Friday, April 4, 2014

5 days, 5 perspectives, 1 week, 1 video post 21

Update: My phone has been unexpectedly useful for the movie. I discovered that the audio on my camera is not clear. In interviews when writing stories for my newspaper class, I always record the person I'm interviewing so during the filmed interview I decided to. It really wasn't for any specific reason at the time, but when I was uploading the footage at home, I realized how awful the audio in each video turned out. It's the person voice with a loud gushing sound in the background, not wind because all of the interviews were
shot in their offices or a quiet room. So I decided to check out the voice recordings on my phone, and they sounded great. At first I tried the perk on Final Cut where you can take out unneeded noise in the background, but it made them all sound like they were underwater. So even though it is a little extra work having to sync the recording with the  video made silent, it is worth the good sound. Another reason that it was helpful is the video on an iPhone is actually not too bad, and when I am in the car I will film the outside for transitions, like the way the sun hits the trees or something. I always have liked those transitions of the clouds moving over many hours in a day but are sped up, this is kind of the same thing but just a lot less battery life and work.

I contacted the vet and he said that the filming would be disruptive to his practice, but I'm not giving up! I'm going to contact another local vet, and the newspaper advisor is going to give me some names of reporters she knows that may allow me to film them. I just have to be persistent in contacting people so I can film the 5th subject soon! The perfect time would be on a day we get off the week before break, because it is right in the middle of the week.

Fun Film Fact: On April 21 in 1895, Woodville Latham and his sons, Otway and Gray, demonstrated their “Panopticon,” the first movie projector developed in the United States. Those are some pretty cool guys. 

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

5 days, 5 perspectives, 1 week, 1 video post 20

Update: This week's post will be about filming the third and fourth subjects, the student pursuing music and the firefighter.

I filmed Paulina Perakis, a senior here at South. She has her own band and goes by "Paulina Jayne Music". When I was picking people to film I thought of her, because I had remembered seeing her perform at my middle school and thought it might be cool to spotlight someone younger in the movie, who was very serious about their future career.  I spent the day at Paulina's house, where her living room is set as a carpeted stage and I got to film her interactions with band members and also the practice. I knew band practice was something that happened often in the Perakis house, when her mom offered me some ear plugs :). It was so cool to see how all of the people at her house including some of Paulina's extended family were so involved in her music. I got to capture a little piece of those relationships in some of the footage. Here is a picture of the converted living room.

Here is a recent article that came out in our local newspaper for more information about her music:

Next I filmed Sundee Harland, the only women firefighter at the Grosse Pointe Farms Police and Fire Department. I was not planning on filming her as at first I was going to film one of my dad's friends who works there, but he contacted me that he was injured and referred me to her instead. It was really nice of him to refer me to someone else that was interested, so that I didn't have to go and hurriedly try and find a fourth subject. She works a 24 hour shift, so I arrived at around 8:00 a.m. and stayed until 1:00 p.m., which was enough time to capture a normal morning for her at the station. It was very interesting seeing the checking of the trucks and how every aspect of every compartment must be thoroughly inspected so that if called on a run, everything is ready and working. I know what your thinking, "Did you get to ride in it?!". "Did you get to go to a fire somewhere?!". For safety precautions no, but I did get to sit in it, and believe me when your up that high just sitting in it is actually quite fun. And if you end up watching that part of the film you will sort of get to sit in it to. Here is a picture of the whole front of the truck that lifts up. Its pretty awesome and I had no idea those huge trucks could do that conversion.

One more person to film left! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

5 days, 5 perspectives, 1 week, 1 video post 19

Update: About 2 weeks ago, I filmed the Executive Director at SOC (Services for Older Citizens). I started by coming into the SOC offices at 8 am and meeting Sharon Maier. The first thing I did was interview her, which I think was good so that I knew a little bit about her before following her around with a camera, and it helped during the day, because I was able to ask her some questions about a few of the things she told me in the interview. After that I began filming her daily activities, and was able to walk around the building. I filmed her office and different places in the setting when she was just doing work at her desk, and filmed her interacting with her co-workers and the seniors who were there for classes. I was even able to film a little bit of a senior exercise class, which is really awesome that they have so many great facilities for them. After filming for a few hours of her regular work day, she needed to deliver a "Meal On Wheels" (more information here: to a senior who lived in his home locally, and also exchange these huge garbage bags of bottles and cans for change, so that SOC could get some postage stamps. It worked out that I was filming this, because I was able to send her some footage from both times, so that they could put the videos on their website.

