Proud

For perhaps the first time in my movie making ‘career’ I have come out of the experience truly proud of my work. I have watched our film several times since the screening and every time I watch it I realise new and interesting things about our film. I think it is very deep and has elements in it that I never thought possible. Everything just came together by the end. We need we had the content it was just about putting it together coherently and beautifully to create a story and a narrative that would capture the hearts of the audience. And I believe we were extremely successful in doing so. I have shown the film to peers and colleagues and everyone is affected by it and enjoys their experience.

The main things I learnt from the experience was the fact that a story line or a specific idea needs to be known before you go out and start shooting. That was perhaps our biggest problem which is why the shooting section of our project took longer than anticipated. We didn’t have specific ideas which led to ‘blind’ shooting and messy work. Another thing I learnt was to choose the people you work together with properly. Make sure they seem like people you would be happy to share such an intense experience with. I think I did this very well in that our group worked so well together. It was perhaps the best group of people I have ever worked together with. We had no arguments, conflicts or confrontations. If people didn’t agree with other people we would speak our opinions and the other person would forget about it and move on. It was all based on consensus which worked extremely well for our group.

Another reason that I feel very satisfied after completing this semester is the fact that I have come out of it realising I may be interested in something I never knew I was. I practically shot the entire film on my DSLR and I really enjoyed the experience. If there was one thing I would do if I was to pursue a filmmaking career would be cinematography after the experience I just had. A big reason for this is that I feel our film looks beautiful and is shot well…and knowing that I was the one behind the camera makes me extremely proud. It was an interesting experience shooting the entire film on the DSLR. I believe it looks way more beautiful than it would have on any of the rmit cameras. It is easy to use as it is much smaller and it doesn’t intimidate the subjects when shooting. The in and out of focus technique we were going for worked really well as it is very easy to maneuver the focus with the DSLR.

All in all, the experience was very successul and I think this truly comes out in our work.

Will post the film shortly… 

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Great to see this in someone elses blog:

First of all, I was inspired by “Cubbies” documentary. Excellent choice of the content! I really liked the beginning of film – it successfully establishes whole environment of cubbies – with its great choice of music and intercuts between the kids and the main subject as it is his point of view. It was nice to see children introducing themselves to camera and their excitements of being on screen – they have done really good job with buying the attention from the audiences into the story. It was pleasing to see different cutaways of children playing around throughout the interview, it was visually very entertaining and it also created better understanding of his statements. The way that they have approached children to interview was what made this documentary very special. Asking exact same questions to different children and exploring the story from them came to me very fresh and adorable – It made me want to know more about cubbies. I loved how this documentary contains the observation style footages of children doing various activities. It felt like the audiences were invited to be part of them, showing their lifestyle thoroughly. I liked how the film was very natural and wasn’t forcing the audiences strictly structured story.

SHARQIYA; PART OF THE 2012 JEWISH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Stephen Baker Media

November sees the start of the 2012 Jewish International Film Festival in both Melbourne and Sydney.

Last night, I had the good fortune or a shtik naches, if you will, to see a preview screening of Sharqiya; the story of an unappreciated Bedouin Kamel Nadjer working security at a Be’er Sheba bus station whose home is facing demolition.

At this point I must disclose that I was involved in writing the festival guide, so feel free to take both my enthusiasm for the festival and the films being screened therein with a grain of salt or scepticism. I’m writing this, not as a shameless plug for work that I’ve done, but more because I genuinely believe that this is a really good festival of films that should be seen by as many people as possible.

While Sharqiya wouldn’t have been my first choice for a preview screening, it was…

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JIFF

Check out this website!! It is the new look Jewish International Film Festival which has an incredible line up this year including 15 or more documentaries!! There are some absolutely mind blowing documentaries and not only because of the way they are made but the subjects and events they deal with. 

