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What does our documentary have to do with Dillo Day? Absolutely nothing. But that’s the only thing on my mind right now and this is the only thing between me and Dillo Day, hence, the title of the post.

We wrapped up shooting on Tuesday with an interview with the assistant coach, an interview to which one member conspicuously did not show up to. That said, the interview went well. I was especially proud of how we set up the lights. By this interview, we had used lights four times already and at this point I suppose we felt much more comfortalbe with it and more innovative about how we used them. Our back light had always been a problematic light because it was so bright and this time we finagled it to bounce light off the walls and give our subject a nice, softer halo.

We’re just starting now to really fine-tune our rough cut. Admittedly I’ve been putting that off until after Dillo Day simply because my 12-page paper wasn’t going to write itself. Despite the fact that since Monday night/Tuesday morning (however you want to see it) I’ve only barely actually touched Premiere Pro, I have been thinking a lot about our final story arc. At the moment our rough cut is about 15 minutes, which means more than half of it needs to go. I’ll be back in the studio either Sunday night or Monday morning and hopefully my abstract conceptualizations will actualize. I’m not too worried about the documentary content-wise right now; fine-tuning will occur all of next week until the completed is shown on Thursday. It’s thinking about what to name it and what post-production things we want to add to it that makes my brain hurt more. But I guess we’ll figure that out.

This documentary has been a triumph, a disaster, a lesson and a I-told-you-so. I’ll explain in reverse order.

It’s an I-told-you-so because of issues with one of our group members. I tried so hard to get him to do some of the work. I feel confident saying that of all the b-roll, this member shot none of it. Absolutement rien. This includes the shots for the pre-production assignments. The only times he worked the camera was during sit-down interviews and each time myself or our other group member had already set everything up. Do I know everything about all of our equipment? No. But I daresay that I can set up a lighted interview by myself. This guy would wonder which part went with what. It was not an issue of getting everyone to do equal amounts of work, but rather, to get him invested and to care. I spoke to some other people in the class about the issue and they kept on saying that we should give him a chance. We did. We gave him chances, handed him the camera, made suggestions. Our other group member and I actually had a huge fight about this. It actually became a screaming match at one point…because we were talking about the same thing except we were communicating our ideas in different ways and didn’t understand each other. Our conclusion? You can’t make someone care.

It’s a lesson because I learned to work with people who had differing but not complementary skill sets and with very different interests.

It was a disaster because this was nothing like what I had imagined myself doing in this class. Part of this is because of the grand ideas, narrow vision thing I talked about in one of my earlier posts. And it definitely wasn’t something I wanted to do our documentary on. I wasn’t interested. And to be completely honest, to some capacity it’s still a marginal topic to me. It was a disaster because there were actually points in the process when I felt like I didn’t want to care anymore. That has never happened to me before for any story.

But that’s the triumph. Because we made it work (knock on wood). It was also a triumph because of the things I learned. Besides lighting, I am also much more confident about my ability to shoot verite. Adobe Premiere Pro, well, that’s still a pain no matter what.

Once we’re done with the documentary, there are a couple of possible outlets to which we can distribute our work to. Beyond student film festivals (on campus, in Chicago or nationwide), the story can also be shown on outlets such as the Big Ten Network. I’m sure there are also other sports-related outlets….I’ll keep on looking.

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