When we arrived at Roger's house, a 99 year old man who graduated from Grosse Pointe South to deliver the meal to, his daughter greeted us and went to get him. He came in with a huge smile on his face, and this was one of those moments that I was really excited that he was okay with me filming him. He was so happy to receive the meal, and although he didn't really understand that I was taking a video, he did really want a picture, so I got some still shots from the footage and gave them to Ms. Maier to send to him. He was very quiet, but when Ms. Maier asked him what the secret to living to 99 was, he said, "Just keep breathing,". This was probably the highlight of my whole time time filming that day, and getting it on camera was so cool.

At the end of the day I had a lot of footage, but she still had an hour or so left of work, so I asked her if she needed me to do anything. I ended up organizing a binder and delivering some papers to her fellow co-workers. I'm really glad I got to do this, because I was kind of able to step into her shoes in a small sort of way, and see some of the things that she does everyday for her job.

Here is a picture of her with the picture she drew of herself, I explain a little bit about what the drawing is for in post 11 in the 3rd paragraph:

Thanks for reading! To learn more about SOC, click here:

Sunday, March 2, 2014

5 days, 5 perspectives, 1 week, 1 video post 18

I hope everyone had a nice weekend! For this blogpost we have to include what we like most and least about our 20 time project, and what we would do differently.

What I like the most: How I get to meet new people and hear about and capture a little part of their life. It is a huge learning experience for me to see how 3 completely different people live their lives, and soon I will see how 5 people do. Without this project, I wouldn't have been able to get to know this many new faces, and it has been a great experience to have interviewed them as a random student at the beginning of the day and say good bye to them and end filming at the end of the day as their friend. Overall, I am so lucky that I get the opportunity to be apart of this, because I never thought that I would be sharing my thoughts like this before, or ever share the videos I create online. This has definitely brought me to think about uploading more videos after I upload the documentary, like short films or things like that. 

What I like the least: The stress I feel when I am getting behind on my project, and I have to balance school. It is very busy in high school, even on the weekends, and although 20 Time fridays help me to gather my thoughts, it can be difficult. We are allowed to "fail" at the end of this. For example there is a chance that my documentary won't be finished before this project is over, but I really don't want that to happen, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. 

What I would do differently so far: I need to get more organized. I only have been using a notebook for the interviews, and I need to start gathering my thoughts so that I can start to plan out my next move each week. If I am more organized, then I know it will be easier to complete things and make large strides in the editing process and with contacting people. All three times that I have gone to film I sort of just went with the flow and even though all times went well, I think I need to explain to the subjects more of what I will actually be doing the day that I am there, so they don't feel like they don't know if they should do their normal work on camera or not. 

I know I said in my last blogpost that my next one would be all about filming the SOC head volunteer with pictures, but I had to postpone it because of this prompt, so I will we posting that next sunday because I wanted it to be it's own post. Thanks for reading! 

Fun Film Fact: In 1942, there was one category for documentaries in the Academy Awards, 25 nominees and 4 winners. (The winners were: The Battle of Midway, Kokoda Front Line!, Moscow Strikes Back, and Prelude to war.) 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

5 days, 5 perspectives, 1 week, 1 video post 17

Imagine a camera following a small child or a dog for a whole day. Much of it would be boring and 90% of the time the dog would probably take some time to sniff the screen, but the point would be to see his eye of everything. Where we see the tops of the chair he would see the legs and etc.. I'm not quite sure why I thought of this the other day but I just thought it might be something to share. We have been talking more about our speeches in class and I've been making notes in my phone whenever I think of stuff on the spot that might be okay to add.

Update: This break I was able to film two more people. First I filmed the head executive of volunteering for SOC (Services for Older Citizens), and then I filmed Paulina, (the student pursuing music). I think for my next 2 blog posts after this one I will do individual profiles on each person and the unique experiences. This way you can sort of get to know them a little bit before seeing any video. Pictures will definitely be included, as I made it a point to take some while filming these two times. Both experiences were very different, but so much fun, and yesterday it dawned on me how many new people I am so lucky to have met over the course of a few months. I thought going into this that I would really just be following the main subject around and that I wouldn't really have a chance to talk with the people that work alongside them in their life. But all 3 experiences I have met so many interesting people that I never thought I would ever talk to before. I met college students, band members, a documentary producer who teaches at Madonna-who is filming a doc just on Paulina, a 99 year old man who graduated south in '33, and so many more. I am just so fortunate that I have been able to meet with so many new faces and I just can't believe it! I probably have met more people than I have my middle school years and freshman year combined. But the one thing that is so amazing is how everyone comes up to me and says, "thank you so much for filming me, or him/her, or us".To me I had been seeing filming them as kind of something that might get in the way of their work, or take up valuable time, but instead I hope I have been able to spotlight them in a comfortable way. It feels good to have put a smile on their face and helped them share their story, and I'm just lucky for this experience.

