Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Documenting Dad Part 1

Wow it seems like I've been lax and not done much here, but instead review movies I've seen. I have seen some interesting and inspiring films of late, but that's for another time. I wanted this to be about my film making exploits, and of late it hasn't. Maybe that's because of the day job and the grind, but I have to say that it's me too. It's my fault for not being inspired, and not taking the time to do what I truly love to do.

The thing is I just don't want to waste MY time. Finite resources, and finite budget, or should I say no-budget can only mean that I need to be creative in what I do. They say when you do a documentary you start off with an idea on what you want to do. Eventually it is what you shoot that dictates what you create. Ken Burns does a lot with archival footage and mixes it with interviews, and readings of letters and excerpts of books. I like what he does with that, but it does feel a bit anylitical. Movies like "Grey Gardens" or "Salesmen" are more viseral, and more impactful because WE see and HEAR the subject. There is no narrator to tell you the story.

In my quest to make a video about my dad it got more and more like that. I'm still trying to get the audio tapes transfered to a digital format, but even with those tapes it's hard to get to know the man except by second hand accounts. I am his son, and I do have my mother, but all that knew him as a young man are gone, and so I need to extrapolate from what I know to get a sort of picture of my dad as a young man. That's where the history comes in. I've been going over the historical timeline of when my dad grew-up. It is of a period of two world wars, a depression, and a demise of a country.

So I've been accumulating stock footage, and pictures, but it's hard to piece it all together. It's also hard being that it is my dad. Being objective is kind of hard. I'm still working on it, but it more difficult then I realized. At this point I don't know the length or the scope of the film.

As you can see it's hard to see where this might go. I have about two minutes of the film done, but there is a lot more to go, and I'm not 100% happy with the beginning. Maybe it's my own narration. I've set up a microphone connected to a DV camera near my computer. It's a better mic then what I recorded on at first, but I felt maybe I need to do a bit more narration that is scripted. Sort of setting up the time, and the place. I'll try and post the first minute or two next post and see if I can get some opinions from anyone reading this blog. I'd certainly appreciate it.

Till next time thanks for reading.

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