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Documentary Proposal

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A slideshow presenting the proposal for the documentary I have created.

A slideshow presenting the proposal for the documentary I have created.


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  • For this project, we have to create a factual programme. I have decided to create an experimental, art documentary. It will outline various aspects that make people who they are, showing them through various generations. This will be parallel to footage of landscapes throughout the day, beginning with a sunrise, that leads onto night. The working title of my documentary is Elämää Auringon Alla, which is Finnish for Lives Under the Sun. I think this is appropriate as it reflects on the combination of the environment and people.
  • As I want to combine my photography skills with this I will be using a combination of moving and still images, and thinking intently on the cinematography. The main aspect of the documentary will be “what defines you?” however the audience will be oblivious to this until the end when the question is asked. I will be using controversial editing techniques, like overlays and jump cuts, and genuinely go against the normal documentary conventions. As I want to highlight on humanity, I will also be gathering deep and pretentious quotes from authors and philosophers, which imitate what the subjects will be talking about. These will be written over the top of the footage of the landscapes, to further show the bond between the 2. The way I am planning to edit this is converting the footage into a greyscale, I will then edit the contrast and brightness, so they have a high black contrast, whilst the quote will be written in white text. The font will have a slight calligraphy edge to it, as if it was just hand-written
  • The main crew of this documentary will be Lawrence Brookfield and I, and although we will be separating the credits between us, we will both be adding our own styles and aspects to the key jobs, i.e. directing, producing and editing. However because I want it to have the photography aspect, I will be mainly focusing on the cinematography, and controlling how the shots look and how they are filmed.
  • I have been researching into the music, and as the documentary is personal to me, I want to use music that is personal to me, so they both reflect each other. After looking through my music, I found an Icelandic band that I really love. I picked out some of my favourite songs and showed them to my colleague, who also liked them. As the music is quiet instrumental, the singing is almost an instrumental harmony rather than lyrics. We both felt that it would help to exaggerate on the emotions as some songs were light and happy, whilst others had a subtle sad undertone. I researched into the copyright of their music and found the Sigur Ros official website which stated that the music could be used unless a profit was made. As we won’t be sourcing a profit, we fit these guidelines but have filled out the correct documents. All of the editing will significantly fit to the beat of both the music and dialogue, to emphasise on the purpose, as well as keeping the documentary neat.
  • Due to the style of documentary I am hoping to achieve, I think there will be quite a wide target audience. As I want to capture a varied group of ages, the documentary then becomes relatable to the various age groups. Although a young child wouldn’t be able to fully comprehend what the documentary is about, they may take comfort in seeing someone around their age starring in the production. However, I think the main audience for my documentary is from the age of around 18/19 onwards. This seems feasible to me as they will be able to fully grasp the intentions of my documentary. Having a target audience of this multitude is an advantage because, although it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, a vast amount will be able to enjoy the various concepts, cinematography and intricate editing style. As my documentary doesn’t really try to make a specific point, and we are asking our interviewees what specifically defines them, there are no opinions really to be sprouted from the information, just acceptance, accepting who these people are and what makes them and either relating to them or not. With the wide use of ages, I am attempting to keep it subjective still, as it’s another form of gathering multiple different perspectives, through the various ages.
  • For our documentary, we need to accumulate a budget, for expenses, that may or may not be needed. We’d be working with a micro-budget that will be produced from us outing in money to pay for different things. These are:Location: as our documentary doesn’t require specific locations, this won’t be needed in our budget. We will be filming in college, at home, and in outside public places. Costumes: there are no specific costumes in our documentary; all of our interviewees need to be themselves so wear their own clothes and what makes them comfortable.Refreshments: as our interviews are short, this won’t need to be supplied because filming will last no longer than 20 minutes. Actors (?): there could be a possibility that we would have to pay some of the interviewees to be in our film, so if we are asked for a fee we will make sure we are pre-pared, but this will come out of our own money.Travel: this would come out of our own pocket to catch the bus to various locations, especially to Southampton as we do a fair amount of filming there. Props: our documentary won’t contain any props as they are unnecessary for what we are accomplishing. Equipment: although we are likely to use college equipment, e.g. tripods/cameras, the quality of the footage wouldn’t be as good as it would if we shot in HD. Some may own cameras that allow HD filming however if we needed microphones, different lenses, lighting, and other kinds of equipment, again we may need to put money towards this, however hiring would be cheaper than buying. The amount we’d put in is uncertain, and would depend on when we’ve secured interviewees and basics we need to know. Then we can come up with a total of what we’d need to fill the most important expenses.
