documentary, enjoy!

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Reflection 4 – P2P Completion

Our subject: Surendrakumar Bhagat

Our subject: Surendrakumar Bhagat

I believe that as a group we produced an engaging documentary, which was both visually pleasing, and had an interesting story to support it. We got together as a group as often as we could to discuss our documentary throughout the entire process and I think this really helped for us all to get a sense of what we were aiming to achieve and share opinions.

In terms of the editing process, Meera took on the main editors role with the rest of the group viewing the documentary at different stages so that we could give feedback and advice on how to improve. This included, changing the subtitles, as they were not completely fluent or easy to understand on occasion. We also assisted in picking which shots would be the most effective and visually pleasing.

I would have preferred to have more input in the editing process, it was a personal documentary and was difficult for all of us to really get the chance to experiment with the footage.

I learnt a lot about the documentary process, especially with the overall pacing of our product, we initially had tried to fit in more footage than we should have, not leaving enough time for the audience to reflect on what they were watching. So, although we were proud of some of the shots, we cut them out and were left with a much better final product. We got on very well as a group and stayed in constant communication. We could have been more organized in certain areas: setting up, booking out equipment. But, these are things that we can work on and I am pleased with the final product.

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1. The views expressed and materials presented represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the opinions, policy, or views of the Department of Media, or of Coventry University, nor any of its employees or other students

2. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The author of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site, or found by following any link on this site.

3. Neither the Author nor host will be liable for any errors or omissions in this information, nor for the availability of this information. The Author and host will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Reflection 3 P2P Shooting Process – 160 T2

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Shooting took place on February 15th, three weeks before the deadline so we had plenty of time to perfect our documentary.

We started early, setting up the equipment straight away. As this was a new setting for myself and two other group members we had to work as quickly and efficiently as we could to set up a visually pleasing setting and really work on the ambience. We managed, unfortunately it meant the subject waiting round longer than he’d have liked, which could have been overcome if we had visited the setting earlier and planned the set up then. We distinguished roles quickly and got straight into filming.

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Unfortunately when playing back our audio for the interview we came across a layer of noise, a constant static playing from a faulty microphone. Luckily we had brought back-up equipment and connected a boom microphone into the Edirol to be synced in editing later – this came out clear, and filming the subject the second time round also led to a more fluent and relaxed interview.

We used two halogen lights and flooded the room with a warm, bright yellow colour, to create a homely, relaxed ambience. We used static shots of the subject for the main body of the interview, and included lots of other footage including images of photographs, religious symbols and Gods, cutaway exterior shots to add realism, and a tracking shot in the kitchen of the whole family, which was also a problem – though it’s a nice looking shot, the dolly got caught in the floor tiles, we used a carpet to smooth the movement, and it helped but was not perfect.
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1. The views expressed and materials presented represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the opinions, policy, or views of the Department of Media, or of Coventry University, nor any of its employees or other students

2. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The author of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site, or found by following any link on this site.

3. Neither the Author nor host will be liable for any errors or omissions in this information, nor for the availability of this information. The Author and host will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Reflection 2 – P2P Research

My proposal for the ‘People to People’ documentary was to produce a documentary about Lorraine Lockwood, a cardiac rehabilitation nurse. As she is my mother, growing up listening to her stories, and witnessing first hand how she is affected by these situations was a great help in being able to really visualize the final product, and i felt was the best kind of research. I carried out more primary research by talking to my mother and asking what stories stand out to her, and what she finds important. In terms of secondary research I gathered statistics from the British Heart Foundation website about death rates from heart attack/disease/cardiac arrest/strokes. I read through the papers which Lorraine has had published to gain a better understanding of what she does and her views on the matter and looked into what is going on in the field at present.

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I think my idea could be successful; I got lots of information and have an emotional and personal connection with the documentary, which I believe would reflect in the product if I choose to pursue it.

We chose Meera’s idea, her pitch really stood out. She showed us a hand written letter her granddad had sent over so we could understand what he’d been overcome and how he reflects on it now. We looked into what life was like in India in the 20th Century, the poverty and all the hardships people endured.  I also carried out research into the Hindu religion, as this way of life shapes his values and beliefs, and could be used in the final product (statues of Gods etc to represent this way of life).

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1. The views expressed and materials presented represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the opinions, policy, or views of the Department of Media, or of Coventry University, nor any of its employees or other students

2. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The author of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site, or found by following any link on this site.

