Blog 5. Vox Pop

Blog 05 Vox Pop Class Workshop

The Vox pop interview process was a very interesting exercise which i enjoyed being apart of. The process of going up to complete strangers and stopping them in the street asking them questions was very daunting. I was very shy at first not wanting to ask many people being like “Aw their busy.” After finally working up the courage to ask a few people i got turned down once or twice but eventually succeed and got a yes. The first interview was a bit bumpy and shot little out and didn’t really know how to ask but each person interview the better the answer got. As a team we found some spots worked better than others, such as just off the main street where people who just wonder around are more likely to participate.

When reviewing the footage it was clear that some pieces where hard to use or grabs as they didn’t implement the question within there answer so it was hard to edit. Reflecting back i would push more to make sure the answer was useable but picking up and telling them to re answer. Another tip would place them differently and be more mindful of the area and before doing the interview look through the area for potential spots.

By doing this exercise i do believe it brings up challenges and fears. However, by the end you overcome them. As spoken about before fears to go up to a stranger and interrupt them was definitely the biggest one, to begin was hard when they turn you down but the more yes made the no not as hard and just had to change the mindset to keep asking along the more questions the easier it gets.

In order to improve for next time i will spend that even extra minute to re-work framing of the shots, as most of my shots had potential if i even moved a couple centimetre to a side etc. Second would try and listen/ react to there answer and make it more flow rather than reading off the page in order to get better answers.

Overall, I have learnt many lessons and i believe one of the major ones is just to have confident. If you confident people are more likely to want to answer and feel more comfortable around you. I will take this into my major documentary as i am the director and will be asking the questions i will be using everything i learnt to improve for the second time round. This is everything from framing, interview questions and the attitude giving out to result in a better performance.

Here is some shots of some interviews for the exercise we did on boundary street asking people opinions on food in west end, My group for this exercise was Grace Bannan, Bruce Mackenzie and Myself Kayla Bone.

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Blog 4; Interview Techniques

Class workshop conducted by Jodie Taylor.

Another in class workshop we took part of was were we were in groups of two the interviewer and the interviewee. We got told to ask a personal question each to another person in our class which we didn’t know very well. Starting out i got asked the question first so i believe this gave me an advantage as i understood how uncomfortable it is to be asked questions on the spot. When asking questions i tried to ask my partner with a calm tone and use facial and body language to make them feel comfortable to answer and show that i’m interested which allowed them to keep talking. Such as nodding head leaning forward and not having arms cross shows your interested rather than leaning back no eye contact and arms cross really gives of a different vibe.

When starting out getting asked a question was something new as i have never really been interviewed before so doing this was new and didn’t know what to expect. When the interviewer asked me the question “When did you lose your virginity?” at first you get thrown for a few seconds, but considering the circumstancing and knowing it being a safe space i answered open and didn’t care as my partner was holding eye contact that i didn’t mind answering the questions. I learnt that asking personal questions is okay as long as you set the scene to be a safe space where no judgement is and will allow the interviewee feel open to spill there truth.

The dynamics between the role of interview and interviewee is very different. When being the interviewee you feel more in the spot light and nervous as by not knowing what your going to be asked is intimating as your not in control. In contrast when asking questions you are more in control of the situation as you know the questions your asking but can still can go not way planned when the interviewee might answer with something unexpected and either not open up or open up a lot more than expected which is what you hope for.

The dynamic between the both of us to fill the time  i believe was different as when i was asked questions i kept talking as i am a more comfortable open personal. On contrast when asking the question i had to continue to ask questions to fill the gaps to make up for the time. After telling or asking the initial question it was slightly more tricky to fill in the rest of time. By asking elaborating questions or even asking the interview the same question to build of there answer was one thing we did.

As an interviewer in this exercise it did allow you a fear of asking personal questions. When you first get told to ask this deep questions you think to yourself, what am i going to say? As if they are going to answer. After you get out of your head and asking it with an confident tone you realise it isn’t as bad as what you make up in your head. This allows me to not be as afraid to ask deep questions in my major production.

Overall, i will take some lessons learnt form this exercise on to the next one of Vox pop interviews. This little in class exercise is a good stepping stone to know as strangers questions on the street. Lessons such as body language in order to engage and be mindful how asking the questions in order to get a good response.

