Archive | March, 2013

Dark Soul Night. Inner Reality – revisited

30 Mar

Last weekend I went to a two day event to interview and record work of some of my PolinArtists (Polish Artists I follow for my documentary) and make a promo for the event. I started recording on Wednesday night, filming the setting up. On Friday, I spent most of the day at the venue, recording a rehearsal to ‘Midnight Teatime Game’ an interactive performance organised by Kasia and Sebastian, two new PolinArtists. During the weekend I met few more Polish artists, including a very talented Oskar Krajewski, who will also take part in the documentary. Below I reblog a post I made for the documentary’s website (www.polinarts.wordpress.com) where you can see pictures from the event.

Easter! Finally! Time to relax, rest and reflect a bit on the last weekend events when I attended Dark Soul Night. Inner Reality organised by Zuza Tehanu,one of the PolinArtists I follow. The event took place at the Vibe Gallery in Bermondsey, next to London Bridge. I was there for both days and tried to record everything that was worth of recording and more. Here is a short photo report.


Instalation by Isabella Findeisen

“Her work is usually very spatial; therefore her work is focused on space of different places, her interest is also to attract awareness of the place itself, places whom we in general wouldn’t actually give much attention in a normal day to day base.”

 

 

 

 

 

Performance by April Pipe, “This is it and nothing more…(a secret ballet)”

“This is it and nothing…is inspired by wabi sabi, a mindfulness practice of…

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Documentary making- my reflections so far

26 Mar

207x160_entrevista_FilosofiaCriancas_PPPolinArts and the Outsiders, or more precisely the shorter version of it, which will most probably be called PolinArts and Prometheus(es), is progressing nicely. I have almost 3 hours of footage and there will be more. In the meantime,  I thought I’d share what I’ve learned whilst working on it. You might find it useful, if, like me, you’re no stranger to filmmaking, but it’s the first time you do a documentary.

Equipment: Before shooting I did a lot of research. I checked the price and specifications of professional cameras, DSLR’s, semi professionals and consumer types. I looked at mics, light steady cams and all other types of camera accessories. I watched closely other documentaries, read blogs about the subject and looked at books. Eventually, I decided that – what matters is the content! Not the equipment (well, apart from having a decent microphone). This is why I stacked to the little HDV camera I had and focused on getting the right interviews and putting together a decent story. Having a light weight camera is very useful when doing handheld shots and, as I am filming it myself, with an automatic focus and fixed lens I don’t need to spent too much time on deciding how to shoot but focus instead on what to shoot.

Interviews: I must admit I felt very unprepared the first time I had to ask my character/subject questions. Will I ask the right questions for the information I want to get? How far can I push? Do I want stay nice and therefore friends with my subjects or do I not care? etc But before the panic could creep in and paralyse me completely, I thought: “Hold on! Everyone started somewhere! The TV presenters, investigative journalists had to also learn they craft and I’m sure that they made mistakes at some point.  So, if I have to make mistakes, I better make them now than wait till I’m perfectly ready, which may never happen”. Since then I conducted several interviews with number of people. You can’t always prepare as you don’t always know who you’re going to meet. But if you have the main idea of what your documentary is about- you’ll be fine. I will not know how well I did until I see the whole footage in the edit but until then, I carry on… improvising whenever necessary 🙂

There was another thing that I learned from conducting interviews, which I found extremely liberating. Unlike in fiction, when the writer have to come up with the lines for every character, in documentary interviewed characters take that responsibility away from the writer. If you find people that have the views you want to present, they will say them, often much better that you could ever think of.  All you have to do is to make sure that you don’t just have only ‘taking heads’ in your documentary. That’s the biggest challenge of a director! And that’s where the fun is!

Angry Bird -today, that’s me!!!

21 Mar

I was planning to write about something completely different- for example, proudly present the progress of the documentary I am working on, review a course I attended, discuss a film/theatre play I watched or share some profound thoughts I recently had- BUT a short discussion with my parent, made me change my mind completely…

Because…

It made me ANGRY!

OH!!!!! How angry it made me!!!

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My parent was not so guilty…  even though he add his share… he was barely a catalyst for the anger that had been bubbling under my skin for quite a while…

The reason? FRUSTRATION!

For the last two months I had to listen to people planning and directing MY projects (including the documentary)! I think you should do this… why don’t you do that!… how about if you…. You SHOULD to do this… You don’t want to do that….!

Ahhhhhrrrrrrr…..

WHY!?

Why do you need to tell me what to do!? Why don’t you given me the chance to present my ideas first!!! Tell you what I’ve already planned??? I find it so frustrating…

You wouldn’t tell a painter how they should paint their picture, would you!? You don’t advise a sculptor how he/she should form his/her sculptures! No. You wait, you don’t look over their shoulder, you give them time to find the right form, to find the best way of expressing their ideas…

So why do you have to advise a filmmaker!?

If you have ideas, make them yourself. Otherwise, wait. Let my ideas find the right form. And listen, you may actually find what I have to say interesting …

First week of filming for a short documentary ‘The PolinArts’

17 Mar

The last few weeks were very busy. I attended a couple of intensive workshops, one about documentary production with Tracy Gardiner and the other one about Visual Storytelling, based on the teaching of Alexander Mackendrick, both delivered at London Film School (LFS) in Covent Garden. I will write about each in more detail in one of my next posts.  

FilmSchool

Based on the advise given by Tracy, in order to generate funding, I decided to do a shorter version of my documentary and submit it to Koszalin Film Festival. The deadline for submission in end of April so I have less than two months. Luckilly, I found two events organised by Polish Artists that are taking place within this time and all artists agreed to be filmed. The first week is of the filming is already over. You can read about what that  time and find details on one of the events I mentioned in the documentary’s blog:

 

First week of filming for PolinArts- Dark Soul Night. Inner Reality