Monday, May 4, 2009

COUNTDOWN TO UNEMPLOYMENT PART 1

As of Friday around 8ish o'clock, when I shake the hairy hand of our fearless leader, Luis Proenza, I will officially be unemployed. As you all know the job market for designers is in shambles, and I unknowing 6 years ago, signed up for this major. Yes..I said 6 years ago. I am eager and optimistic that I will find a job. So far I have leads in each of these fields:
- Server
- Default Aversion Specialist
- Cuyahoga Falls City Council (Please don't ask)
- College Recruiting

As you can see, non of these stelar occupations need any of the knowledge that I have accumulated in the past 6 years.  If anyone has any information on design jobs or even video editing jobs (Phil), please let me know.  I would appreciate anything, or else I could be making decisions on peoples well being and thats not a good thing. (City Council)

More to come in the next installment

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wonderfool's AHA! Moment

Just finished reading the last couple of posts.....here are some thoughts:

1) Abby is right. This was not an editing class. This was a project-based class, one where the learning is supposed to come from the doing, as opposed to exercises or lectures. Hopefully Abby, you have picked up more than you think about Final Cut. At the very least, you now know what the process of filmmaking involves, and how hard it is in a collaborative process to keep everything organized and moving forward.

2) Wonderfool....what an awesome reflection! I am not surprised to hear that you are both demoralized and energized by what you learned. You are exactly right that anyone who actually manages to finish a film deserves to be recognized for the stunning accomplishment it is, even if the film itself is horrible. I mean, just go watch "Plan 9 From Outer Space." Spectacularly bad!! But they did it! They made a movie. And even Tim Burton tipped his hat to that awesomely horrible film (Ed Wood).

Even with all the money, time and talent in the world, films that should be great turn out to be horrible. As a fan of "The Lord of The Rings" books, I was both excited and scared when I heard Peter Jackson was going to make those movies. But I thought they were great, even if he DID cut out Tom Bombadil.

But then he went and re-made "King Kong." Loads of money. Big stars. All the time in the world. And it stunk...about 1 1/2 hours too long, boring, etc.

So it's great that you now appreciate movies even more...and I like your analogy of feeling the energy of the people coming through in the film.

And THAT, Christina, is a sign that you understand what it takes to be a director. It is your job to channel that energy in the right way, in the service of a compelling story, to make the audience feel the power of the people behind it. You get it!!!

Now, if only it was easy to do. But I guess if it were easy, we'd all be doing it. And I would be re-making "Plan 9 From Outer Space" just for the sheer joy of it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Almost Finished.

When I signed up for this class, I was expecting something much different than what we did during this semester. I was hoping to learn how to use film editing software which I've become familiar with but unfortunately have not learned enough to be useful in the future. 
The process of making the documentary was fun and to have a part in the final piece will be pretty cool. After seeing the final segments from all the teams, I feel that everyone did a great job with the limited experience that we all had to produce something like this. 

So, class, what have we learned?

I feel like I should have some sort of grand revelation about race now, so let's see...

I realize now far more than at the start of this semester that I was drastically underestimating race's impact on on people now, partially because I'm not getting the short end of the stick, and partially because I was operating on a "if I ignore it, it will go away" mantra.  I never really saw race as biological, obviously people's skin is different colors, but that seems entirely separate from this concept of "race"... certainly no one is honestly upset about darkness and lightness of tone. 

But what then is the problem?  That is daunting, and I'm still torn between the idea of talking it to death and ignoring it.  Neither seems to lead to any solutions... but I guess I've started to ponder what our other options are.  For example, you can choose your friends, not other peoples, but yours.  I don't mean we should deliberately seek out people that look different from us, because we're still making assumptions about people based on appearance in that case.  Instead, get to know people around you.  I was shocked to find out the diversity that existed in a physically congruent group like the one Pat and I interviewed in the Student Union.  Our backgrounds are more diverse than we think, and that's something we have in common.

Another thing I've come to realize, and I think it logically follows when our focus becomes to get to know the other person, is to be aware that we all have different experiences that affect who we are, and some people desperately need the validation that comes from someone simply listening to them.  You do not have to have experienced what they did to listen.



I know I've had some grand revelations about filmmaking, mostly that it is beyond difficult to get what is in your head out into reality.  Left to my own devices, with my singularity of vision and a theoretical abundance of time, resources, and superpower-like skills, I'm not sure I could do something worthwhile.  Add to that that group projects were never something I've relished, and this is by far the most extreme variation of the concept of collaboration.  To call filmmaking "challenging" is laughable.  Every movie I've every seen becomes a miracle simply in existing.  Perhaps that is the magic of movies, you can feel all the energy of a zillion people pouring right out of the speakers and bouncing right off the silver screen.

I have to admit, I think I'm clinically insane.  After all of this, I'm possibly more in love with movies.  

well kids we are winding down. the last couple days have just been scattered because of the senior show, not much has been going on in class. I have been looking up some festivals that we could possibly enter and found some pretty good possibilities. sooooo I guess that's all I have to say byeeee

Monday, April 27, 2009

is it over yet

So here it is, my last week of college. I thought this would never happen. But I would like to just skip over this week and finals and just get to graduation. I have no drive left to finish anything. I just hope I have done well enough to pass everything this semester and not have killed my gpa too badly. Just bring on the cap and gown...

Friday, April 24, 2009

blogger sucks at compressing audio, uggh!

Final exam time - screening

I'd like to change the time of our final exam. We are scheduled at 2:00 pm on Friday of Finals week. At 2:30 pm is the graduation ceremony for seniors at the Akron Art Museum. I am proposing we move the final time up to 12 - 1 pm. What does everyone think? That way our seniors and myself still have time to get to the museum. We need everyone to agree to a time though, please check your schedules for conflicts. Thanks.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thank my lucky Kellie

Hahahaha, you are amazing Kellie!  Thanks very much, it's been a fun semester :P

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Group 2 Final Rough Cut

video

Group 3 more finished rough

video

still need music. and the audio needs some work.

Festivals...

Okay, here's a couple festival ideas,

1) NextFrame, University Film and Video Association, $20, $15 if you submit through withoutabox.  Early Deadline is April 30, Regular is May 31... 

2)ASPEKTY, a Polish Anthropological Film Festival!  Not kidding, Deadline is Aug. 1, and it's free!  So I think this is def. worth looking into more :)

(Also, Tony and Phil, this is a site to keep in mind: Visual Anthropology
This site has 2 other festivals, one in Taiwan and one in Finland, both devoted to Ethnography and Anthropology, but they have themes.  So it might work out for future classes...)

