Dispatch From Doc Class: Week 6

I really can’t believe that it has been six weeks since our first class; we’re a little over one-third of the way through. The purpose of our class is to have a complete package ready to submit to funders on our last day of class. Our first five weeks were spent on understanding a documentary from the producer/writer standpoint and really nailing our description, which we are all still editing.

But this week was different.

We were in class for 15 minutes when we were broken up into groups of 3 or so, given a three-line synopsis, a camera, 5 or so minutes to chat and were given the missive: “go make a film, and by the way, you have 45 minutes.” Based on our synopsis, my group had to make a film called “TIME, a short-form documentary that how communities change in time and in relation to space…”.

Luckily, my group was pretty on point. I was just happy to be able to shoot using the Leica. We decided to use the architecture of our immediate surroundings in central Harlem, as well as the knowledge of how the community changed (both a groupmate and myself had lived in Harlem). We were just a few short blocks from some of the oldest homes and Harlem. We juxtaposed that with two types of churches, the brownstones that folks know as Harlem, some new luxury condos, and footage of a couple African markets. We added in a couple of interviews about the neighborhood and there you have it…TIME.

But then class got even better.

We began discussing the business and process of being a documentary filmmaker. The second portion of class was jam packed with information. Excited doesn’t even begin to describe it. We talked funding sources and me being the person I am already had most of the sources listed, as well as due dates, in a Google Docs file.

Our homework was to begin thinking about the budget process and bring in a list of everything we think we’ll need. Of course, I’m ready.