Category Archives: Developing Meaning

People to people – reflection and progress

 

Tomorrow is our hand in day, and now, finally I can breath relieved that we managed to finish our project. Unfortunately,  we left the editing work on the last 2 days, and we encountered some problems. It is really stressful to know that you have so little time until the hand in day, and you still didn’t finished your project. So, today we really worked under pressure, but I think we did a pretty good job. We learned a very important lesson: never leave your work on the last days.

Apart from this, at the beginning we were prepared to make our documentary about Owen, the nice old man who has been a gambler all his life. We started to think which location should we use for the interview, and we’ve made the conclusion that the visuals of the movie would be good, only if we are able to film in a casino. Unfortunately, this thing was not possible, due to privacy and other terms and conditions of the casino.

So we had to rethink all the project. Our new character is the President of the Coventry Street Dance Society .  I’ve considered that this second option is also really good, because he has a real passion for dancing and teaching. It is obvious that he has the dance in his blood. My group and I met and talked about how are we going to do our interview, what questions should we ask him, how and what are we going to film and so on. We decided that the best location would be the Dance Studio from the Coventry Sports Centre. Here, we’ve also had some difficulties that we mentioned earlier in the workshop, but we’ve managed to pass them, though not in the most correct way. Next time we’ll be more professional and we will act in the proper way.

The first time when we filmed him was last week on Tuesday evening, while he was teaching, in order to integrate these images in the project. We weren’t able to do the interview in the same evening because the Dance Studio was really crowded, but we decided to meet on the next day. Like we use to, we also made some pictures that show our involvement into the project and also the fun that we had.

Like I said before, on Tuesday we also met to discuss about the process and we have made also the questions. We decided that it would be better if he would read them first, so Edina send him the questions. Later on, we realized that this aspect has also positive and negative parts. On one hand its better like that because in this way he will be prepared and he will know at what to expect, but on the other hand it is bad because he might start to concentrate too much on his answers and he will become nervous. Luckily he didn’t had time to look at the questions, so Wednesday when we interviewed him, he heared the questions for the first time. It was obvious  that he has emotions due to the fact that he is not used to be in the front of the cameras. He was shacking and he was moving all the time. We asked him politely to try to calm down and relax, and he managed to control his emotions.

We filmed him from more angles, and Raul was the one who was questioning him. We filmed some of the questions for several time, to be sure that we have enough material for editing and to be sure that we have from where to chose. When we did the edit we cut down the parts when Raul asked him the questions, because we wanted the interview to flow.

All in all I think that everything went well, except the fact that we were panicked that we won’t have enough time for the editing. I want to see all the other projects, I’m really curious to find out other people’s story and I am also curious to see how were the documentaries created.

 

 

 

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Ewa Jasiewicz

Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend today’s lecture because i felt really bad, but I knew that this lecture will be given by Ewa Jasiewicz, who is a writer, activist and journalist. So, I was curious to find out some more details about her and her professional career.

From what Ken wrote on the blog, I realised that she must be a very ambitious woman, who fights in the name of the truth. Not to many people would have put their life in danger, but she loves her work so much that she worked in Baghdad during the US/British occupation of Iraq, and was reporting from inside Gaza during the 2008 siege by Israel.

So, it is clear that her work has a real purpose and a real meaning. She puts a lot of passion in everything that she’s doing.

Furthermore, I’ll post another interesting link, an interview with Ewa Jasiewicz: http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11015.shtml

Searching on the Internet about her, I’ve found an interesting article. It is like a diary where she tried to document all the attacks that took place during a week: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/03/gaza-attacks-diary-israel-attacks

She has a different point of view from the embedded and self-censored reporting that ITN and the BBC are so fond off. She was also imprisoned, because she fights for he human rights and social justice, things that are not very appreciated in other parts of the world such as Iraq… I have found a personal bias of her:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2004/aug/26/pressandpublishing.israel and a BBC press release regarding this subject:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/3597822.stm.