I'll post more as I find them 

Monday, April 20, 2009

so many documentary ideas...

As Britney Spears continues her Circus tour throughout California this week, Spears' alleged trespasser Miranda Tozier-Robbins spoke exclusively to E! News about why she snuck onto the pop star's property and the reason she believes things have been blown out of proportion.

Tozier-Robbins, 26, is a former American Idol hopeful who says she has been in Los Angeles for about a month and a half and is actively pursing an entertainment industry career in numerous fields, one being paparazzi-like documentary filmmaking.

According to Tozier-Robbins, Britney's house was simply chosen because of its convenient location and perfect timing—she knew Spears would be in L.A. for her tour this week and apparently her address is available online.

"The documentary is more or less just, [me] on the way to Britney's house, going on the bicycle ride, the camping out in the woods," says Tozier-Robbins.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

watched original- next week is drew and jessica

Grey Gardens is delicious and depressing!
Some Wiki info...
Grey Gardens is a 1975 documentary film ranked as one of the 10 Greatest American Documentaries by the World Film Academy. The documentary is by the direction/cinematography/editing team of Albert and David Maysles, Susan Froemke, Ellen Hovde, and Muffie Meyer who first met while students at Cornell University. The film depicts the everyday lives of two women who lived at Grey Gardens, a decrepit 14-room mansion at 3 West End Road in the wealthy Georgica Pond neighborhood of East Hampton, New York. Cousin to Jackie O.

march...what a spring break!

—I moved my praxis exam date to April, but not until I contacted all the teachers I’m observing. I’ve let them all know I’m taking the exam in March- so I’m screwed for April… oh well-another killer semester…
—I observed a few days a Jackson High- freaking awesome arts program… The teacher there had me come in even though I had so much work to do I couldn’t function. I’m wondering why I’m having shortness of breath! My fat butt better not be having a heart attack!
—Born into Brothels came, but not enough time to watch yet. I had a complementary Bollywood movie running during journal writing that was sent with package. Weird one – can’t even figure the title out!
—Forgot to rewrite notes I took during meeting with Fedarria last month… ~I’m in the right place. The discussion board that met will be so easy to approach next documentary class- I’ve really got to take this again! Everyone is into this documentary idea, but they don’t understand our artistic approach possibilities. I did not feel comfortable explaining our role, because I don’t know what groundwork has already been laid by the professors teaching... What if there are funding opportunities for this class through these board members –i.e., if this class meets one /some of the following requirements: 1. if there are students from this class who film speakers, the class gets equipment 2. if students will film the events scheduled for community participation , the class gets equipment/web site 3. if class films fellow students to promote events for the following year – outright advertising! –the class gets permission for another year of work… A discussion during the meeting proposed university web site capabilities for downloading this documentary to mp3 players!

—Finally feel like the documentary is going to make damn good sense – glad we went with graphic designer Jenni ideas! I could not see this thing in any other way than groups of people speaking and artistic pictures /clips! If we had more time –snap! If I had ANY techno-ability in this area –snap!
—It’s so different working with people trained in other mediums!!! Content has been confusing -couldn’t see outcome. The class atmosphere differs greatly from medium to medium! People are the same standing in any field, though.
—Spring break rocked!!! I slept in one day, then the furnace went out and I had to go to my parents house in Conneaut for days on end. Break was when I was to catch-up on my ceramics and my fucking final project for art ed that won’t dry.
—Thank God Almighty break is over. We got a lot done for film, and I discovered foam stuff for the non-drying project in art ed. Our group is well rounded in all art forms – sculpture/hardware advice included.
—I met with Dr. Renee M-C for PhD information. Totally dig her! Approachable and very informative –giving options while leaving room for a student to use own judgment… Would love to hear her give presentation. Now time for research…
—Watched Born into Brothels – recommend for all. Devastating and delicious, with children learning photography! God love them and their artistic eyes…

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Group 1 VERY Rough Cut

video

Group 3 almost final rough

video

there are still two questions and the ending missing. also music. any suggestions?

Im on a blog

After about 15 minutes of "The Lonely Island" I knocked out 20% of the final edit of our section in Final Cut.  Im pretty pumped, maybe if I listen to "Im a Boss" Ill be finished in no time.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

media offline

my favorite warning. i finally get the 'creative' bug and decide to sit down and try to get this thing as finished as i can at this point and bam stuff is missing. i search and what do you know, its nowhere to be found. so there goes my creativity. now im just frustrated. i don't really find this that much fun anymore. i just want to be done. but that is how i am feeling about pretty much everything right now, so don't take it personally. but on a more serious note i could not spend my life doing this. it would drive me crazy. i been working unintently  (not really a word) for a semester now and im ready to quit. no wonder my sister decided to become a chef after majoring in telecommunications for 2 years. your a strong man phil.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Progress

I admit that I have not been on here to talk about the progress our team has made but to be honest for a while the communication was not there to work effectively as a team. Luckily, that hurdle was made and we came together and pulled out an interesting piece. The direction of our segment has come 360. We talked about several different ideas and we settled on cultural movements in the 1950's -60's and their connection with biracial relationships then and today.

Monday, April 13, 2009

february... weeks of film

—Ordered Born into Brothels on Amazon. Saw part of it in class, and loved this documentary about kids born into the red light district in India’s Calcutta. Paul will dig it- a photographer lives there and teaches some kids to take photos, then tries to get them into schools. Parents don’t understand to improve kids lives- they just miss their kids, so they take them out of school… very disturbing
—Watched Nannuck of the North
—Researched Flash and trying to figure out if I need this to make documentary in the future. Final Cut -might have to take that, or one of the other editing programs. Sucks to not know the programs, but thank Jenni we won’t fail! I should turn that to the next great phrase “Well, thank my lucky Jenni!!”
—What a horrifying month. I hope I get time to buy shampoo instead of using body wash. I’m getting killer dandruff. All the color came out of my hair, too. Big Fun. So Pretty.
—Researched questions for the interviews –there are a lot of questions online. Some can stand a little tweaking. I don’t know how these are going to come off- I’m so freaking nervous! The only super -advantage is that I’m not in front of the camera! This job would be insane – the hours are exhausting but the people are delicious! I’d take this class again already!
—Maybe I wouldn’t take this class again. Holy Mother of God! Dave Brown could not stop! That man has serious energy… I really hope I get to use the information of the interview for a workshop after this class. I’m too fucking encouraging! I told him his picture doesn’t do him justice! If I take this or another class with film, I’ve got to follow interviewers. Kathy Davis constantly did interviews for channel 5 news – I should call her. I walked DB up the hall to Kate’s office –love her!- and she had to take him to speak at a lecture hall. Jenni went to see him speak. I don’t think Jenni and Paul understand my gift of being able to talk to anyone… this is where I can work it – not on the technology end of this thing. There is not enough time in the day for us to get all this filming done. It’s so frustrating not being all knowing. And everywhere.
—I wish Tim Wise could’ve been interviewed. I forgot I had research on him! I hope I get another opportunity to kick-it with him. I should read more of his stuff – it’s so boring to read scholarly stuff. I like his bio better!
—My church feeds people every Wednesday evening starting this month. I pick up the food for the food pantry- this month with John’s help- and pack 50 bags of groceries to hand out after the dinner. This schedule is crazy. I moved the Praxis exam, moved all my observations to April, and am so relieved the tight film schedule’s over.