Blog 3; Modality

My pitch of “Behind the Curtain” a short documentary film about a man name Ed passion for community theatre. For the major documentary pitch i choose the style to be Expository for this film. This is as the style fits the aim in contrast to the others as it allows us to interview with the subject without interfering to much.

To define and justify why i picked Expository this is because it is define to be a style which emphasises the verbal commentary aspect by having voice overs as explained in the book introduction to documentary (Nichols, 2010).

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An classic example of this is the ‘ The Plow that broke the plain’ (1936) directed by Pare Lorentz. This is an example provided in the book which represents expository. A film i found also is expository which is more common is the documentary ‘ Super size me’ Director Morgan Spurlock’s. This film is a social experiment in fast-food gastronomy which sees him attempting to subsist uniquely on food from the McDonald’s menu for an entire month. Both two different takes on this style but both has the same elements throughout.

 

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When editing expository the mode is commonly serves less to establish a rhythm or format pattern in contrast to a poetic mode. However will maintain continuity by spoken argument or perspective. ‘The plow that broke the plains(1936) ” had interlayer landscaped shots of Arif prairie coming from all over the Midwest. An example of how they incorporated interlay was cutting in shots from Kansas and Texas together thus enhanced rather than detracting from the claim that the great plains stood in serve danger of permanent damage (Nichols, 2010).

 

In order to achieve my documentary style of expository i will use techniques previous spoken. For instance, to use voice over in my film Ed interview will be cut throughout as the main story line with his voice of he’s answers carrying on as interlayer with other sources. This brings me to my second part, cut away for this piece the cutaways will mainly rehearsal footage of ed directing fellow cast and what happens behind the curtain. However will have other cut aways of archived footage of ed on stage from previous performances as he talks about his history on stage. All these elements fit the modality of expository as it is very much of a point of view piece so without the interaction with him the story would fail to work.

References

Nichols, B. (2010). Introduction to documentary (2nd ed.). Bloomington, Ind. : Indiana University Press.

Super size me. (2004). FILM USA.

The Plow That Broke the Plains. (1936). FILM USA.

 

Kayla Bone

Blog 2

Blog Post 02 – Errol Morris
What is Errol Morris’ Directorial Style?

In the film Standard Operating procedures Errol Morris directorial style is clear by how he almost frames the whole film as he is a detective and as you progress through the film you discover all the facts and stories just as a detective would until the end when the case is solved. His style uses old movie footage to illustrate the interior loves of his subjects (Rothman, 2009). Morris director style in he’s documentaries frequently employ strong interview techniques straight to the camera to give audiences the sense of intimacy as they often are discussing confronting topics which is quite confrontational.

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How does he achieve this style?

How he achieves this is he’s relentless search for answers – philosophical, psychological, forensic. This has only lead to a wide spread of work growing including; celebrated documentaries, dozens of short films, weighty essays and cognitive experiments in the NY Times, books, actual criminal investigations and some pretty fetching commercials. Reasons why Errol Morris can pull this off so well as he was a private investigator for many years so all he’s skills learnt while doing this has lead onto his filmmaking style. In terms of he’s interview style this is achieve by a  apparatus called the Interrontron which is designed especially for the eye to camera style. The apparatus bounces a live image of Morris onto the glass plate in front of the camera positions in from of the interviewee.(Gerbaz, 2017)

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How does Errol Morris approach ‘truth’ in his work?

Errol morris approach to truth starts from he criticised cinema verite for assuming doing correct technique would “Guarantee truth. ” He responds to this statement that no technique will  guarantee truth. Morris favours interview as the key to explore and examine the use of language as a key to interiority (Rothman, 2009). Errol morris approaches the truth in his work by doing extensive research and despite what could be a ” Public” version of the truth he will dig deeper to insure that is correct and if not will expose it so the “truth” serves justice.
How is his concept of ‘truth’ reflected in his Directorial Style?

The concept of truth reflects on his style a lots, Morris connects to a remarked form his friend “well, you may be a fly-on the wall, but its a five hundred ton fly-on-the-wall” (Slattery, 1997) This reflects on his directorial style of always wanting to show the truth and not altering this for a “better story” etc. As the story will be captivating if done well the truth we convey the realness.
How is his concept of ‘truth’ reflected through his of documentary topics for his feature length projects?