  • After researching various documentaries to see the different styles, and work out what we wanted, our main inspiration actually derived from a short French film by Chris Marker called “La Jettee.” The whole film is simple black and white photography, each frame lasting around 3 seconds. This is because Marker wanted to really think about the cinematography, and that’s what I want to do with mine. Lawrence and I took a camera out and played around with some shots to see if we could capture anything like this, and this is what we produced:
  • Our locations were very simple, using various different parts of the forest to capture sunsets and sunrises. We then used shots in town to capture the light and various shots around college, both outside and inside to capture the sun and interviews. The interviews with family were then shot in our houses as it relates to them and helps establish them further. The interviews were shot in locations that related to the interviewee to help emphasise there likes, dislikes, and styles.
  • The other collaborators with our project would be our interviewees. A wide collection of people have been gathered, and Lawrence and I have also decided, that because the documentary is close to us, we are going to do interviews as well. I think this will be interesting because then it truly reflects us as people, and the project then becomes like a self-portrait. The interviews will be structured in chronological order by age. . I did ask my own parents if I could interview them, however they declined due to being camera-shy.Charley DollmanCharley is my 10 year old sister. She would be great to get an interview with because both her age and who she is. She is a competitive cheerleader, and even at that young of an age has a real deep passion for it. It would be good to capture this through the way she talks and her expressions. She is happy character and would start the documentary off in a light-hearted way, and will give an answer that differs completely with anyone else’s. Her interview will be shot in her bedroom, as it is somewhere that defines her, and help emphasise on who she is as a character. When editing her interview, I will add overlaid clips of her cheerleading to correspond with her portrait photographs and answers. Ray RobertsRay is classmate of ours, and has a very colourful personality. From what I gather he has a great passion for media and film, and is very opinionated. I think he will bring something quite random and quirky to the interviews, and give a whole different perspective on things. Like Charley, I assume that his interview will be light-hearted and add some humour to the documentary that other interviews may not. He is also very expressional with his body movements and facial expressions, so it will be interesting to see what photo’s I am able to capture through his interview. This interview will be filmed in a media room to highlight his passion for the industry. I will be framing and filming his interview.Seb DrewettAgain, Seb is a classmate of ours, however he will give a completely different view to Ray. He is very much into filming, playing around with various aspects of footage, and parkour. I think a combination of these 2 passions will give a different light on media to some of us. I think that these passions will help us to capture a deep meaning into why he does this, and what he wants to create. He will be filmed in one of the media rooms to highlight this passion, and in the editing stages, I would like to overlay footage of him performing parkour to portrait shots of him during the interview. This interview will be filmed from 2 different angles so both Lawrence and I can capture different footage and combine it together. Lawrence BrookfieldLawrence is already one of the key members in creating this documentary. He has chosen to also be interviewed because he has a love for directing and acting, and always tends to stars in his projects. This project is something completely different to anything he has ever done before, so starring in it as well as working behind the scenes will make this project even more passionate. He will have a lot to say and it will be very much different to anything else. There will be both elements of love, happiness and sadness and change the feel of the documentary. He will be filmed in a media room to highlight his passion, and I will be operating on camera to capture close-ups and different angles, whilst another will film from on view on a tripod. Hannah DollmanAgain, I will both be working behind the scenes and in front of the camera. I have chosen to do an interview, because this project is really close to my heart. Combining the views of people and nature is something I have always liked to do and it would be great to accomplish this in moving video. As I know what I want to be capture, I know what is asked of me in my interview and I will give something very passionate and from the heart, that again, will change the tune of the documentary. This will be filmed by Lawrence in a media room to capture my love for media. I editing I am going to overlay pictures from my photography projects, to show my work and emphasise my love for the subject. Luke JelfsLuke is in his early twenties, so has a bit more life experience then the teens portrayed before him. He can be cocky and opinionated and I think that this will derive a really unique answer from him then various other interviews. He will be filmed by Lawrence at his house, as that has now become like a