Even more abstract, philosophical musings...



















SO a friend and I were talking today about how half Asian, half anglo people are so attractive, and I mentioned that half black people are too, but my friend did not agree.  And it got me to thinking about how do we decide what is pretty and what is not?  

Some of it is learned, we are told something is attractive through magazines etc, but some of it has to be inherent, because even among sibling or other close people, our tastes vary person to person.  It's not purely regional, although exposure does play a role too... that whole nature/nurture conundrum.

























I once heard a theory about how people gravitate toward symmetry, and that beauty could be measured with computer software that finds and matches control points between the two halves of your face and finds the difference and simularities... but I'm not so sure about this for two reasons:

1) Kate Moss's face is VERY symmetrical, but I think it's kind of scary how far apart her eyes are... although, she's actually kind of like Angelina Jolie in that some pictures of her are breathtaking, and others are just really not (nothing to do with makeup or anything... there are glamour shots of both these women that are just not attention grabbing)  Which kind of goes along with this point about symmetry, in that the women's faces do not become less symmetrical, and yet they are less attractive somehow...

2) If you've ever done that Photobooth special effect where it mirrors one side on the other you can give yourself a perfectly symmetrical face, and it is not attractive.  Interesting, but not really hot.

Friday, April 10, 2009

More stuff during january...

—Polls on children/by children –whether they hold family to be important/want to hold family to be important=cant remember why but “bias “in notes… I wonder if questions asked directly after some sort of abuse-children from broken homes, devastated, then used in a study “just a couple more questions- then juice!” Welcome to the foster care system.
—Almost stole tampons from target – oops!
—Gave away food from food bank .
—Couldn’t comply with government questionnaire –study from Akron Canton Food Bank that is mandatory to receive low cost food for needy people in the community. Couldn’t find the fucking fax number on any of the three stacks of papers from this government facility that receives donations and charges you to give them to people in the community.
—Worked for 4 hours on research/PowerPoint
—So proud? To be here w/ Obama! Listening to Maya Angelou on Tavis Smiley tonight WOW!
— Nelson Mandela invited his prison guards to be with him at his inauguration !!! I’ve watched India documentary. Gandhi spoke- love that little guy. I finally gained insight to Muslim/Hindi split with Palestine- how devastating. O India. OMG
—Stayed home and worked on Racial Persistence/research all day. Barry took Slate –Thank God!- for a few hours so I could work w/out “the jumper “ all over me. Yeah, many epiphanies –love school today.

january...

—Here it goes. One semester closer to being done. For what? I don’t want to teach in a classroom filled with little darlings. This semester is killing me already. I hope I figure out how to do what I want to do.
—Elisa’s Monday class is supposed to be only 40 minutes all semester. I’m sure that’ll change again.
—13th –great day. This past Sat., Barry pushed Daiv and Slate in cart all over Target! Slate-3 Daiv-50! Very fun -cause I didn’t hang with them.
—Can’t take another semester like last one. Doc class seems to be what looking for in terms of future use – documenting my trips to homeless shelter in NY for the non-profit.
—Didn’t take myself or son to class cause –negative 30 degrees!!! Repeating stuff from last semester in Elisa’s
—Dig Prelinger site. Damn. Watched entire Last Man on Earth (awesome) Watched Prelinger video on checking-out vaults.
—Excellent foresight- before government or private company(DISNEY) grabbed videos for commercial exploitation/monetary gain, Prelinger vaults them! Good idea
—15th – Laughed @ Phil story and got mascara all over face! Fucking freezing. Told terrible story about Donna/dream/stress at the Color line
—16th- stayed in house all day. Fucking freezing-25. Worked on presentation, worked on kid.
—17th-Worked on presentation today over 4 hours. Doesn’t look like it. So much information online

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

bloo blee blah

so last week we showed our videos and it looks like everyones is coming along nicely, we aren't as far behind as we thought we were after all. Before showing them we went out and video taped people holding our signs with our questions on them which i think will be a nice little addition to the video. We still need more b footage to break up the interviews. I didn't go to class today because i literally drove around the parking lot for 20 minutes trying to find somewhere to park, and failed so i gave up. Thursday i must leave a bit earlier

Monday, April 6, 2009

So Im in a Middle East Class

Im thinking that next years documentary should be about the relationship between the U.S, Saddam Husein, and the Kurds.  We are watching a video right now and its really interesting...just a thought.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Everyone is a winner...

Special olympics rock. I heard a story about these runners taking off, and one guy fell down. A few runners stopped to help the guy up, realized he was hurt, and walked with him to the finish line. What does that have to do with us, you wonder?

I'm so excited...

We've really pulled it together and I think we have the makings of a smashing piece. Speaking of works of video art, I've decided to create a video "Boobs - I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours!" I've cast my breasts as candles every couple of years, and this summer I'm going to showcase EVERYONE'S breasts! Wanna be in pictures?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

WEEEEEEE

Things are coming along pretty well, we are still a little behind but I think that we are going to pull through and come out with something that is some what decent. I mean I wasn't expecting an academy award winning piece anways. We have learned so much in this class and it was a lot to take in so I think what we have is pretty good. We have the gist of what everything is going to look like and everything seems to be falling into place. I worked on some posters for our questions. We thought of like protest like posters with our questions on it would be a good idea instead of just saying the question. Abby made a pretty cool flash thing that is in the beginning of our doc. We also picked out some pretty cool music too. So on to the next class to see what we will do nextt

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What is it?

"All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem." - Martin Luther King, Jr. So we've progressd since the 60's. Some of the race reguarding problems have found solutions. So, what spcifically are the problems we face now? Then one problem was segragation, that's quite a clear problem. We no longer have legal segragation, so what do we have?