Reflecting his style of truth if you with about his film “The thin blue line” which is a documentary  which explodes the concept of real-life drama by employing the actual convicted criminals, David Harris and Randall Adams which are the two key actors.  Morris staged it with various version of Robert Wood murder to demonstrate the testimony of various witness. When doing this he had to be careful not to stage it as it was meant to represent the truth.  By Errol Morris wanted the truth in this film he argues he sentence of a man and proves he’s innocence on screen and constructed this by relying on verbal monologues and newspaper graphics.(Curry, 2017) By doing this investigators re opened the case.

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Pre-research:
http://www.errolmorris.com/
http://www.sbs.com.au/movies/video/11669571682/Standard-Operating-Procedure-Errol-Morris-intervie
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/errol-morris-the-thinking-mans-detective-99424163/
http://7thavenueproject.com/post/29494340948/errol-morris-confidential-part1
http://www.believermag.com/issues/200803/?read=interview_herzog

References

Curry, R. (2017). Errol Morris’ Construction of Innocence in The Thin Blue Line. Muse.jhu.edu. Retrieved 4 May 2017, from https://muse.jhu.edu/article/459621/summary

Gerbaz, A. (2017). Direct Address, Ethical Imagination, and Errol Morris’s Interrotron. Film-Philosophy. Retrieved 4 May 2017, from http://www.film-philosophy.com/2008v12n2/gerbaz.pdf

Rothman, W. (2009). Three documentary filmmakers (1st ed.). New York: State University of New York Press.

Show for Aug 12, 2012. Errol Morris Confidential,…. (2017). The 7th Avenue Project: Thinking Persons’ Radio. Retrieved 3 May 2017, from http://7thavenueproject.com/post/29494340948/errol-morris-confidential-part1

Blog 1;”CAPTURING REALITY”

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What is documentary you may ask? After researching into this topic i have constructed what i believe documentary is for myself. In order to form an educated opinion watching “Capturing Reality; The Art of Documentary.” The film explores the creative process with 33 leading documentary filmmakers  involved to explain their take on documentary combined with interviews and extracts from over 50 different films.

Within the film it spoke to the filmmakers asking there definition of documentary. A couple of them stood out to me influencing me to form my opinion such as firstly, Jennifer Fox who is an american producer and director in films such as; An American Love Story and Flying; Confessions of a free Woman. She explained it as its about  the joy of letting something effect you and respond, weather its with your camera or yourself as a person if your the interviewer, its like relating in a space like dancing.

Her alliteration to dancing is how i found i related to her explanation. As just like when dancing you have to feel the space its like having the camera and feeling the story letting you respond through the lens.

The second filmmaker which quote stood out was Errol Morris who is an american director and is best know for he’s work on “The Thin Blue Line.”

he spoke about that the parts he likes of documentary is that it can be anything. However the parts he doesn’t like is that being constantly being told that it only has to be one thing rather than a whole multi of possible things. This point he brought up stood out to me because if you look into documentary it can be a wide variety of things from fiction to non fiction and crosses from all genres.

Moving passed from the movie the idea of documentary to be defined as something which can be created as anything and that you need to be able to feel the emotion and show the respondence.

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An example of an filmmaker which shows similar views is Stephen Fry in his documentary which explores the disease of manic depression. This shows real emotions and captures the reactions of their emotion journey (Fry,2008). If you look into this filmmakers career he has worked on a wide variety of production and has an Television series called ‘Out there’ which  is an documentary about homophobia. This is completely on a different scale compared to first documentary showing how you can create it on anything.

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From the book ‘Introduction to Documentary’ written by Bill Nichols  it talks about how documentary now has become ” the flagship of cinema of social engagement an distinctive vision” and now can be outputted onto various platforms on the internet to sites like youtube and Facebook (Nichols, 2010)  Along with supporting the idea of being anything it also backs up the ideas when he talks about documentary embracing new forms and tacking out fresh topics. Both these points from the book supports the central idea of what Documentary is.

References

Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary. (2008). Canada.

Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary. (2017). National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 14 February 2017, from https://www.nfb.ca/film/capturing_reality/

Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman. (2006). United States.

Fry, S. (2008). Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. Top Documentary Films. Retrieved 14 February 2017, from http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/stephen-fry-the-secret-life-of-the-manic-depressive/

Nichols, B. (2010). Introduction to documentary (2nd ed., pp. 3-4). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

The Thin Blue Line. (1988). United States.