To go: 2 more people to film, the firefighter (hopefully next weekend) and a news reporter. I have been making some breakthroughs with editing, and all of the footage has been uploaded for me to really start making a dent in the individual detailed sections of the film.

Fun Film Fact: John Hughes, the film director of movies like, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Home Alone, and The Breakfast Club, was born right here in Michigan! He was born in 1950 in the Lansing area.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

5 days, 5 perspectives, 1 week, 1 video post 16

Update: This week has been really good with contacting people and knowing exactly who to call. I emailed a staff head from The Detroit News, and my dad knows a firefighter, and also a resident that I might be able to film at the local hospital. Someone in the field who is an aspiring doctor would definitely be interesting to film. But the best contact was that I was able to talk to the student pursuing music, and she said I can film her next weekend! She has both a voice lesson, and band practice that day, so it will be a very eventful experience. I also found out that she auditioned for the t.v show "The Voice"! I was definitely not expecting this and in the interview I can ask her all about what it was like to audition. I'm so honored to be able to film her because she told me that a producer last year went to Nashville (where her recording studio is) and filmed a documentary on her! Not knowing any of this I'm so lucky that I picked her! Although my documentary is definitely not as professional as the one she had done earlier, she still will know what it's liked to be filmed and the process will be more familiar. I'm not sure what the filming schedule is for "The Voice", but at the end of the year if she does make it on and my final documentary is about to be uploaded, I can add that she is currently on the show! With these 4 people and the professor I already filmed, I have finally found 5 people that I have been able to find contact information of. I don't know for sure now that they will all say yes, but it is still a huge relief to know more specifics.

There is this documentary (you may be able to find it on Netflix) called Bill Cunningham New York (2010). It follows the life of a photographer for The New York Times, and his obsession with his work, and New York's people. He takes pictures of people on the streets of Manhattan, and although this is a pretty random topic to watch I think it will be interesting to see how the director films this guy's life keeping it all truth and very raw. Since it follows just him, and not an entire subject, idea, or place like many informational documentaries do, I think it will be cool to see a complete profile on his everyday life, sort of like what I'm doing. I guess my main hope after watching this documentary will be to get some insight on how the director truly accomplishes a natural, but intriguing life of an average guy who really loves his work.

Fun Film Fact: In 2007, "No Country for Old Men" was the first Oscar-winning film edited with Final Cut Pro.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

5 days, 5 perspectives, 1 week, 1 video post 15

Update: I finished the intro of Day 1 of the documentary! I'm really excited about it and am wavering whether or not I should post it on here for viewing, or if I should wait until all of the intros are done before showing anything. Either way I am so happy winter break is coming up so I can start filming again. Even though at first adding more and more footage might get overwhelming, it is better to have it all in one place so I can start creating group ideas, and having everything in front of me will make it easier to plan out. The thing that is hardest in the editing process at the moment is the fact that I don't have all of the documentary's videos complied, so it's hard to know what moves to make. I wish I could just start editing the entire thing now, but I have to be patient and keep staying on task and observant for new ideas. I have to say though finding how to do new things on Final Cut Pro X is so much fun. It has so many cool features and I feel like it makes the video quality a lot much better and look more professional. This might just be me being overly excited, but there is something so incredible about this program, it can make anything look like a movie made with someone who had some serious skills.

New editing findings: Over the weekend I was watching the Turner Classic Movies channel with my family, and I noticed that many of the commercials for example a "super exciting" rare coin collectables one, was edited as if it was made in the 80's. It was recent though, as it showed stats from 2013. At first I just really didn't understand why an advertiser would do this, the boring graphics and dull voice in the background did not do it justice, but then I realized, that teenagers usually don't watch the TCM channel...and by using a classic font and style of editing, it appealed to the older viewers watching the channel, and grabbed their attention as something they recognized instead of something modern and unfamiliar. Their point was to capture the eye of the kind of group watching the channel even if it meant that the commercial seemed like it was in the wrong era. This made me start to think that this is what different genres of movies do when they are releasing a new trailer. If they don't pick the right channel, or editing properties, it could sacrifice a lot of the following that they look to attract. This is something that I have to figure out when creating my trailer. As a documentary, I have to make sure the trailer is informational and gets the point across, but is also interesting.

Film Fact: In 1985 Quantel released "The Harry", which was the first all digital video editing system.
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