Take a look!

http://www.jiff.com.au

 

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Inspiration

I thought it would be a good time to talk a little about what really inspired me and us throughout the shooting experience. Something that is very close to me and that I really loved was 8K Radius. A mini-doco series that screened at the CLassic Cinema in Elsternwick before feature films. The idea was to show 8 ordinary peoples lives in an 8km radius from the Classic. It was all about community and giving the locals their moments of fame. The way it was shot was really exactly how I wanted to shoot ‘Cubbies’. Very much about the visuals. Lovely depth of field, blurred focus, in and out of focus and strong colours. There was no face to face, conventional interviews but rather we heard the subjects as we saw what they do in their day to day lives.

THIS is the link to all the docos

And check out my favourite one from the collection that really shows what I mean when I say I wanted my doco to somewhat replicate these ones…

Clayton Jacobson – Kenny

I came across something very interesting the other day…I got in contact with Clayton Jacobson – the director of Kenny. I thought it would be interesting, especially considering Kenny is a sort of documentary. Its more of a mockumentary but the film has lots of truthful elements. You know what , I reckon it is a doco…regardless!! Read below the little interview I had with him!!

  • Do you think the Australian film industry is heading in the right direction?

Not sure the industry ever heads in any specific direction in Oz – its so cottage based – we are not like Hollywood or other countries when it comes to film making. The media knows this which is why every new Hit is proof positive the industry is thriving and every failure is proof positive we are doomed. Hollywood never makes such commentaries. But I’m an optimist and the more accessible technology becomes the more readily film makers can tell their stories the more our craft improves. I think we are getting braver we are starting to tell more compelling stories in varying genres. 

 
but more importantly Entertainment is no longer a dirty word here – for many years Worthy was the order of the day – due mostly to gov funding desires to be socially relevant and accountable – rather then servicing an audiences desire to be entertained – we have found the right balance now i believe.
 
and it can only improve.

  • Is it a good industry to be a part of at the moment

You need a tough hide to be a part of this industry at any time – nothing is ever real till the cameras start rolling – its an industry built on fantasies and gatekeepers – movie making is a subjective artform made by committee and getting all the ducks to line up is near impossible 90% of the time.

  • Is the quality of Australian film getting better or worse??

again technology is driving this – in fact its never been easier to have you film look wonderful – which means we are easily bored which of course forces us to tell more engaging stories – effects no longer wow us – better stories – many more films being made – how does your get noticed – have a better story. the real key is finding effective ways to find your audience thats the biggest challenge now – good work can get lost in the mirth. 

 
  • And an outline of the process Australian filmmakers go through to make a movie. Is it a hard or easy process?? (like your situation with Kenny).

in my case i did everything on kenny including catering from time to time so it was hard work but also for-filling – all film making is hard as Terry Gilliam once said film making is a slow motion catastrophe – its takes years to make – the average films has a gestation life of 5 – 8 years. 

 
in terms of outlining the process
 
write and idea – find someone to back it with money – find you cast – get your crew and start filming = thats the easy part and its hellishly hard. the real difficultly is getting it distributed marketed and sold internationally.
 
i was exhausted when i finished KENNY – then i realised i had at least another year of selling it to the world.
 
the financial rewards are not so great either – films in OZ generally have to make as much as 16 times their budget before the film makers see a return.
 
so bottom line if you are entering the industry to relax – make money – or age gracefully – FORGET IT!
 
but if you like the energy of constant change and the ground moving under your feet and the feeling of blood cursing through your veins – you might enjoy film making. one film maker told me  “i hate making films but i love talking about making films” most film makers including me do it purely because we feel driven and we fear what lies outside of the experience. meaning “what the hell else am I good at”
 
I think it is a very insightful interview that not only lets us in on the Australian film Industry but what its like making a documentary for an Australian filmmaker. 
 
Thats all!
 
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Feeling good!

We’re on track!! We have finalsed all our shooting and we are ecstatic with what we have. We have booked edit suites for the next week and we are planning to have a very clean rough cut by the end of the week. Its a giant aim but we believe we can do it. 

WOOOHHH!