That’s a Wrap
I think I speak for all (or at least most) of my classmates when I say that Documentary Filmmaking has challenged me more than I imagined and has taught me more than I could have anticipated.
For the week and a half, and particularly the last four days, we have gone into overdrive working on our 5-7 minute documentaries. I’ve personally (as a beginner at editing and filming) spent in the neighborhood of 6-7 hours in the editing lab per day since Friday. It’s amazing to see how much blood, sweat, and tears (maybe not all of those, but I’ll let my classmates speak for themselves) go into something that lasts so briefly.
Even those seven minute-ers don’t remotely convey how much squinting, re-winding, listening, panicking, trimming, and murdering (as per the expression “murder your darlings”) happened “behind the scenes.” Thankfully, we had amazing support from Doug and Demetria (our paraprof), who gently pushed us to really get to the crux of our films and make them the very best they could possibly be.
I have learned so much from this block, both artistically and practically. Filmmaking, if anything, has taught me that to do something to the best of my ability, passion is a key ingredient. And commitment to the potential of failing, or better phrased perhaps as learning, is crucial.
I’ve learned from the subject of my final film, who taught me that yes, everyone has a story, a life philosophy, and experiences that shape them. As filmmakers, we have the glorious opportunity to share these stories and, if only for 5-7 minutes, connect all of us in the vast web of human experience.
One of my favorite pieces of advice Doug gave us throughout this block is: take your job seriously, not yourself. It took going through this class to help me understand what that truly means: to respect your subject, your vision as an artist, and the ways film can move people. But we are fallible and we can always learn from each other. And filmmaking, and even editing, is fun. Don’t be so serious that you can’t enjoy the process.
So, TONIGHT, Tuesday, at 7pm in the Cornerstone Screening Room we are showing our short docs (*read: birthed babies). If you guys want to come, we have stories about sign spinners, old couples, art and PTSD, curly hair, undocumented workers, low-income housing, deployment to Afghanistan, and EVEN MORE.
And so I fondly bid adieu to Documentary Filmmaking – a class that took its subject matter seriously but not itself, and taught me an incredible amount about both art and life.