I think that her work is fantastic, and I think that she will get really far with her work. She is strong, she has willing, but the most important thing of all is that she has a real passion for her work. More than that she cares about people and she cares about truth. I really admire her, not only for her career but also for her devotion and for her passion.

 

 

 

My poetic eyes – presentation

This Friday we had to present our “My poetic eyes” projects, and I have to say that I was a little bit nervous. I hoped not to have problems with mine, I hoped that it is well maid and that they will like it. In the end everything went well, except one thing: the music was too slow and we couldn’t hear it very well and clear. When I got home I’ve fixed the problem, and today finally I’ve managed to upload it on Youtube.

Regarding the other projects, I must say that I really enjoyed watching them. The problem was that the presentation lasted too long, and everybody was tired and eager to go home. I think that all the projects were good, though some of them needed in my opinion some extra work. I really appreciate those who had the courage to record themselves while rapping. In addition to this we had the chance to discover that in our class are some people with great voices, thing that can be really helpful for them in the future.

I congratulate everyone for finishing their work and turning up to the workshop. I think that everybody made a pretty good job. Some of them have a great talent in signing or making poetry, some of them had some very good ideas regarding the theme that they’ve chosen and some of them managed to make us laugh. Good job everyone!

Shaista Aziz

I really enjoyed Friday’s lecture because we had as a guest Shaista Aziz. Shaista is a British, Pakistani, Muslim stand up comedienne, a former BBC and Al Jazeera journalist and an International aid worker; Shaista has travelled all over the world from Iraq, Gaza and Yemen to, Haiti, Tajikistan, Burma and Moscow. This women is an example for me, because she is completely dedicated to her work. I think that she has a strong character, but in he same time she is also sensitive. Not too many people accept to put their life in jeopardy, but she did so. She went in one of the most dangerous places, she wants to be in the middle of everything.   She shared with us some of her experiences, she described us the life from Iraq, Haiti etc., making us reflect upon some valuable things in life.

I have found some interesting things about her stand up comedian career on a website: http://www.1stwitness.co.uk

To date Shaista has reached the semi finals of the prestigious Funny Women competition in September 2010 to find the UK’s funniest new female stand up comedienne. Shaista beat 350 stand ups to reach the last 24 in the competition judged by an influential panel of industry specialist. She also won the prestigious ‘’King Gong’’ open mic competition at the Comedy Store in Manchester, UK, in May 2010 and has performed at the world famous Edinburgh Festival, the world’s biggest international arts festival.

In October 2010 Shaista performed at the Hong Kong International Comedy Festival. The Hong Kong Comedy Festival is one of the world’s most diverse comedy festivals featuring 34 stand up comics from across Asia.

Shaista also performed stand up to an estimated 25,000 people at London’s Excel Centre, one of the largest gathering of Muslims in the world, at the Global Peace and Unity Event 2010.

Shaista is frequently booked to perform stand up for a number of corporate events. She recently delivered her sharp, observational comedy at the International Law firm Clifford Chance at its London Headquarters.

Alongside writing and performing stand up comedy Shaista has written for The Guardian newspaper and is a regular contributor to BBC. The self confessed news junkie’s comedy reflects her observations of being a Muslim woman living in the west, being in a mixed marriage to an Arab and reflects her extensive travels around the Middle East including Palestine, Iraq, Iran and around the world.

 

 

“My poetic eyes” – process

My project is almost done.  I’ve finally selected the parts from the clips in order to include them in my project. Maybe it sounds very simple when we say that it has only one minute in length, but the true is that is more complicated than I thought. Is difficult to make a 1 minute film that can include all the things that you want and in the same time that can transmit the emotions that you want. I’ve tried to focus on people’s pain and sufferance, I’ve tried to capture all he pain and anguish that existed in Haiti in that day. I believe that one of the aims of this project was to learn us how to select only pieces of information that are relevant to the subject, how to select the most appropriate shoots and how to bind them together.