3. Neither the Author nor host will be liable for any errors or omissions in this information, nor for the availability of this information. The Author and host will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Visit to the Tate Gallery, London 160 T2

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We took a trip to the Tate, and normally, art galleries don’t particularly interest me. I walk around slightly dazed and confused, watching as other people undercover all these deep meanings behind a piece of art, things which I believe looks like a child painted…or simply a few coloured squares on a canvas, which yes is all well and good to look at; but if that can make it into the Tate, then where is the line drawn exactly? But art is subjective, and I’m no expert and won’t claim to be. Either way, whilst wandering around hoping to be awe-struck, I found this sculpture: ‘FGF Warsaw’ (above) by Polish artist and sculpture Pawel Althamer.

It stood out visually to me; the space is simplistic and basic but has a huge amount of character. I also thought the inclusion of moving image was unique, to see the merging of different types of art was a great addition, and changes the piece as a whole – bringing in contemporary forms that engage us all so intensely this day in age. When I looked at this piece, I actually managed to immediately and effortlessly see a variety of different meanings and possibilities behind what was created. I was able to think of all the different back-stories that came behind this space; what it meant to me and what it means to the artist are totally different things of course but when I look at this piece I see possibilities: a character who lives there, how they got there, why they live in such simplicity, all the things those walls have seen; even where it would lie in the world and what I could create if this was the predominant setting to a film.

So, yes this piece managed to spark interest and inspiration. I did conduct some further research, and found that it is in fact a collaboration piece with other artists working from the Foksal Gallery Foundation, based in Poland. I found the idea of combining art work and the different forms of art to create one, big, mobile piece interesting: the painting (ceiling) was created by Wilhelm Sasnal, the video on the wall by Artur Zmijewski, and something that seems so simple: the door handle, designed by Monika Sosnowska. Bringing all these artists together leads to a room which literally radiates their own individual elements and styles in a space open to everyone, a quote I found on the piece that I found interesting (despite coming across it on Wikipedia) reads:

‘Each of the participants had at his/her disposal “a space of their own” […], where they could build elements of their own visual language, and the “common space” open to everyone, where they could conduct simultaneous dialogues with the other participants. All without using words.’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pawe%C5%82_Althamer

Yes, Wikipedia is an unreliable source but; I still find that quote by Pawel inspiring, and think it conveys the power of the inanimate and the forms of art which lets us communicate without having to directly speak to each other.

As an aspiring film maker, this one piece has sparked countless ideas that I will write into pitches, and expand.

To read more on this piece go to: http://inhabitat.com/pawel-althamers-fgf-warsaw-is-part-mobile-gallery-part-art-installation-in-london/pawel-althamer2/?extend=1

1. The views expressed and materials presented represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the opinions, policy, or views of the Department of Media, or of Coventry University, nor any of its employees or other students

2. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The author of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site, or found by following any link on this site.

3. Neither the Author nor host will be liable for any errors or omissions in this information, nor for the availability of this information. The Author and host will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

My Poetic Eyes: Reflection 160 T2

My poem concentrates on British and American soldiers in Afghanistan, it is a subject which is important to me as I have friends out there, and some who are preparing to go out there, as well as knowing people who have been seriously injured and even killed in Afghan.

I don’t tend to write much poetry, I find that I am better at analyzing the linguistics of creative writing rather than producing a piece myself. Saying that, once I got into the rhythm of writing my poem I found that it flowed well. The original ‘final draft’ of my poem was different to what I recorded; I ended up finishing the poem, then searching for footage after. But when I was watching the archive footage I became inspired and re-wrote a few verses; which I think turned out much better than my original. I didn’t go into the writing wanting my poem to rhyme, but when I began typing it out the assonance seemed to just appear in front of me, it felt more natural to write like this and I found that it made the subject more effective and engaging.

There were certain words and phrases that I wanted to fit with specific clips, for example George Bush winking on the word “scheming” to accentuate the message and give the clips more meaning. The quality of some of the clips is not very good, but a lot of footage from Afghan is done on very cheap camera phones etc. I don’t see this is a problem, it adds authenticity, and the images are still powerful.  I used clips showing the soldiers laughing and socializing so they were humanized and relatable.

I think the sound quality came out fairly well, the microphone picked my voice up well and I made an effort to speak as clearly as I could. I wanted to add a soft musical piece, because it creates such an effective, sorrowful atmosphere, but is still a beautiful musical piece.

1. The views expressed and materials presented represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the opinions, policy, or views of the Department of Media, or of Coventry University, nor any of its employees or other students

2. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The author of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site, or found by following any link on this site.

3. Neither the Author nor host will be liable for any errors or omissions in this information, nor for the availability of this information. The Author and host will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Poem for 160 – “Sign me up”

A one minute poem about the soldiers in Afghanistan

 

1. The views expressed and materials presented represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the opinions, policy, or views of the Department of Media, or of Coventry University, nor any of its employees or other students

2. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The author of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site, or found by following any link on this site.

3. Neither the Author nor host will be liable for any errors or omissions in this information, nor for the availability of this information. The Author and host will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.