I, in all of my optimism and naivete, have jumped in whole hog into understanding Final Cut Pro X and filming using DSLR cameras. I have been reading books, watching endless YouTube tutorials, analyzing documentaries I like and talking to my film making friends. I have video and audio equipment and soft light boxes and a bunch of excited children eager to learn these skills.
We have brainstormed hundreds of ideas together as a group and discussed how to recognize an inspirational vision for the project and how to record it so it can be shared with the group. One of the children had a vision during the week, a grand vision that she shared at our last meeting and we are picking it up and running with it.
We have organized to see a documentary maker/cameraman to teach us how to use our camera and how to visualize scenes. I have been reading/watching web tutorials/researching everything I can about the technical side of shooting a documentary. I have been out setting custom white balances, testing lenses and indoor lighting scenarios and I am feeling pretty good about our set up.
We have mapped out the beginning of a story line for the documentary, color coded grid paper with different clip types, counted out how long clips are and discussed different types of clips. Next week I hope to lay out our rationale and plan out our first segment.
Our plan will be laid out on a 4ft roll of brown paper that we will be taking to the farmhouse. Every part of the plan is going to be moveable so the children can see it and manipulate it. I am trying to do this in a way that children will be able to replicate the process when/if they make their own documentaries at some point. Most importantly, those skills will be transferable to the management of the various projects they will encounter in their lives. We have to make sure everyone knows what is going on and we have a large range of ages and learning types in the group. Everyone has a role to play and we now have filled up the various roles (editing, filming, sound etc...) with eager children.
I am grateful for the many contributions that everyone is making. I don't know what the final result will be like but I know that the skills gathered along the way will last a long time. Anyway, as you can tell I continue to be really excited about this project and the people involved in it.