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Sexual Harassment on the T

Documentary Film | Final Project

  • 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.