I’ve also maid my poem, thing that like I’ve said before seemed very difficult. But I’ve tried to clear out my head and to concentrate on my project. In the end it wasn’t so bad; I think that I’ve managed to do it quite well. The wired part was when I recorded myself. I didn’t knew that my voice sounds like that, and it annoyed me a little because I was thinking that it sounds really bad. I’ve recorded myself for several times, and then I’ve chose the most appropriate record.

In terms of music, I’ve chose the soundtrack from Requiem for a dream. I think it fits perfectly with the video, because its very dramatic. Now almost everything is done. I have to check some things and to upload my project on Youtube. I am really curious to see everybody’s projects.

Documentaries – research

Documentary film is a broad category of moving pictures intended to document some aspect of reality. A “documentary film” was originally a movie shot on film stock—the only medium available—but now includes video and digital productions that can be either direct-to-video or made for a television program. “Documentary” has been described as a “filmmaking practice, a cinematic tradition, and mode of audience reception” that is continually evolving and is without clear boundaries.

In the 1900 film production was dominated by the novelty of showing an event. Many of the films made back then were filmed in a single shot, and they usually had a very simple theme: a train entering a station, a boat docking…These type of movies were called “actuality” films, and the term “documentary” appeared later on, in 1926.

Searching on the internet about documentary films I’ve found out a very good website with many interesting information:  http://www.filmsite.org/docfilms.html

Documentary films have comprised a very broad and diverse category of films. Examples of documentary forms include the following:

  • ‘biographical’ films about a living or dead person (Madonna, John Lennon, Muhammad Ali – When We Were Kings (1996), Robert Crumb, Stephen Hawking in A Brief History of Time (1992), or Glenn Gould)
  • a well-known event (Waco, Texas incident, the Holocaust, the Shackleton expedition to the Antarctic)
  • a concert or rock festival (Woodstock or Altamont rock concerts (Woodstock (1970) and Gimme Shelter (1970)), The Song Remains the Same (1976), Stop Making Sense (1984), Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991))
  • a comedy show (Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy shows)
  • a live performance (Cuban musicians as in Buena Vista Social Club (1998), or the stage show Cirque du Soleil-Journey of Man (2000))
  • a sociological or ethnographic examination following the lives of individuals over a period of time (e.g., Michael Apted’s series of films: 28 Up (1984), 35 Up (1992) and 42 Up (1999), or Steve James’ Hoop Dreams (1994))
  • an expose including interviews (e.g., Michael Moore’s social concerns films)
  • a sports documentary (extreme sports, such as Extreme (1999) or To the Limit (1989), or surfing, such as in The Endless Summer (1966))
  • a compilation film of collected footage from government sources
  • a ‘making of’ film (such as the one regarding the filming of Apocalypse Now (1979), or Fitzcarraldo (1982))
  • an examination of a specific subject area (e.g., nature- or science-related themes, or historical surveys, such as The Civil War, Jazz, Baseball, or World War II, etc.)
  • spoof documentaries, termed ‘mockumentaries’ (such as This is Spinal Tap (1984), Zelig (1983), and Best in Show (2000))

Originally, the earliest documentaries in the US and France were either short newsreels, instructional pictures, records of current events, or travelogues (termed actualities) without any creative story-telling, narrative, or staging. The first attempts at film-making, by the Lumiere Brothers and others, were literal documentaries, e.g., a train entering a station, factory workers leaving a plant, etc.

The first documentary re-creation, Sigmund Lubin’s one-reel The Unwritten Law (1907) (subtitled “A Thrilling Drama Based on the Thaw-White Tragedy”) dramatized the true-life murder — on June 25, 1906 — of prominent architect Stanford White by mentally unstable and jealous millionaire husband Harry Kendall Thaw over the affections of showgirl Evelyn Nesbit (who appeared as herself). [Alluring chorine Nesbit would become a brief sensation, and the basis for Richard Fleischer’s biopic film The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955), portrayed by Joan Collins, and E.L. Doctorow’s musical and film Ragtime (1981), portrayed by an Oscar-nominated Elizabeth McGovern.]

