Dispatch From Doc Class: Week 8

I really can’t believe that I’ve been in this class at Maysles Institute for two months. In this short time, I have gone from toying with two ideas to having an almost-complete synopsis and narrative, a production timeline and a very fleshed out production budget.

I’ve learned how to look at film as a producer — dissecting each act and exploring new ways to seduce and engage viewers. I’ve also met a great group of folks. There are about 14 of us in class — some have made films, others have not — but we are all learning from one another.

This week, we talked about the editing process, most importantly really knowing what we want our film looks like and creating a paper edit using index cards before we even meet with an editor so that we can properly convey our overall vision. Whew!

But what really got me going this week was meeting Melissa Montero Padilla, an emerging filmmaker who is making her first film, Isabel Rosado: Nationalist. It’s very inspiring to meet someone who is further along in a process that you are engaged in. Melissa brought along clips and talked filmmaking, fundraising and foul-ups. I’m definitely going to support her film financially and can’t wait to see the complete project.

We have an extra week in between classes due to the holiday and our assignment is to begin contacting folks who are stakeholders in our subject matter. Luckily for me, I did some a lot of preliminary research last week and found a lot of contact info. Since the subject of my proposed film is a living person, I am nervous, but I have some folks in my corner who know him, yes him, and have given me great advice on how to go about reaching him.

I’ll be spending time drafting several emails which I will be sending out the first week of December. Wish me luck.