This post was written by one of the young women participating in the 2011 Kris Anderson DOXA Youth Connexions Forum, as part of the DOXA Documentary Film Festival. “Connexions” is an immersive 2-week program where 6 selected emerging female filmmakers create 6 short films in 6 days, while also connecting with industry professionals & checking out all the doc films & panels.
In journalism school, a speaker in my ethics class said that journalists come in, ask you to undress, and then leave. How sleazy.
At least documentary filmmakers stick around much longer. You’ll just have to be careful because they might mess up your house.
I don’t think I’ve ever put this much effort into capturing the perfect lighting for an interview.
I arrived at the beautiful flamenco studio early Tuesday evening, but the bright sun still overpowered the room. It looked gorgeous in person, but was overwhelming on camera.
Through some spontaneous brainstorming and the kindness of someone I just met, the problem was solved. I rearranged things, climbed on couches, hung garment bags on window shades and taped garbage bags to the wall. Finally the light became workable.
Lighting is just one of the many things you have to think about when shooting by yourself. There’s also framing, focusing, audio, time constraints, the shots you want to get, the questions you want to ask, unexpected problems that always seem to arise and most importantly, being present so you can actually listen and engage in your interview.
The next challenge is editing. Much like journalism, myself and the other DOXA Connexions participants are being faced with tight time constraints: our docs have to be one and a half minutes long.
Despite the short length, we’ll spend hours watching and rewatching, arranging and rearranging, and painstakingly letting go of the 118 and a half minutes of footage that we’ve fallen in love with but can’t keep.
So if you were concerned, the process is hardly like a thoughtless one-night stand. It’s more like an obsessive, voyeuristic, unhealthy attachment that develops after a first date.
Don’t be scared. It stems out of love. We just want to bring out the real you.