 

The first official documentary or non-fiction narrative film was Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North (1922), an ethnographic look at the harsh life of Canadian Inuit Eskimos living in the Arctic, although some of the film’s scenes of obsolete customs were staged. Flaherty, often regarded as the “Father of the Documentary Film,” also made the landmark film Moana (1926) about Samoan Pacific islanders, although it was less successful. [The term ‘documentary’ was first used in a review of Flaherty’s 1926 film.] His first sound documentary feature film was Man of Aran (1934), regarding the rugged Aran islanders/fishermen located west of Ireland’s Galway Bay. Flaherty’s fourth (and last) major feature documentary was his most controversial, Louisiana Story (1948), filmed on location in Louisiana’s wild bayou country.

Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, better known for King Kong (1933), directed the landmark documentary Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life (1925), the first documentary epic, which traced the travels of the Bakhtyari tribe in Persia during their migrational wanderings to find fresh grazing lands. The filmmakers’ next film was the part-adventure, travel documentary filmed on location in the Siamese (Thailand) jungle, Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness (1927), about a native tribal family.

Other European documentary film-makers made a series of so-called non-fictional city symphonies. Alberto Cavalcanti and Walter Ruttman directed Berlin – Symphony of a Big City (1927, Ger.) about the German city in the late 1920s. Similarly, the Soviet Union’s (and Dziga Vertov’s) avante-garde, experimental documentary The Man with a Movie Camera (1929, USSR) presented typical daily life within several Soviet cities (Moscow, Kiev, Odessa) through an exhilarating montage technique. And French director Jean Vigo made On the Subject of Nice (1930). Sergei Eisenstein’s October (Oktyabr)/10 Days That Shook the World (1928, USSR) re-enacted in documentary-style, the days surrounding the Bolshevik Revolution, to commemorate the event’s 10th anniversary.

Documentaries of The War Years:

Documentaries during the Great War and during WWII were often propagandistic. Innovative German film-maker Leni Riefenstahl’s pioneering masterwork epic Triumph of the Will (1935, Germ.) was explicitly propagandistic yet historical in its spectacular yet horrifying documentation of the Nazi Party Congress rally in Nuremberg in 1934. It was a revolutionary film combining superb cinematography and editing of Third Reich propaganda. She also documented the 1936 Berlin Olympics in the stunning film Olympia (1938, Germ.) – with graceful and beautiful images of ‘Aryan’ athletes in competition. To respond to the Nazi propaganda, Frank Capra was commissioned by the US War Department to direct seven films in a Why We Fight (1943) series of narrated WWII newsreel-style films. The first in the series, “Prelude to War,” a look at the events from 1931-1939, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1942. David Lean’s and Noel Coward’s In Which We Serve (1942, UK) was not a pure documentary film, although it boosted the wartime morale of the beleaguered Britishers.

 

The Oscar-winning wartime documentary The Memphis Belle (1944), directed by famed William Wyler (then a Lieutenant Colonel) and released by the War Department, presented real-life footage of dozens of Allied bombing missions by the Flying Fortress’ B-17 bomber during the war. A Hollywood-style, sentimental version of this documentary, Memphis Belle (1990), starred Matthew Modine and Eric Stoltz.

Director Alain Resnais’ Night and Fog (aka Nuit et Brouillard) (1955, Fr.) harshly judged the Nazis for inflicting the horrors of the Holocaust on the world. Marcel Ophuls’ four-hour epic The Sorrow and the Pity (1971) (aka Le Chagrin et La Pitie), mentioned in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall (1977), used an interview technique and archival footage to tell the story of the Nazi occupation of France and subsequent French collaboration. Claude Lanzmann’s unforgettable, eloquent 570-minute epic Shoah (1985) (Hebrew for ‘annihilation’) documented the personal experiences of several death-camp survivors of the Holocaust through interviews.

