Monday, August 27, 2007

cinematography - not just limited to 'drama'

As the title suggests, this is an aspect to documentary that requires virtually just as much planning across the genres. Today's was quite an informative lecture, and I really liked the fact that David and Paul has Christine sitting down as the subject, offering different suggestions about conducting our interviews. These suggestions ranged from the lighting, to mise en scene (eg- the rule of thirds), to depth of field and focal length - the kind of nitty-gritty that can dramatically affect the end product, and is pertinent to the day of shooting so needs to be well thought-out.

One thing I'll need to clarify with the boys is the way we intend to use lighting.. I think we can really do better than one redhead (currently what we've opted to hire) and think imaginatively about how lighting can compliment the transition our subject undergoes. It is something worth thinking about at least and definitely worth finalising in the next couple of days.

I found the reading about Kirsten Johnston quite inspiring this week. Particularly given that she has worked on a lot of autobiographical documentaries, a lot of what she had to say is both relevant and useful. Nicely tied in with the ethical boundaries we discussed last week, she commented on the notion of politically questioning documentaries, and the need to take risks with people who (she) believes have a vision about a particular subject matter. This really reflects the direction in which we wish to steer Amazon - ours (and his) dream is for the eventual cohesion within the gay community and worldwide understanding/acceptance of all character types, whether it be drag queens or another minority group.

The ways we then use the production elements can then act as a salient reinforcements of this positive vision, but only if they are executed in a subtle and engaging manner. The way the shots are framed, for example, needs to be quite specific depending on the content we are discussing. The start and the end of the film are going to be quite different in emotional tone, and thus the other elements such as lighting and compositon need to be able to complement this shift.

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