Monday, March 30, 2009

So last week we got out begining kind of done. It's really cheesy but at the same time I think it will do. It's a flash animation that has just rethinking race going across the screen in different sizes and stuff. Haha Abby and I had a fun time with that. Things are kind of coming along...so we will see.

Yay!!

So I finished my senior portfolio at about 6 pm yesterday. So then I was able to relax and not have to be up all night last night. But when I tried to go to bed my nerves took over and all night I was thinking and rethinking everything I did. So in short, I didn't sleep. I drove up and dropped it off this morning, so the weight should be lifted, but its not. I am still nervous about it. I know there was nothing I could have done different, its great the way it is.  Now I just hate that we have to wait until Wednesday to have our results. Have to make us sweat it out I guess. But its over, so now I can actually turn my attention to other things I have going on this semester and catch up on all the things I've been slacking off on. Because even though my mind is set on graduation I still have 39 days until I'm there.

By the way Tony, I put you down as my advisor, since I don't really have one and I see you the most.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Look It Up!

Iterative.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Odd place right now

So what do you do when...

A.) Your Senior Portfolio is due the 30th,
B.) You have to close on a house you are trying to buy by the the 5th
and...
C.) You are losing your mind

Not sure that I am really paying attention to the documentary this week.  If there is anyone that would like to scrape lead based paint chips, prime, and paint a 2.5 car garage this weekend, let me know, I could defiantly use your help.  

kJHKEJHLGJKHEKJHFS:EHJGSD

Soooo I have no idea what the hell is going on. We need our rough draft of the documentary for next week and I have a feeling we are no where near that stage. I feel like everything is just coming down and I have no idea how we got so far behind. I know we have good footage of interviews. I never knew we needed that much B footage but I guessed I missed that part. All we can do is try and get things done right? I honestly just want to pass the class lol I thought we were doing fine but when we got back from our month break we just got hit with all the things that we hadn't done. BLAHHHHH well I guess we will just roll with the punches eh?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How freakin punk rock is that?!?

http://www.timeout.com/chicago/articles/music/71711/drag-city-revives-death
The first punk rock band- Death. Listen to politian in my eyes. Undiscovered and delicious. 1974

Friday, March 13, 2009

Even more musings, still not enough

You're walking around with a friend or two, real late, after dark downtown.  It's not the best neighborhood.  A nice car pulls up to the intersection a few feet from you, and you hear a faint "click, click."  What it is?


I was talking to a high school teacher friend of mine who told me she asks her students this when she teaches the biography of a black woman who lived from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement.

The white kids always say "I don't know... a gun?"

But the black kids just stay quiet.

She has to ask them individually, but then they'll answer.

"It's the car doors locking." 

I was still thinking that I really was only seeing race this semester because it didn't matter to me before.  But maybe it didn't matter because I wasn't getting the short end of the stick.  It still amazes me how hard it is to break away from my own vantage point.  Can it even be done?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

scripting

So, after a day of watching and rewatching clips something may come out of them. Right now our entire segment is a bit segmented. We split the work to be able to accomplish something. So once the editing starts we have to try and make our ideas flow back together as one. 

But for at least right now we have a jumping off point. 

Optimism

I think I am finally feeling good about where we are now.  Christina and I just finished our script and I think its going to be good.  When I look at how all 3 parts are going to fit together, I think I finally have an understanding as to what the hell has been going on for the last 7+ weeks.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

diving in with my eyes close

So we have all of our footage into the computers. Now to make it into something. I don't know what to make. There are a lot of words, but I don't know that they are saying anything. And this is what is going to guide us to our next collection of materials. We what these words to make images for us, so we know what to look for. I don't know if we should be thinking that what we have is going to lead us to what we need. 

And I do have to say that I wish I was giving this project more attention then I am. It's just so hard with so many other things going on. The main time hog it my senior portfolio. We have to have portfolios, sketchbooks, and resumes done by the end of the month for review. So I am just worried about that and everything else is taking a back seat. But it will be done and turned in soon, just in time for our heavy editing to start. Yay!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ethics eh?

So these people we've interviewed, you spend a bit of time with them, you ask them a few questions and you get a general vibe on their opinion or view on the matter, whether their telling the truth is something else. So, I have these clips and now it's my job to put them together in a manner that conveys a message I want to convey. I'm finding it difficult to do that in a way that does not contradict how they feel on the matter. Personally, I have no issue construing their words into something entirely different to what they actually say. Not that I'm about to do that. So how does one draw the line on what is honest and manipulated. If we took a purists approach we'd play the entire interviews start to finish and in the order they were taken, let people draw their own conclusions while they nap. I'm not opposed to that. I could be done with this doco by Thursday. Then we could have pizza parties the rest of the semester. There's probably half a dozen classes I could take on ethics to help me through my edditing issue, but i'm a little short on time.

Has anyone else run into this? Any suggestions? Rules of thumb? Maybe a better question is what kind of doco are we trying to produce?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Color Line

That class was a bit too much this week. Has anyone ever heard of the "paper bag" test? If someone's skin was darker than a paper bag, they failed. This test was used to keep a young woman - who is now a grandmother - out of a black college that was operated by blacks. Another example of racism within one's own race. Delightful.
I thought that the students interviewed might be giving a different interview to people of color. The students were interviewed at the "dreamy" or "nerveracking" begining of the semester. After some of the semester goes by, I wonder if the responses totally change.
Has anyone seen Frisky Dingo? OMG. I put off my Praxis II exam, so let the celebrations begin with a marathon of side-splitting-disturbance this past Sunday. My throat is killing me from laughing so freakin hard. Now it's Monday night, and my script is partially scribbled on a Gorrilla Grrrls flyer.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

weeeee

So we went over our film so far last week. I think my group has some pretty good stuff we could use, I went to class thinking we didn't have a lot. During class we got a couple more interviews and I hope they turned out well. It seemed like we got a lot of good information from the people we interviewed....now comes the production part....fingers are crossed!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Yay Interviews


So Pat and my interviews (that phrase is so awkward grammatically any way you slice it) went really well.  It is amazing the cross section that existed just up on that third floor of the Student Union.  So many different cultures represented, so many interesting insights.  Also so much jargon.  But even the jargon is interesting... seeing completely different people give you almost verbatim the same notions... and then watch it dissolve into something else entirely as they try to explain shows how very connected we all are by the media; by our culture.  It sort of renewed in me this sense of Americanism... for better or worse, we have come from all over the world to create our own, new way of looking at things.  We share more than we think.