Furthermore, I found some information about the most famous documentary film – makers:

Errol Morris –

Errol Morris’ unique contributions to the documentary film category were significant with many examples of weird films with offbeat and unusual subject matter: the looney Gates of Heaven (1978) about a bankrupt N. California pet cemetery and its devoted pet-owners, Vernon, Florida (1981) about the quirky inhabitants of a backwater Floridian town, the controversial The Thin Blue Line (1988) that helped free accused and convicted murderer Randall Dale Adams on Texas’ death row, the biographical A Brief History of Time (1992) with ALS-afflicted and wheelchair-bound cosmologist Stephen Hawking discussing quantum physics, the fascinating Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (1997) about four eccentric individuals (a topiary gardener, a lion tamer, a mole-rat expert, and a robotics scientist/inventor), and Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. (2000) – about a caffeine-addicted specialist who designed execution equipment.

Barbara Kopple –

Director Barbara Kopple’s Harlan County, USA (1976), another Academy Award winner for Best Documentary, documented a Kentucky coal miners’ strike in the early 1970s against the Eastover Mining Company. She also directed a second Oscar-winning documentary film on labor struggles, American Dream (1990), about striking employees at a Hormel meat-packing plant in Austin, Minnesota. In addition, she filmed an in-depth documentary on comedian/musician/director Woody Allen and his 1996 jazz band tour of Europe, titled Wild Man Blues (1997).

Michael Moore –

Iconoclastic, sardonic, independent film-maker/journalist Michael Moore has had varied success with his personally-made films about the excesses and abuses of corporate America, social issues and politics, including The Big One (1997) filmed during a 1996 promo tour for his own first book Downsize This!, and the darkly humorous Roger & Me (1989) – Moore’s first documentary, and the most successful documentary film up to its time in film history (Moore broke his own record 15 years later). With scathing commentary, it examined the devastating effects of the 1986 closing of auto factory plants in Flint, Michigan (Moore’s hometown) by GM’s unavailable former CEO Roger Smith.

Moore’s next film, Bowling for Columbine (2002), the Best Documentary Feature Academy Award-winner, presented the US’ trigger-happy obsession with gun rights, violence, and the American culture of fear, including a remarkable interview with NRA spokesman/actor Charlton Heston. The film was the first documentary to compete in the Cannes Film Festival’s main competition in 46 years, and was the unanimous winner of the festival’s 55th Anniversary Prize. It was also the first documentary film to be nominated and then win in 2003 the Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award for Best Original Screenplay. It was also the Best Documentary Feature Academy Award-winner. It was also the highest-grossing documentary of all time, soon to be surpassed by Moore’s own Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004).

Another critical expose, Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) provided a scathing indictment of President George W. Bush’s handling of the terrorist crisis and his alleged connections to Al-Qaeda leader Bin Laden’s family. It was a controversial tirade against the Bush administration, its ‘war on terror’, and government corruption. The documentary film was included among the Cannes Film Festival’s main competition (only the second time in 48 years for a documentary) – and won the top prize Palme D’Or – the first for a documentary in nearly 50 years. The controversial film had earlier gained further publicity and notoriety when Disney opted not to distribute the film through its Miramax subsidiary unit, and Moore accused the company of censorship. [Supposedly, Disney feared the film might endanger tax breaks Disney received in Florida where its theme parks were located, and where the president’s brother, Jeb Bush, was governor at the time.]

Moore’s film set box-office records as the highest-grossing non-concert, non-IMAX documentary film of all time – and at the time was the only documentary ever to win a box-office weekend during its debut showing. It established a significant precedent for a political documentary by being the first ever documentary to cross the $100 million mark in the US (eventually earning $119 million). However, the film’s diatribe against President George W. Bush wasn’t able to prevent his re-election in 2004. His next film was the searing look at the American health care system, Sicko (2007).

Stacy Peralta –

Life and culture in Southern California were the subject matter of documentary films produced by youth-oriented TV producer and skateboarding icon Stacy Peralta: Dogtown and Z-Boys (2002) surveyed the growth of skateboarding since the late 1960s by following a group of skaters off Venice Beach and their subculture, and Riding Giants (2004) was an engaging and exciting film about the evolution of the big-wave surf culture as seen through the experiences of legendary, thrill-seeking surfers. It credited blonde pre-teen star Sandra Dee and her Gidget (1959) film with the explosion of surf culture in the early 1960s.

