Documentary Film

Final

Louie Adamian and 2 OthersJakob Sperry
Stefano Pagani
1 / 3

We created a Documentary showing the problems with the MBTA.  The goal was to show the challenges the daily commuter faces and what major problems there are. We show experiences our peers have had on the T. We also ask them how the T could be fixed.

Process

Sofia Love and 3 OthersLila Hempel-Edgers
Jack Mullen
Oona Sullivan
1 / 3

Over the course of our documentary studio, we have learned and produced a many things.  During these two weeks, we have learned about filming and interviewing, and have expanded our knowledge of certain editing software.  Our main focus was a documentary about sexual harassment on the trains.  At the beginning of the studio, we spent our time learning basic information about documentaries and brainstorming possible topics.  We also spent a lot of time watching samples of different documentaries and learning about the visual sequences you need.  The documentaries we watched were focused on more serious topics, and it was interesting to see a different point of view on common problems.  One of the more important things we focused on was what makes up a documentary.  The four major things you have to think about when making a documentary are who is telling the story, where and when are you filming, what is the questions being raised, and what is the visual sequence.  

 

    Over the next three days, we did multiple practice projects. Because we were starting to produce actually video, there was a lot to learn about the software.  We watched many Premiere tutorials that helped us learn how to edit.  While we were putting together our clips, we had the problem of  having excess B roll and not enough actually interview footage.  It was easy for us to get video of trains running, but we really had to think about the story being told as well.  When we finally moved on to our final, we started with the interviews.  In our documentary, there were going to be three main characters.  Two of us, Oona and Sofia, and the secretary of transportation.  

 

    We decided that the location of Oona and Sofia’s interviews was going to be the nearby ice cream shop.  There was some trouble setting up, but we eventually found a window seat that had enough space around it to film.  We got in interviews with Sofia and Oona before we had to walk back to NuVu.  When we downloaded all the video, we had our first real experience with editing.  We found that a lot of the video was overexposed so we had to lighten it up, and some of the audio was too quiet.  It was easy to adjust these things once we figured out how to do it right, but there was some confusion beforehand.  As the day went on, we shot a lot of B roll.  Because we weren’t aloud to use the tripod on trains, we had to snack it on.  Throughout the next few days, we took B roll at any spare second.  This B roll was mostly train and bus clips. There were also a lot of street clips that did’t have us in them when they should of.  After going through everything, we decided to go shoot more busses/streets because a lot of it was very shaky.  The bus and street clips were fairly easy to get, and at times we didn’t use a tripod so we could get around easier.  

 

    Every time we had to go back to the ice cream shop to shoot more interviews, about 45 minutes trying to set up the camera and tripod.  As well as the three main interviews, we wanted to get some brief peer interviews.  The interviews we got were pretty good, the people said mostly what we thought that would say.  In our final documentary, there will be a few scenes where people will be saying what age they were first sexually harassed, what age they were when they knew about sexual harassment, etc., and our classmates helped us get what we need for those.  

 

    The last interview was with the former secretary of transportation of Massachusetts. While that interview was incredibly stressful to get to with directions, it was really amazing.  Mr. Mullen had a lot of great talking points that will make our doc so much better. He helped bring the "See Something, Say Something" program to life, which he says is not just for acts of terrorism, but sexual assault and harassment too. After getting back from the interview on the waterfront, we began editing.

Final

Sofia Love and 3 OthersOona Sullivan
Jack Mullen
Lila Hempel-Edgers
1 / 3

Final Guy

David Winston and 2 OthersJabari Johnson
Walker Danforth

In this studio my group and I made a 10 minute documentary on hockey fighting and specifically whether or not fighting should be a part of the sport. We had full length interviews, archival footage, and B-Roll. The purpose of the film was not to force an opinion upon the audience, but to allow the audience to form their own opinion. This way, the film was not geared towards one group of people but instead it was geared towards everyone.

Trains

Stefano Pagani
1 / 1

Process Post

Alexia Duarte and 3 OthersSimone Alexander
Sasha Rizika
Samuel Waldman
1 / 3

The big idea for our film is about two things, Gus, the owner of Toscanini's, and ice cream. We came up with it because we were in two different groups but both our ideas were not working and we came together for this new idea when brainstorming. Recently we found that our other interview and facts were not interesting so we narrowed our topic down to these two things.

Almost everything did not go as planned. Our first two projects did not go as planned because both of ideas were not going to work. That's when we came up with the idea of passion for ice cream. Then, we started putting together our video and we realized it we very boring and it was not interesting. On the last day, after this realization, we spent the rest of the time re designing the video so that it focuses just on Gus, and ice cream. We changed our approach to making it fun and visually appealing rather than a history lesson. The only thing that went as planned was using our B roll as advantage and taking good video of ice cream and sequences. We went into this project thinking it would be more about history and learning about Toscanini's but ultimately we learned that this was boring and we needed to focus on Gus and ice cream. We think anyone would enjoy this video because its fun, its aesthetically pleasing, and it makes you want to go get ice cream. We would want our audience to take away the love and passion for ice cream.

The technical skill we learned during the studio was the different types of shots, how to use premiere, how to make a sequence, how to conduct an interview, how to use a good backround, how to take A role, how to take B role, how to use music to strengthen the mood, transitions, how to layer B role on top of A role, and more. The story telling skills we learned is to be very specific and not broad, but  to ask the right questions in an interview that are also open ended, to make sure your story structure is strong, and to make sure you are leaving the viewers with something after they watch the documentary. Also, to make one's story have different parts like interviews and good B role to make it interesting. These affected our decisions on everything like the different B role we were going to shoot, the interview background, the types of shots, and more. Both the technical skills and storytelling skills affected everything we did in the process of making this documentary.

If we could do something over it would be to go back to the ice cream parlor and get more B role ice cream but to also interview Gus and ask more questions about ice cream rather than the history. It was not until the last day that we became aware of our complete idea of our topic. Therefore, it would have been better if we took more A role of Gus talking about this specific idea of ice cream.

When describing the entire process of this documentary, when planning and pre production we made a shot list,  interview question list, gear together, and sent emails. When shooting, we shot two different interviews and a lot of different B role of ice cream. After for post production we came back with all of the footage and edited, mixed sound, and ultimately put everything together.

 

Process

Louie Adamian and 2 OthersJakob Sperry
Stefano Pagani
1 / 3

We created a Documentary showing the problems with the MBTA.  The goal was to show the challenges the daily commuter faces and what major problems there are. We show experiences our peers have had on the T. We also ask them how the T could be fixed.

We got two large interviews, one with Sam and the other with Jason Johnson, but we ended up only using the one with Sam because Jason's interview had poor lighting and an overall slow mood compared to the rest of the film. Sam’s was already edited and the interviews were hard to incorporate together the way we wanted it to

One of the interviews we wanted had poor lighting and audio quality so we could not use but that was the only thing that did not go as planned. We were pressured to pivot too close to the end of the studio and we had less time to edit. Our edit was lower quality than we wanted.

We would focus more on the story instead of the shots. We spent a lot of time out shooting B-Roll and we didn't consider that our story was bland and boring.