Not that I agree with most of what was said... every person was surprising in their own way.  Even I surprised myself... I actually enjoyed having a valid reason to talk to strangers.  Still not as bloodthirsty as Babs... but then, I probably would have more pointed questions and less inhibition after 50 years interviewing celebs and politicians.

I didn't realize how funny this stuff was.

So we have been working this week to put all our interviews into the computer. As we are uploading we are listening to what was said. At the time of interviews we were so caught up in getting everything right that I guess I didn't really pay attention to everything that was going on. Some of the answers we have gotten are really funny. There is one that we did that had us laughing a lot. 

The girl that was interviewed really liked to stereotype others. She is of mixed background and said that she grew up in a white neighborhood. And it was funny because whenever she talked about people that were not white she would use "they," even though she was not white. And she would fall into saying things like black people sell drugs and "pimp whoes."

So does she think this way because she is use to "white" life. Would she think different if she were more in touch with her "black" side, or grown up in that neighborhood. 

Thursday, February 26, 2009

And so it goes.....

Paul & Christina & Jenni all have very interesting observations. And yes Paul, I agree with you that "the media" do certainly contribute to our distance from one another.

It's part of the cultural hegemony of one group dominating another. The dominant part of the U.S. culture tends to also be dominant in media ownership. As a result, the perspective of the ruling class tends to dominate what we see and hear.

And when the point of view of a subculture does rise above the din to get people's attention, often the dominant class in the culture then co-opts and sanitizes the message of the subculture, making it less threatening but using the traits that made it distinctive, generally for the purpose of making money.

Think: NWA = MC Hammer.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Takin' the Temperature

Personally, discussing race with others has always been my own taboo rule. I would avoid discussing race issues like I avoid napping on train tracks. I was concerned about being run over by someones, over-powering opinion or flat out racist remarks. Also, I was concerned of offending others by what I might say. If I were not so desperate for the class credit I'd have dropped the class in a heart beat after learning of our topic.

So, I had a bit of a self-realizing epiphany a couple of weeks ago. Some time in the early AM I thought it would be a good idea to stumble my way down to McDonalds for a bit of breakfast. I had a good 10 hours of courage in my gut and racism on my mind. I staggered up to the Plasma Center where a line was forming at the doors before they opened. Being a bit short I asked a couple of guys how much I could get for doing this. One thing lead to another and I sparked up a race discussion with 3 black fellas and a white guy. We talked for a good hour and a half. Quite soon into the conversation each one of us made the same statement from different POV's; for the majority people have no ill feelings towards any other race, yet there seems to be this looming idea that it's a serious problem. Well that raised all sorts of questions. One quite threatening looking guy said it was in our media; that we are told it's a serious problem in America, and we take their word for it. I feel it's a profound point. The conversation continued 'til they opened the doors and I went on to get myself and the guys some of them sausage sandwiches. Came back, tossed the sandwiches to the guys, and got heckled by 30 or so guys, in the same manner by different races, "Hey, where's mine?".

I continued to walk home contemplating what had happened. It was the first time I had ever struck up a conversation on race, and certainly to that degree. I have always felt a little unsure of how I viewed people; do I think of everyone equally? This is what struck me, after that conversation I felt confident with myself and with a lack of bigotry. Before my problem had been that I had no way to gauge myself; by avoiding the topic I simply had no way of knowing where I stood amongst others.

Perhaps that guy was right, maybe racism is only an issue because we are told it is. Maybe the majority of us really have little or no bigoted tendencies. Perhaps we're all products of our environment. I feel Americans are greatly media influenced, perhaps if we portrayed a different attitude on race in our television it would rub-off on people. Phil you are the Media, what do you think?

More musings :)


It is so interesting to consider how much of our lives are built on assumptions.  Everything we define ourselves as takes it's meaning from being the opposite of something, someone, else: women are not men, gay people are not straight, black people are not white, college students are not grandparents, christians are not buddhists, fat people are not fit, democrats are not republicans, and so on.

And we make so many assumptions about the other that we end up limiting ourselves.  If a group we are not a part of always acts one way, we don't do that.  Simply because they do.

But it is a chicken-and-the-egg thing... for example, a friend recently brought it to my attention that women don't flick people off while driving, while men do.  Men allegedly don't yell at other drivers, while women almost always do.  And I realized I DO yell at least once almost every time I drive, even if it's only a 5 minute trip, and have NEVER flicked someone off.  It requires too much coordination, while talking comes easy.  Guys, you'll have to weigh in about the shouting thing... I can't think of guys yelling at people any time I've ridden with one, but then the finger is also makes a very rare appearance.  The funniest thing is that I'm not usually angry, not really.  Sometimes the person did something stupid, but not always.  Sometimes I actually yell for no reason.  Does that really have something to do with me being a woman?  Is it because I'm conditioned by society, or is it hormones?

And that is one tiny example.  Our assumptions are far reaching and often subversive... even as I see them more I know I am missing most of them.  The woman in this picture seems totally different in the two different costumes, doesn't she?  Are the pictures really so different?  Is the only difference the cultural assumptions we make?  Is the second more sexually charged objectively?  We almost need an Indian person to really know what the first picture means to an insider... but I was under the assumption that the sari was everyday clothing in India, and a sweater with nothing under it is NOT everyday clothing here, so they are not just different cultures.  But I don't know that for a fact, that's an assumption.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Its time to watch a movie.


So my boyfriend and I decided to escape this past weekend. We hopped on a bus and headed to Chicago. Ok it really wasn't that spur of the moment, but it sounded more interesting that way. Anyway it was the most amazing time. I love being in the city. There is so much to see and experience. Every corner you turn there is something new awaiting you. So many different people and cultures that all flow together on the busy streets and sidewalks. Its so amazing. 

On Friday evening we went to the movies and saw Friday the 13th. (what else could you possibly see that day?) It was one of the best movie watching experiences I've ever had. All these people filed into the theater a group at a time, separate conversations filled the air. Once the movie started everyone became part of the same group. We all had a shared main interest. As the movie played people reacted to all the horror and gore taking place, but instead of just reacting to themselves in their own seat, emotions were vocalized and shared among everyone. It wasn't some annoying thing like someone talking on their cell phone next to you, it was everyone being caught up in the same action and story. It was people letting their guard down and just being. It was like sitting at home and watching a movie with a group of friends, you could share your thoughts and feelings as they came to you and not have the next person shh you. And when the movie was over I felt like I not only saw a movie, I learned about the people there and saw that we can just all exist together.