On Wikipedia I’ve came across with some details about modern documentaries:

Box office analysts have noted that this film genre has become increasingly successful in theatrical release with films such as Fahrenheit 9/11, Super Size Me, Earth, March of the Penguins, and An Inconvenient Truth among the most prominent examples. Compared to dramatic narrative films, documentaries typically have far lower budgets which makes them attractive to film companies because even a limited theatrical release can be highly profitable.

The nature of documentary films has expanded in the past 20 years from the cinema verité style introduced in the 1960s in which the use of portable camera and sound equipment allowed an intimate relationship between filmmaker and subject. The line blurs between documentary and narrative and some works are very personal, such as the late Marlon Riggs‘s Tongues Untied (1989) and Black Is…Black Ain’t (1995), which mix expressive, poetic, and rhetorical elements and stresses subjectivities rather than historical materials.[15]
Historical documentaries, such as the landmark 14-hour Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years (1986 – Part 1 and 1989 – Part 2) by Henry Hampton, Four Little Girls (1997) by Spike Lee, and The Civil War by Ken Burns, UNESCO awarded independent film on slavery 500 Years Later, expressed not only a distinctive voice but also a perspective and point of views. Some films such as The Thin Blue Line by Errol Morris incorporated stylized re-enactments, and Michael Moore‘s Roger & Me placed far more interpretive control with the director. The commercial success of these documentaries may derive from this narrative shift in the documentary form, leading some critics to question whether such films can truly be called documentaries; critics sometimes refer to these works as “mondo films” or “docu-ganda.” However, directorial manipulation of documentary subjects has been noted since the work of Flaherty, and may be endemic to the form.

Although the increasing popularity of the documentary genre, and the advent of DVDs, has made documentaries financially more viable, funding for documentary film production remains elusive. Within the past decade the largest exhibition opportunities have emerged from within the broadcast market, making filmmakers beholden to the tastes and influences of the broadcasters who have become their largest funding source.

Modern documentaries have some overlap with television forms, with the development of “reality television” that occasionally verges on the documentary but more often veers to the fictional or staged. The making-of documentary shows how a movie or a computer game was produced. Usually made for promotional purposes, it is closer to an advertisement than a classic documentary.

Triple Knot Productions in Tampa, Florida has done wonders for the documentary genre. They embark on a journey to capture stories of true inspiration. The subjects of their films are faced with adversity, pain, self-doubt and incomprehensible physical and mental struggles that are driven with fierce ambition and persevarance to accomplish unbelievable results. Triple Knot Productions is more than just a video production company, they are an Inspirational Experience.

Modern lightweight digital video cameras and computer-based editing have greatly aided documentary makers, as has the dramatic drop in equipment prices. The first film to take full advantage of this change was Martin Kunert and Eric ManesVoices of Iraq, where 150 DV cameras were sent to Iraq during the war and passed out to Iraqis to record themselves.

Documentaries without words

Films in the documentary form without words have been made. From 1982, the Qatsi trilogy and the similar Baraka could be described as visual tone poems, with music related to the images, but no spoken content. Koyaanisqatsi (part of the Qatsi trilogy) consists primarily of slow motion and time-lapse photography of cities and many natural landscapes across the United States. Baraka tries to capture the great pulse of humanity as it flocks and swarms in daily activity and religious ceremonies.

Bodysong was made in 2003 and won a British Independent Film Award for “Best British Documentary”.

The 2004 film Genesis shows animal and plant life in states of expansion, decay, lovemaking, and death, with some, but little, narration.

All this information are very helpful, because it gives us a better sense of what a documentary really is. Before starting your own work, you should research and you should watch some documentaries in order to see different perspectives, different approaches and so on. By doing this you could also get inspired and you could develop some new themes.


