Filmmaking At the Burns: 62/365 SOLC #11

Last night I was back for my second session at the Burns Media Arts Lab  of  documentary filmmaking with Bobby Houston.  I come to this new table with lots of digital storytelling under my belt and lots of confidence. And I’m trying to put some of that confidence on the side as I try to create a fresh space inside my head for a different way into someone else’s composing process.

For Bobby, the power of at documentary is the story, the personal journey  and then  how to craft this  journey as it moves to film, I think.

Over the years my digital compositions have been crafted in the comfort of my own space with  tech support of my Apple guys and feedback from my NWP/HVWP community.  My story crafting has been organic and multilayered, working with the soundtrack and the visuals right alongside the story.

So far our focus in the course has been to work the story first.  A bit of writing beginning with “I have a problem…” and then an oral retelling with a partner who then share the story with the group  and Bobby, as the seasoned facilitator points out  moments, directing us to the story structure as screenwriters using a play format-Acts I,2 and 3.

We moved some of the stories in the second half of the class to Flip Cameras as the storytellers retold them and then a demo was prepared and shared with Final Cut software, already comfortable for me.

Yesterday morning to prepare my piece I worked with Tom at the Apple store  in my way, considering ways to start with archival footage from marches on Washington- Martin Luther King’s march, marches against the war.

But I’m putting this prep work on the side for now, giving myself up to a this more collective approach to composing.  What I love about the National Writing Project and our Hudson Valley Writing Project is the communities of writers that we create. Here at the Burns, it feels like a goal here is to create communities of digital composers.  This group of 8 serious adults includes the founder of Burns Film Center and his wife with stories to compose.

So I was relatively quiet, listening and finding my place of  in this group as I get comfortable with this story process and my new story.

Categories: A Photo A Day 365/2010, At the Movies, NabloPomo March '10, SOLC 2010 | Tags: , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Filmmaking At the Burns: 62/365 SOLC #11

  1. I am imagining your story on one of the video This American Life programs. I hope one day that we will be able to see your digital stories as a blog post.

  2. You post makes me realize that I really have to get on the ball when it comes to purchasing a flip camera. I have nothing for video (other than my tiny point-and-shoot camera) and would like to get something so I, too, can get on the digital storytelling bandwagon.

  3. Stacey,I wouldn’t recommend the Flip. I’d try for something with more quality. But DS work…now that’s fantastic but very time consuming…the world of composing.

    Juliann, I have a site with lots of my DS pieces::

  4. Wow, Bonnie. This sounds so interesting. I would love to do something like it someday when I’m not teaching… I just got a Flip and am really enjoying it. I pull it out all the time in the classroom. The kids love it!

  5. That’s great Tina. I will keep you posted on this process. It’s very cool

  6. That sounds so interesting. I hope we will get to see some of your work.

  7. you bet Caroline.

  8. molly

    My first impression is how brave it is to tell stories like that. It must be a very intense experience. Film making is a technology that is very far from any competence I will ever have. I am always glad when good people develop technical comptence, since the visual formats are so helpful in communication.

  9. Hi Molly,
    It’s interesting. The filmmaker teaching the course really doesn’t know much about the tech, but he can craft the story and that’s the heart of the process. I have to keep remembering that. I moved away from words by themselves. I see the story-words and visuals and soundtrack together. But It’s cool to back to the story first.

  10. I like how the “story” is the center, Bonnie, and that you are on yet another adventure.

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