I think the world just needs to sit down and watch a movie together.

Concerned? Don't Be....

We'll talk on Thursday....

But as the old song goes "We've only just begun........"

There will be lots of additional shooting and thinking. This is what happens when you try to capture reality, rather than start from an exisitng text or story.

That's why it's GOOD that we will meet and process things a bit....then you gus will need to start logging and cpaturing your tape, which will probably take at least a full week of class time.

And even then, you'll only be at the beginning...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Concerned...

So I'm to the point now where I feel like I have a lot of interesting ideas, but I'm not so sure they're getting captured in the video.  I think it'll be a lot more reassuring to watch the footage back and see if different things start popping out... also after interviews on Tues. Pat and I particularly should have a better handle on things.  Interviews are so much more straight-forward.  People say what they say, and it's easier to get everyone in your audience on the same page, though you have to get people to say the interesting things.  On camera.

Because talking to people about this documentary has led to lots of surprising conversations with friends, family, and random acquaintances that I never would have predicted.  So many comments that I wish I had on tape, but of course, I wouldn't have even heard it the first time if I had been filming.  It's so weird how uncomfortable people are when cameras are around, which you told us Phil, but I just figured that, especially with younger people who are more used to constant media reality TV blah blah, would almost seek it out, wanting their 15 minutes.  But people are far more testy than I thought, it's fascinating.  Especially when I just put the concept of assignments and deadlines and goals out of my mind and just be there, see how it goes, let it be what it is, and worry about how I'm gonna use it later.

Obviously, I'm better at that sometimes than others.
Natalie and I had a great had a great interview with a biracial/gay couple on Friday. The interview lasted about an hour and I feel we got a lot of good material. We need more interviews though to get a good segment for the documentary. 
This project though is beginning to feel a little shallow...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

So I drove through a crime scene...

Christina and I were driving around on Tuesday trying to get some B roll film for our portion of the documentary when...I accidently drove upon a crime scene in a predominantly african american neighborhood.  There were cars in from of me that couldn't move, and cars behind me so that I couldn't move.  Christina had the camera hanging out of the window filming and people were not happy.  We did not understand why the two white people in the car with camera were being singled out when there was a film crew on the street.  We both felt very uncomfortable and were actually afraid that someone was going to do something to us.  

Later during the drive when we were stopped at a traffic light about 5-10 blocks from that accident, 2 african american males saw the camera and that we were shooting and they took offense to us filming.  I remember one of them saying to the other "Look, what are they filming, are seeing what we got around here?"  They were referring to the neighborhood as a black neighborhood and what black people had around where we were.  I took offense to this because I live down the street, 3 or 4 blocks from where we were.  It was not those 2 individual's neighborhood, and who the hell are they to tell me what I can or cannot do down the street from my apartment!  Sorry for the rant I have to stop writing.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Might I interest you in a bit of shooting around town?

If anyone is free Tues. the 10th at or after 1:30 and would like to help film outside, in neighborhoods that would be so helpful.  

Also, anyone free Thurs. afternoon primarily bookstores, movies, coffeeshops.  Let us know if you're free even partial times, because as Pat said, the more the merrier.  

Hey Y'all

So i think it's about time for me join in the fun of blogging. After our first face to face I'm feeling a little bit better about getting information. People are really open to talking about race and the struggles they have encountered. I also set up 2  interviews with bi-racial couples, one is a straight couple and the other is a gay couple. 

Also, if any other groups would be interested, I will be interviewing the first African American to graduate from my high school (which was in 2004, sad I know).  Not only that but his grandmother is Amish and he happens to be Miss Gay Akron, which puts a whole new spin on things. He says he has given a few interviews on the subject of race and is totally open to any questions we might have. 

Im Scared not Racist

Christina and I will be filming on the street the next few times out and Im not gonna lie, I am terrified.  Its not because we will be in predominantly black neighborhoods, but because we will be in rough neighborhoods with thousands of dollars worth of equipment.  Should I feel scared?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

First Trip

So Natalie and I filmed out first discussion, we went to the face to face about interracial dating and marriage. Thank god they let us film because we weren't sure what to expect. We had a little difficulty setting up at first but then I think we got the hang of it. Then we realized that the camera wasn't getting everyones faces that were speaking so we tried picking it up and filming. That turned out to be too shaky sooo we went back to the tri-pod......I have no idea how it turned out but I hope we got something because there was a lot of good information that people were talking about. There was actually a lot of people that showed up as well. Next is the interviews...wish us luck aahhhhhhh

Friday, February 6, 2009

What a trip...

Oh man, we filmed/interviewed in a basement classroom - really sweet. Now we are out on the street. I haven't been to a lecture yet, but want to find someone who has. Thank you for your help Phil! You rocked with your skills!
This whole process is something else.
I'm still in shock that this process of asking questions and filming people talking to us works to create art that moves.

Getting Settled In?

So as we're finding, the shoot out in the field is where you really see if you were ready.

I am happy to hear that for the most part, people are finding that they are able to be successful out in the field. I had the chance today to look at Paul, Jenni and Kellie's tape....pictures looked good, sound was good. And it sound like the stories were good too.

Pat, on the other hand, says their shoot at the theater was a mess. Mostly because they relied on the feed from the theater, rather than their own mics. So, there ya go.

Poor Courtney had to drag her boyfriend up to collect all the gear. I can't stress enough that all group members need to help schlep the gear around. It's a lot for one person to carry....like when Paul brought it all back alone. Try to help each other, it will make life easier.

ANd yes Paul....you will be shocked by the average person on the street. They will likely be both tremendously mean to you but also amazingly open and willing to talk. You just never know.

Keep up the good work...please let me know if I can help you.

Lesson Learned

This is good for everybody. You have to push the record button for it to record, not just touch it. Oops. Lets do it again guys!

Wouldn't that be funny. I'm really impressed how we got people to really share. Well maybe it wasn't our doing, but none the less there were a few people that really opened up to share difficult memories. Sort of a funny thing exploiting someones pain unremorsefully. Ah well.

So we had a good day. We have an hour and 16 min of tape shot, hopefully some of it is used, eh. I feel with this shoot under our belt we will go into our next interview with a lot more confidence and really have an amateur knowledge of how to set up for it to get the results we want.

My concerns are when we try to get peoples responses on the street. I would not be surprised to see myself stand in the cold for a day with nothing shot but a bit of B-roll. My flatmate feels having a fancy, impressive camera, people will be drawn to it and want to be part of whatever it is we're doing. Personally, I will avoid a situation with a film camera at all costs. If my concerns turn true and we cannot get enough people on film, It may be more effective to have people tic boxes on paper then take their photo.