Treatment “People to people”

OWEN, is a very nice 68 year old man, who is living a content and pleasant life, doing only things that he enjoy, especially gambling. This is his biggest addiction. He cannot help himself from this temptation. All his life he dreamed to become a professional gambler.  He made from gambling not only a passion, but a way of living. He tried to read as many books as possible with tips and rules for gambling, and he started to gain experience by playing in casinos from Las Vegas, Miami, New York, South Hampton, Florida… He even has at home his own library of gambling books.

I would say that a casino is the most suitable place to shoot this film, because casinos are like a symbol of his own life (first I have to make sure that I am allowed to film in the casino). First of all, I would start filming him from the moment he enters the casino, until he reaches one of the poker tables, filming and emphasising some of the games(roulette, slot machines, blackjack etc) .  Meanwhile, he will be talking about how this passion for gambling began, and how is that this passion remained alive for such a long time. After he sits the table, I would start filming his hands shacking, his facial expressions and his cards, watching all his movements, while his telling to the camera, how gambling changed his life. He will talk about  the night life, about all the benefits  and disadvantages that gambling brought in his life. He will also tell us about what really gambling means for him. I would ask him to describe his life until this point in few words, and then to tell us if he regrets something or if is something that he would have liked to change about his life. From time to time I will be filming some pictures with him, from all the places he’s been through, in order to highlight his memories, his feelings and his emotions, when remembering those times.

I choose OWEN for my assessment, because I think that he has a very interesting story. He had a very unusual lifestyle, due to the fact that he hadn’t prejudices, he was very open minded, he made whatever crossed his mind. His goal in life was to be happy! The final shoot for my film will be when Owen wins the poker tournament, and he throws on the table his winning hand of aces. I believe that especially young people which have the same passion as him will be interested in this film, but in the same time I believe that this film is suitable for a bigger audience, because its not only about gambling, its about life. Owen can learn us a precious life lesson. He managed to be happy almost all his life, because he had the power to listen his instincts and his feelings and he did whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. Not many people have this power…

In terms of music, I am thinking at jazz. I think that is the appropriate music. It fits both the decor and the character.

 

Developing meaning – lecture 21.01.2011

Our second lecture was mainly based on our second assignment: “My poetic eyes”. In order to have a better sense of this assignment, our module leader showed us some films made in the same manner, consisting archive footage.

The first step of this assignment is to find an international subject that really interests us, such as an event, a disaster, something historical, maybe a war. In order to produce our film, we must search for videos related to our theme. We must be aware of everything that happened regarding that subject, because we must be well informed before beginning our assessment. After finding the videos we must edit it, so that the final product will look like a movie that is easy and clear to understand.

Moreover, we have to write poetry for our movie. Why? Because it needs to be touching, sensitive, it must reach people’s hearts whenever they see it. We need to open our soul, we need to show how we feel about the subject, how does affects us. After writing it, we need to record ourselves, and than to add the record to the footage along with the music, in order to create a sensitive atmosphere and to convey overwhelming feelings.

Maybe, at a first look a video recording can seem boring or uninteresting, but after adding some music and some poetry in it, it can become something amazing and touching. In order to have an impact on people, we must be completely dedicated to the subject. We need to transmit to the audience our emotions and our thoughts.

We watched a couple of movies such as “La Rabbia” by Pier Paolo Passolini. One of the movies, was really shocking. It was about Nazism, and it actually showed us horrific facts and the cruelty of the german’s population during the WWII. I can’t find words to describe what I saw in that movie. I don’t think that the images could describe the terror that those people felt. It is something unbelievable. After, I’ve found out that those who were very weak and had no strength, like women, children and elderly people, were taken into a room and than they were gassed. Their bodies were burned in a crematorium or dumped into a pit. On the other hand, men had to work until they had no power. What shocked me most, was to see how skinny their dead bodies were. In my opinion, what happened there is inhuman.

Furthermore, we received some tips about how to download videos from the Internet for our project, using Firefox plugin, download helper and a Youtube converter. Now, we have everything that we need for our assignment. We just need to get started!

 

Going global!