home to him through having a relationship with Lawrence’s sister. Emily and Mark CatlowEmily and Mark are both in their mid-twenties, and have been together since they were teens. They are now married and due a baby so I think something really meaningful will be captured from their interviews. Getting married young and being together since they were so young will add something different to anyone else’s answer and I am looking forward to seeing what they come up. They will be filmed by Lawrence Brookfield in their house, and they will also be filmed together. By doing this, I think it will help capture who they are together and emphasise on their answers. Andrew MillerAndrew is one of the media teachers at our college. He is the youngest of the 3, and has a broad as well as opinionated view on media, films, and basically everything. Due to his age and character, I think he will be interesting candidate to interview, he could give an answer that differs from others, and also have the potential to be quite pretentious, however this could effectively be completely different to what we expect him to answer. He will be filmed in his office as that reflects on him as a teacher and although Lawrence and I will both be present, I will be in control of the camera. Giles FletcherGiles is one of the photography teachers at the college. After being taught by him, I know his passion for photography, as it is something that he has been doing and studying most of his life. As a lot of the interviewees we have are very media focused, it will be nice to see a different passion surface, and I think he will give a really intriguing answer to the question. Being a photography teacher it will probably borderline pretentious, however that is an element faced with the style of documentary I am creating. He will be filmed in the photography/art suite to highlight him as both a teacher and photographer. Lawrence and I will film this interview, although Lawrence will be camera operator.Elaine BrookfieldElaine is Lawrence’s mother, and in her late 40’s and is a Nurse. She has 2 dogs that she adores and is constantly walking. There a multiple aspects of her life through her profession, age, and family life that she could talk about, so it will be interesting to see what she talks about and how she talks about it. From her age she will have a fair amount of life experience and I hope to capture this in photographs from her movements and facial expressions. Lawrence will be filming her in the lounge of their house, a room that tends to define its owners. Stephen BrookfieldStephen is then Lawrence’s father. He will be an interesting character to interview because he has different way about him to previous interviewees, and is also rather opinionated. He has a lot of life experience being the age he is in his 50’s so it’ll be great to capture this through the way he talks, the gestures created and even simply just from his appearance. He will also be filmed by Lawrence in their living room. Joy HarrisA neighbour of Lawrence’s, she is a kind old lady in her late 80’s, so has gone much more hardship and life experience than anyone else we have interviewed. Her interview will probably be the most emotional, having lost her husband, and being a gran and a great-gran. Her interview will contradict that of the interview with Charley as she is much more naïve to the world, and it will be good to see the elements all wrapped up with this final interview. Joy could say anything and it will be both powerful and inspiring, and I think this is what people will want to see. She will be filmed Lawrence in her own living room at home.
  • The USP, or unique selling point for my documentary would be unique as it’s a very unique documentary. Its Chris marker meets documentary meets philosophy. It’s a combination of various different aspects that all form as one.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Lives Under The Sun By Hannah Dollman
    • 2. • Moving/Still Images• Cinematography Focus• “What Defines You?”• Audience Oblivious• Controversial Editing• Overlays• Against Normal Documentary Conventions• Highlight Humanity• Deep Quotes• Imitate Subjects• Greyscales• Landscapes• Calligraphy
    • 3. • Lawrence Brookfield • Key Jobs• Myself • Photography Feel• Separating Credits • Controlling Shots• Adding Our Own Styles • Photography
    • 4. • Personal To Me• Reflect Eachother• Sigur Ros• Instrumental• Exaggerate Emotions• Light/Happy• Subtle Sadness• Copyright• Documents• Editing Fits Beat
    • 5. • Wide Target Audience • No Specific Point• Capture Varied Ages • No Opinions• Relatable To Various Ages • Acceptance• 18/19 + • Who They Are• Grasp Intentions • What Makes Them• Advantage • Relating To Them• Vast Amount Enjoy Concepts • Subjective• Cinematography • Multiple Different Perspectives• Intricate Editing
    • 6. • Accumulate Budget• Location• Costumes• Refreshments• Interviewees• Travel• Props• Equipment• Micro-Budget• Uncertain
    • 7. La Jettee Our Shots
    • 8. • Forest • Town• College • Landscapes• Home • Light• Relate To The Interviewee • Defining Interviewees
    • 9. Charley Dollman Larry Brookfield Em/Mark Catlow Elaine Brookfield Ray Roberts Hannah Dollman Andrew Miller Stephen Brookfield Seb Drewett Luke Jelfs Giles Fletcher Joy Harris
    • 10. The USP, or unique selling point for my documentary would be unique as it’s a very unique documentary. Its Chris marker meetsdocumentary meets philosophy. It’s a combination of various different aspects that all form as one.