Phil, Tony, Everyone, what do you think? If ya didn't know me and I asked if you would answer a couple of yes or no questions into the camera, would you?

Filming and the word "masturbation"

So Christina and I filmed for the first time last night.  I thought that since I worked in the Student Union that I had an in when it came to recording the feed.  We had the mic provided by the Student Union wired to our camera... but the feed sucked and sounded like a voice in slow motion combined with static.  The lighting was terrible and after 8 minutes of filming I realized that we didn't white balance the camera.  (As if everything in orange wasn't a tell tale sign)  All in all we realized that the speaker did not say anything that had any impact on what we wanted to film.  The only funny part of the entire lecture was when the speaker said "masturbation", then giggled like a school girl for 10 seconds.  I didn't know that 60 year old women were so fun!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

If everything goes this well...

I have to say that today's filming was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. Just to sit and listen to people talk is amazing, I can't even think of another word right now. I can't believe how willing everyone was to open up to us and share their stories. Most of them seemed to be comfortable and just talked. I mean some of it may be due to the fact that they are performers, but still some of the things they shared were so personal. 

I just know that when we start talking to people that are not expecting us it isn't going to be as easy to get them to talk. But after today I have hope. 

Also the equipment didn't even seem that hard to set up and work. But still thank you Phil for coming with us and helping us out. 

All I hope now is that Paul remembered to hit record...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dropped into 1994


So I watched Pulp Fiction for the first time finally, and I noticed something that I'm sure I would not have thought of AT ALL if it wasn't for this class.  I believe every relationship in that movie was biracial.  Even ones they just showed for a second.  Obviously there's Mia and Wallace... but there's the white guy whose house they cleaned up the car at, his wife, the nurse, they show for like 3 seconds, but she's black.  It's very interesting, but it's possible this class is making me racist.

Actually, I just thought it was interesting that it was a deliberate choice of the filmmakers, and it was actually pretty seamless and possible-feeling.  It did not feel unnatural, but then, that is the beauty of Pulp Fiction, isn't it?  That all these incredible things are suddenly very real, and somehow suddenly plausible.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The week has begun!

Did anyone attend Donna Brazil last night? If so, please update the group on her lecture.

On another note, I just returned from Dr. Samuel Betances lecture on The Benefits and Values of Diversity to The University of Akron. He was a great speaker, entertaining and motivational. He touched on many topics and clearly has significant background and experience lecturing and mentoring on such topics as diversity. His bio mentions he is biracial, bicultural and bilingual. In his lecture he talked about his father being black and his mother being white. He touched on the roots of racism and summarized well how to avoid prejudice and instead seek collaboration. Excellent lecture full of humor and content.

Dr. Betances had a motto, I guess you could call it, which was to reject rejection and instead embrace yourself. It is a very interesting thought, and one I have been going over in my head. I've been watching Sports Center on ESPN lately with the Superbowl this past week. I have to make the connection between what Dr. Betances was talking about, and Mike Tomlin, the coach of the Steelers. Tomlin commented that "he will continue to age but will always be black." That quote was in reference to the attention drawn to him being the youngest coach to win the Superbowl, but the lack of coverage regarding his race. Has there been a shift in the media? Is it possible that we are beginning to see things with a multicultural perspective. Mike Tomlin knows he is black and has rejected rejection. He has embraced who he is and what makes him vital to the Steelers success. As a country do we see him as a "Coach" or a "Black Coach?"

Last point to mention here, Dr. B. had everyone in the audience do a small exercise. It was to think back to a time when we saw an act of discrimination and we did nothing about it. Or worse yet, think back to a situation where we were part of the discrimination. Then he had us think of an event in our lives where we helped someone being discriminated or stood up for them. When looking back can we find each situation, the problem and the solution? I know in my own life I can. I can think of times when I discriminated, ignored someone else being discriminated, told or laughed at jokes that discriminated. However, I can also think of times when I helped others that were being discriminated against, of times when I didn't laugh at the joke or ignored the person saying it. I can think back to times when I confronted the person discriminating.

My goal for myself is to increase the times being the solution and reduce the times being the problem.

Dr. B.'s website: www.betances.com 


Monday, February 2, 2009

Spread Your Wings

So this week we are suppose to be on our own, spreading our wings and getting some film. It seems weird that the time has come to go out and film. Its seems like it was just last week were starting to come up with concrete ideas about this film...

Oh wait, it was just last week.

But here we are, going out to do our filming to create this documentary we keep talking about. So I just want to wish everyone luck as they begin to get their ideas on tape. I hope everyone is able to bring their visions to life by capturing that much needed footage. 

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Back to reality

so friday was my 21st birthday...wee hoo...it was pretty fun my parents came out and partied with us, which was hilarious. Saturday I went to a gay bar because my friend is gay and actually had a really good time. The bar had a tiny little stage where people in drag were getting up and performing. The last performer was a giant(as in super tall) black guy in drag, so girl I guess, got up and lip sunk so a song, after she was done she came over and sat on my lap hahah. So anyways it's Sunday and now it's time to get back to work. Abby I read your blog and I'm sorry things didn't go well for you! we still have plenty of time to get other things done. So I emailed the girl that I know if she and her family would be willing to go through with the documentary so fingers crossed on that one, and tomorrow I am going to contact the radio station about things. I feel like I really haven't been much help towards everything, and Abby has done a tremendous job with everything, I promise I will pick up the slack now, I had to get my 21st out of the way haha. welll thats about it...see you guys on tuesday weeee

first time blogger - first time getting implants

Vicodin is great. Pittsburg just won! What a day.

Wow, people can be mean...

Last night I shot some footage for the documentary at a pool hall/club. I was hoping to find a good mix of people and I did. The first goal was to get permission from the owner and I did with no problem (it helps when you know people that work there). Next goal was to mingle and start talking to people. Normally, this is not a hard task for me to walk up and start talking to people I don't know. I asked people if they would be willing to take a survey I had made up and I briefly explained to them about the documentary and the segment I was doing on biracial relationships. Everyone I asked were kind enough to take the survey.  Next I put the surveys away and brought out the camera and people had different reactions to this. I walked up to a seating area by the dance floor to look for a good place to set up the camera and people started to become very territorial. A certain group of African American women were very rude telling us we couldn't sit at the many open tables and this was an area set aside for a party that they were having. They were using very vulgar language directed towards us and made us feel very uncomfortable. Luckily my friend showed up who was having the party and told them to back off. I wish I could say I got some worth while footage but it was very dark and could see anything the camera was shooting. I tried to adjust everything I could think of that we went over in class but I hope is could be changed in the editing process. I did get some good info from the surveys and experience with the equipment out in the public.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Blooging Eh?