There are a multitude of ways of creating impact, some strong and some more subtle. The main focus of this lecture was advertisements, because this is the place were creativity meets marketing. We watched some commercials, and we discussed about the impact that these commercials have on the audience.

The Internet allows brands to communicate directly to the audience. This is good until some point, because it is quite difficult to distinguish advertising from other forms of content. Here is the example of Jessie J., who became very famous and popular due to her Youtube video, with her singing in front of a camera, although she already had a recording contract and an international profile. Moreover, artists can communicate with their fans through websites like  Facebook or Twitter. Not to mention the fact that companies try to become global through a multitude of online adds.

Another interesting part of the lecture was when we discussed about the black hat (illegal) vs. the white hat (legal) marketing.  It is known the fact that the illegal marketing can affect your business. How its that possible? Well, we talked about the example with BMW, which did some illegal marketing. Google, “the God of the Internet”, threatened BMW company, saying that they will take out the market their website if they don’t stop doing illegal things. This was like a punch in their face, because without their website, their sales will decrease significantly.

Furthermore we discussed about sounds and silence, and how important is the music in an advert. The right music, has the ability to emotion people,  emphasizes or supplements the drama and the action, highlights the character’s presence, it represents also the connection between time and space and it also creates an emotional expectation. Silence, can also create impact. But in my opinion, moments of silence are good when we contemplate or when we want to create a very powerful atmosphere. I wouldn’t enjoy watching a movie which has no sound, because I don’t think that I will be able to feel connected with that movie. We are too used with sound, and it is a very important and significant part from our lives.

Making an advert is a hard thing to do, because you need to pay attention at every detail, and you also need to make it as catchy as possible, because you want to “go global”. By doing a very good advert, that will attract people’s attention you will increase the sales of your product, and in the same time you increase your chances of going global. We watched some sports commercials from Puma and Nike, brands which I personally like very much. In terms of commercials, I think that Puma’s advert was more interesting and catchy, and got a strong viral, due to its funny context.

We also took a look at another adverts such as: Old Spice (The Man Your Man Could Smell Like), Bridgestone, Alex Roman’s film entitled ‘The Third and the Seventh’. The aim of these adverts was to emphasise that are numerous ways of creating impact, some positive and some negative. Commercials are only a tool of reaching people’s minds. Their goal is to create as much impact as possible in order to go global.

 

News…

I started to look at several news from the coventrytelegraph.net, in order to analyse the way in which these news are presented and written. It helped me notice that all these news are wrote almost in the same way, based on the 5W’s, because without them the article is not clear, detailed and it doesn’t give all the information necessary. Moreover, another good thing is that I started to find out things that are happening in my area, that I wasn’t aware of them. I was also thinking that in order to make a good article, journalists must research a lot, and they must be in touch with local authorities, witnesses and victims. As far as I’ve seen, these articles  are well written, with many information in order for people to have a better sense about whats happening. On the other hand, I also believe, that they are some cases when the articles are not written on a researched base. I also believe that some of the articles contains facts that are untrue. This is done for a better audience.

Here are some local news that caught my interest:

Men arrested in Holbrooks in counter terrorism raid released without charge. Read More http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/2011/01/21/men-arrested-in-holbrooks-in-counter-terrorism-raid-released-without-charge-92746-28030211/#ixzz1Bt9CRw68.

Funeral of man who brought burger bar to Coventry. Read More http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/#ixzz1Bt9VmspY.

Neighbours evacuated as fire rages through industrial unit in Hillfields. Read More http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/#ixzz1Bt9geWlu

Fire crews averted a major disaster after Coventry gas supply centre catches fire. Read More http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/2011/01/22/fire-crews-averted-a-major-disaster-after-coventry-gas-supply-centre-catches-fire-92746-28033826/#ixzz1BtAXIgyW

Radio presenter Andy Kershaw to speak at Coventry University. Read More http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/2011/01/21/radio-presenter-andy-kershaw-to-speak-at-coventry-university-92746-28031104/#ixzz1BtAjRIMU