First time blogger, not a fan. I went skiing tonight. An elitist sport it's sometimes called. I was out there for 2 or so hours and kept an eye out for anyone other than wealthy white. I noticed and spoke to many "poor" white guys and girls, only saw one black fellow, and no other physically descriptive races; it is sometimes difficult to tell behind the goggles. I've been told skiing is a white elitist sport. I don't know if it is. My favorite people to ski with are my friends i taught to ski and snowboard. I went to an all white high school. Would it have made a difference if I had not? None of us had money to pay full lift ticket prices, but we found our ways to go on the cheap. So does this mean someone from any school does not have the opportunity at a sport like this? I don't think so.

A Situation, my buddy tells me a story where he's in Cleveland outside of a concert having a smoke and 2 black kids start throwing pennies at him. He tells me, "what can I do in this situation, I can't yell and beat em' up." Interesting. Then my flatmate then gives a hypothetical, "I'm a black kid going to Hudson, and a couple of white kids are throwing pennies at me" racism? Ya it is, it's all racism. Or is it American, or world, society?

I really don't like blogs.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Good News!

Even the pessimist in me thinks that this documentary is going to succeed.  Thats a victory all on its own.  All the groups seem to have a firm grasp as to what we are all doing, and it is making me feel a little more comfortable for now.  Key word...now, more to come in the next few days.  I have a bad feeling the pessimist may be coming back once I get my hands on a camera.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Welp, here goes nothin'

So it seems that we are finally headed towards something. When I first got to the class i wasn't expecting...well I guess I don't know what i was expecting. Everything sort of got pilled onto us at once. I almost thought that we were just going to go down hill ha, but tuesday in class we actually got into our groups and started going somewhere. We are finally on the same page....I think. I was overwhelmed at first with everything that was being said to us, I mean still am. Honestly a class on how to use a video camera and get good footage in a matter of 4 hours........god save us..hahahha but it will def. be an adventure. Here we come Hollywood!

They ALWAYS say No!

One thing to keep in mind as you contact people to get their cooperation with shooting: they ALWAYS start with NO!

Gaining access to your population can be one of the most difficult parts of any documentary. Most people don't want to be bothered, don't want to be on-camera, don't want you to interrupt their "real" business.

It's up to you to be convincing. To be persistent. To be honest. Seek out compromises....don't stop with that initial "no."

And if nothing else, just show up at the event and ask again and again and again and again. That's how Z-TV was able to get a one-on-one interview with John Kerry in the 2004 election race. One student who just NEVER gave up asking. She wore them down. The no turned to yes. Good docs don't happen easily. It takes persistence and vision.

Time for a new direction?

So I felt that our team has finally all gotten on the same page, and has the same vision. But it may come to a crashing halt. 

I received notice today that most likely we are going to be unable to get interviews with the speakers that we would like to. At this point agents are being contacted to see if things can be arranged with Tim Wise, and I have to go through the school of art to make arrangements with David Brown. Which shouldn't be too hard (famous last words). 

So I think we need to start brainstorming for a back up idea. I'm so excited. 

It's amazing what a little organization can do!

Before class on Tuesday I was unable to envision what this documentary was going to look/feel like. The class had an exercise the week before in which each student made a presentation on one of the following topics:
  • Define tolerance as it pertains to race relations in America
  • How is change (perceptions, mindsets, laws, etc..) initiated and conducted in America
  • What progress has been made toward or away from cultural coexistence in America
  • Define racial persistence
  • Define individual identity
  • Define social identity
  • Define cultural identity
  • Research and define cultural assimilation
  • Research and define Cultural pluralism
The lazy student in me thought this was pointless, "lets get on with the documentary already!" But as usual I stand corrected and feel this exercise helped a lot with understanding different angles these questions can take you in. So once that was all over and we huddled in our groups for a bit we have some direction and ideas to confidently take that first step into making this project happen. I'm really excited.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Breakthrough!


Okay, so today I was not looking forward to going to class.  I was drowning in a sea of too lofty, too abstract, too not-gonna-happen-in-three-months-on-no-budget ideas that weren't pointing in any sort of direction.  We needed the insight only the designation of "oracle" and a lifetime of toxic gasous hallucinations could provide.  A treatment out of this chaos by Thurs? Not happening.

But after a rather laborous first 5 minutes of small group discussion, and a surprisingly fascinating crash-course on the truth behind stepping (seriously Pat, that was amazing.  That's a documentary in and of itself,) we did have an angels-with-trumpets-out-of-the-clouds experience, and while I'm still "beyond" freaked out, I felt like I have a much better handle on what to hone in on, at least for now.  (I think the angel's name was Madea?)

It seems that none of us wanted to explore race in the same way it's been explored for decades.  We just might have something here.


Week Two: Confusion Sets In

After two weeks of working on topics and ideas for the doc, we are seeing some concern among students about exactly what this thing will look like. With good reason, right?

We spent the weekend training on how to set up to record an interview, the teams all took turns shooting each other. But those controlled situations will be nothing like going out with unfamiliar gear into an unpredictable situation with a new person. That's when we'll find out who was awake Saturday morning while we went over the gear!

A bigger issue is "what will this actually look like?" What's the story? What's the point? After two solid days of good discussion about identity, race relations, change and persistence, today the teams are working on developing an outline of what the final product will look like....and they are worried about how amorphous it all is. I can only advise them that this is natural....

Treatments are due on Thursday. We'll see then how it all goes....

The Crew

Instructors:
Dr. Phil Hoffman
Anthony Samangy

Group 1:
Christina Day
Patrick Magyar

Group 2:
Courtney Mesick
Abby Popa
Natalie Roth

Group 3:
Jennifer Spurrier
Paul Woznicki
Kellie, Evans

Real life. Real Experience.

This course will toss students into the world of producing documentaries first-hand, as the University of Akron's Rethinking Race activities unfold in Spring 2009. Students will work hands-on planning, designing, shooting, and editing a documentary under the direction of multiple Emmy award nominee Dr. Phil Hoffman, and Telly Award winner Tony Samangy. This cross-disciplinary team will consist of students from across art, communication, music, and other departments. No boundaries, no artificial barriers between artists. There is only the work.

Don’t just study documentaries. Make one.